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The Planet, Fall 2005, Chemicals



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Publication Date

Fall 2005


Western Washington University. Associated Students. Environmental Center; Huxley College of the Environment; Huxley College of Environmental Studies

Editor in Chief

Kuck, Sarah M.


Western Washington University


Bellingham, WA

Production Staff

Managing Editor: Emily Nuchols; Associate Editors:Lucas Henning, David Wray; Science Editor: Henry Valz; Web Editor: Blair Wilson; Designers: G. Brandon Allen, Tiffany A. Smith; Photographers: Dylan Hart, Bradley Thayer, Khale Wallitner, Taylor Williams, Jared Yoakum; Reporters: Adam Brown, Kate Gould, Wyatt Griffiths, Kiah Hooper, Jessica Knox, Sam Lax, Jackie LeCuyer, Andrew Morgan, Krissy Post, Shawn Query, Willow Rudiger, Melanie Valm, Nate Warren

Photography Editor

Huber, Chris


Schultz, Tim

Publisher (Digital Object)

Resources made available by The Planet and Special Collections, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Table of Contents

Unnatural Causes by Krissy Post

A Canadian National Railway train derailed and spilled more than 10,500 gallons of caustic soda into the Cheakamus River in British Columbia, killing more than 90 percent of all the fish in the river. This is the 72nd derailment this year for the Canadian National Railway, leaving many wondering what is going on.

The Islander: Unearthing Liability for Leaking Underground Fuel Tanks by Jackie LeCuyer

Lummi Island’s only grocery store used to be a gas station until the new owner found out it would have to conform to new requirements from the Department of Ecology. Aboveground no one is buying gas, but underground the old fuel tanks are leaking. With four owners during the past 42 years, those involved want to find out who is responsible.

Forces of Nature: The Nooksack's Change of Course Demands Action by Wyatt Griffiths

For more than 10 years, an unregulated garbage dump near the Nooksack River collected waste other regulated facilities could not. The Nooksack is threatening to straighten its meander, forcing the dump to either clean up the hazardous waste or leave it in its path.

Strait Flush by Shawn Query

The treatment facility in Bellingham processes sewage three times before sending the leftover liquid far out to sea. Meanwhile, Victoria, B.C., strains and drains its sewage almost directly into the water, counting on depth and f. current to wash it away. Although advocacy groups and concerned citizens have voiced complaints, the city has no plans to change it.

Made in Washington by Melanie Valm

Wild salmon populations in Washington were inexhaustible, or so it seemed. Salmon populations are now dwindling. To meet high consumer demand 4 for salmon, fishers are now farmers and wild is now grown. To keep fish fat and happy, farmers are using medications and methods many environmentalists question.

Full CERCLA: When Polluters Agree to Pay in Part, Who Will Pay the Rest? by Nate Warren

Almost a decade ago, the EPA added Bellingham's 2b-acre wood treatment plant to the nation’s Superfund list for 60 years of gradual soil and groundwater contamination. The Oeser Cedar Company is willing to pay some, but not all, of the full price of cleanup, begging the question — who will pay?

Point Source: Identifying Whatcom's Worst Polluters by Kiah Hooper and Sam Lax

Most of Whatcom County's biggest producers and polluters are located on Cherry Point, just south of Birch Bay, pumping out products such as aluminum and gasoline. But assigning blame is never as easy as it seems because when pointing one finger, three are pointing back.

Green's Keeper by Andrew Morgan

A new trend in golf is a move toward more sustainable and environmentally conscious methods of greening the greens. Some golf course superintendents are trying these new management techniques to improve their courses and the environment.

Switching Hands by Kate Gould

Whatcom County ranks second in the state in dairy production, placing a heavy burden on farmers to manage the waste of more than 55,000 cows. In 2003, to decrease budget burdens, the Legislature transferred regulatory authority from the Department of Ecology to the Department of Agriculture. But fecal coliform counts have increased and water quality decreased, leaving some to question the success of the transition.

(Out) Side Effect by Adam Brown

Methamphetamine producers cook up a variety of chemicals to create the addictive drug. Meth cooks dump the toxic byproduct anywhere they can, creating disastrous consequences for the environment.

Toxic Cowboy by Jessica Knox

Jeff Hegedus is the environmental health supervisor for the Whatcom County Health Department. He’s been cleaning up toxic waste sites before regulations existed — and loving every minute of it. For Hegedus, dealing with hazardous materials that can burn off skin and shipping chemical-filled drums out for storage is all in a day’s work.

Overgrown: Increasing Development Increases Pollution in the Lake Whatcom Watershed by Willow Rudiger

Bulldozers in Sudden Valley expose soil for construction and landscaping, increasing phosphorous runoff into Lake Whatcom. As the community with aspirations to become a city blooms, so does the level of nutrients in the lake and the amount of residents concerned about their drinking water.




Publication at Western Washington University

Geographic Coverage

Washington (State)


Environmental Sciences | Higher Education | Journalism Studies


Student publication, Ecology, Environmental Studies

Document Type


Subject-Topical (LCSH)

Human ecology--Washington (State)--Periodicals; Ecology--Washington (State)--Periodicals

Subject-Names (LCNAF)

Western Washington University--Students--Periodicals; Huxley College of the Environment--Students--Periodicals


This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. Any materials cited must be attributed to The Planet, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.





The Planet, 2005, Fall

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