Customers can receive rebate on ‘green’ showerheads

April 12, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. April 12, 2011

Puget Sound Energy and Cascade Water Alliance teamed up to offer instant rebates on high-efficiency showerheads.

PSE customers can receive a $10 instant rebate off several WaterSense showerhead models. The after-rebate price to customers ranges from 95 cents and $27, depending on the model.

WaterSense showerheads use no more than 2 gallons of water per minute; standard showerheads use 2.5 gpm or more.

Customers can receive the rebated showerhead by ordering online or printing a coupon to redeem for qualifying models at participating Lowe’s stores through May 15.

In order to qualify, customers must live in a single-family property or attached housing of four units or less, and use PSE electricity or natural gas to heat water. The rebate is limited to two showerheads per household.

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State: Washington-produced milk is safe, despite radiation concerns

April 5, 2011

NEW — 11 a.m. April 5, 2011

State agriculture and health officials said Washington-produced milk is safe, despite low levels of radiation detected March 25 in a milk sample from Spokane.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency is conducting radiological testing for Washington-produced milk. EPA results announced March 30 confirmed the presence of miniscule levels of radioactive iodine -131.

Sampling results from Tacoma and Spokane taken during the same week — and posted Monday by the EPA — did not detect any radioactive elements in milk, even in trace amounts.

“EPA monitoring confirms that Washington milk is safe to drink,” Dan Newhouse, state Department of Agriculture director, said in a statement Tuesday. “These results raise no concerns for food safety or public health. Milk and other dairy products remain a healthy choice in your diet.”

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Leaders urge emergency preparedness after Japan disaster

March 15, 2011

The unfolding disaster in Japan — unleashed after a magnitude-9 earthquake struck the island nation — has emergency planners in Issaquah reminding residents to prepare for earthquakes and other calamities.

“This tragedy overseas reminds us that our region is also at high risk from natural disasters,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “The time to prepare is before emergency strikes.”

The earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck Japan in the afternoon March 11 (late March 10 in Washington and on the West Coast). The death toll could exceed 10,000 people.

The local group spearheading personal emergency preparedness is the Issaquah Citizen Corps Council, a nonprofit organization formed to prepare residents to respond to natural disasters and other emergencies.

“The real basic message is: Be prepared,” council President Alan Bramwell said.

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State: Radiation from Japan poses little risk to Washington

March 12, 2011

NEW — 6 p.m. March 12, 2011

The state Department of Health has not detected any elevated radiation readings in Washington as Japanese officials struggle to avert a meltdown at a damaged nuclear power plant.

The state agency is conducting ongoing air monitoring for radiation to determine if the incident has affected radiation levels.

The agency’s Radiation Protection staff expects no public health risk in Washington, and the monitoring is precautionary. If the situation changes in Washington, the Department of Health plans to inform the public.

State health officials are monitoring the events in Japan, and remain in contact with the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Environmental Protection Agency.

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Annexation could resolve area’s contamination, fire concerns

November 30, 2010

Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District considers absorbing Overdale Park

Concerns about contaminated drinking water and inadequate fire protection could evaporate soon for Overdale Park residents.

The neighborhood near the former Albertsons store could be annexed into the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District after a yearslong debate about arsenic-tainted wells and questions about a stable water supply.

Overdale — through a neighborhood water association — has operated a private water system since the 1950s, not long after houses started to sprout at the then-rural site. Residents turned to the Sammamish district for service in 2005, after arsenic contamination left a well near East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast unusable. In addition, another neighborhood well could no longer meet residents’ demand for water. Read more

Issaquah receives $100,000 grant to study potential land swap

October 5, 2010

Issaquah has received $100,000 to study how to protect land in the Issaquah Creek watershed and, at the same time, add density in the urban core.

The city plans to use the grant to conduct environmental and market analyses to create a transfer-of-development-rights receiving site in part of a 915-acre commercial core along Interstate 90.

Under such a transfer, a landowner sells development rights from properties in low-density areas to parties interested in building denser development in another area.

The state Department of Commerce and the Puget Sound Regional Council announced Sept. 15 more than $1 million in grants to 10 cities for transfer of development rights projects.

The dollars come from a federal Environmental Protection Agency program to support regional planning in the Puget Sound watershed.

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Issaquah, Tibbetts creeks monitored for growth impacts

July 13, 2010

The federal government awarded almost $1 million to King County last week to monitor Issaquah Creek and other salmon-bearing streams.

The county intends to use the federal dollars to monitor up to 50 sections of streams in the Sammamish watershed, as well as 10 Environmental Protection Agency sites. The watershed encompasses numerous streams — including Issaquah and Tibbetts creeks, as well as other smaller creeks draining to the east and west shores of Lake Sammamish.

The grant funds creek monitoring for the next four years. Scientists intend to examine the impact of growth on the watershed and determine how to best manage the waterways.

King County received $995,716 from the EPA to supplement the $335,933 the county has pledged to the project. The federal agency announced the recipients July 6.

EPA leaders characterized the local grant as part of a regional effort to improve water quality in Puget Sound.

“Puget Sound is our region’s icon,” Dennis McLerran, the regional EPA administrator in Seattle, said in a news release. “Every grant dollar we’re announcing today directly supports the goal of a healthy Puget Sound by 2020. We have a strong team working for progress we can all be proud of.”

The agency received more than 100 applications, and awarded almost $30 million to address industrial contamination, urban pollution and habitat loss in the sound.

The grants fund projects to remove invasive species from local watersheds, improve salmon migration and increase fish population, purchase ecologically sensitive habitat and educate Puget Sound-region residents about ways to reduce their environmental footprint.

“This funding helps us fulfill our commitment to environmental stewardship while expanding our partnerships across the Puget Sound region,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “By partnering with the EPA and other agencies, we are getting more accomplished for fewer taxpayer dollars.”

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

EPA awards almost $1 million to monitor Issaquah Creek, other streams

July 7, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. July 7, 2010

The federal government awarded almost $1 million to King County on Tuesday to monitor Issaquah Creek and other salmon-bearing streams.

The county intends to use the federal dollars to monitor up to 50 stream reaches in the Sammamish watershed, as well as 10 EPA sites. The watershed encompasses numerous streams — including Issaquah and Tibbetts creeks, as well as other smaller creeks draining to the east and west shores of Lake Sammamish.

The grant funds creek monitoring for the next four years. Scientists intend to examine the impact of growth on the watershed and determine how to best manage the waterways.

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Quality of drinking water exceeds standards

June 22, 2010

Issaquah tap water exceeds water-quality standards set by state and federal regulators.

Officials announced the findings in the annual water-quality report issued June 16, and mailed the report to residents in early June.

The city purchased and produced 751.1 million gallons of drinking water last year. Issaquah customers used 693.4 million gallons of water during the same period.

City customers use water drawn from the Lower Issaquah Valley Aquifer. The city has four wells to the underground water source — a pair in the northeastern part of the city and another pair in the northwestern part. The wells vary from 100 feet to 400 feet deep.

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County officials encourage residents to celebrate Earth Day

April 22, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. April 22, 2010

Earth Day turns 40 on Thursday, but local officials plan to keep the annual eco celebration fresh with events and initiatives.

King County Council members proclaimed Thursday as Earth Day. The county will host the Earth Day Expo at Westlake Park in downtown Seattle.

The event will feature speakers and vendors to help attendees learn more about how to reduce their carbon footprints and live a “green” lifestyle. Participants will also receive discounts and incentives for eco-friendly products and services.

“Annual Earth Day celebrations have been very successful at raising awareness about the challenges we face in preserving our natural environment as well as the many solutions available,” Councilwoman Kathy Lambert — who represents Issaquah and other parts of the Eastside — said in a statement. “For example, it is great to see people taking many steps to help our environment, such as bringing their own cloth bags to the grocery store.”

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