Alex Baumhardt

Alex Baumhardt

Alex Baumhardt has been a national radio producer focusing on education for American Public Media since 2017. She has reported from the Arctic to the Antarctic for national and international media, and from Minnesota and Oregon for The Washington Post.

Oregon has most miles of polluted or ‘impaired’ waterways nationwide, new analysis says

By: - March 23, 2022

Oregon has more than 120,000 miles of polluted or “impaired” rivers and streams – the most nationwide, according to a new analysis.  The report, released last week by the Environmental Integrity Project, a nonprofit headquartered in Washington D.C, said that 80% of those waterways threaten aquatic life, making Oregon the worst nationwide in that category. […]

The Tillamook State Forest as seen from the summit of King's Mountain. Bare patches mark spots that have been clearcut. (Oregon Department of Forestry/Flickr)

State takes next steps on plan to protect threatened species in western forests

By: - March 21, 2022

A plan to protect critical animal habitat in nearly 640,000 acres of western Oregon state forests is moving towards its final stages.  An environmental impact review of the Western Forests Habitat Conservation Plan was released March 18, and Oregonians have 60 days to submit their thoughts and concerns to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration […]

Tucked into Oregon rural infrastructure package, $4 million to save a staircase

By: - March 21, 2022

In the early 1930s, when Eastern Oregon University was exclusively a teacher training college, students walked up the five-tiered Grand Staircase to campus. The steps, built in the Italian Renaissance Revival style, were unlike anything in the state and region, made mostly of Depression-era concrete and built by Oregon Architect John Bennes who designed the […]

After decades of serving as a dump, Columbia River island designated Superfund site

By: - March 17, 2022

For 40 years, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers illegally dumped trash as well as electrical equipment and other debris onto Bradford Island and into the Columbia River near Bonneville Dam, causing toxic chemicals to leach into the water and into fish. Now, the federal Environmental Protection Agency will need to clean up after the […]

After setbacks, Oregon Office of Immigrant and Refugee Advancement takes shape

By: - March 17, 2022

Nearly a year after legislators created it, Oregon’s new Office of Immigrant and Refugee Advancement has a director who will hire three other staff and help Oregon’s newest foreign arrivals.  Toc Soneoulay-Gillespie was appointed to head the new office by Gov. Kate Brown on March 4. She previously served as director of community health for […]

Decision to violate state masks mandate will cost Alsea School District $43,000

By: - March 16, 2022

The decision by the Alsea School Board to make masks optional for students and staff a month before the state ended masks mandates will cost the district $43,000, according to the state Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Oregon OSHA investigated after at least eight complaints were submitted following an announcement from then-superintendent Marc Thielman that […]

No suspension of state gas taxes for now

By: - March 15, 2022

Oregon won’t join other states in considering a pause to state gas taxes, for now, according to Charles Boyle, deputy communications officer for Gov. Kate Brown. Legislators in more than a dozen states are proposing temporary gas tax holidays or rebates to counter the rising cost of fuel for individual consumers and businesses. A measure […]

Oregon highway work

State agencies in Oregon begin to grapple with hidden costs of high fuel prices

By: - March 14, 2022

Gasoline is both the hand that gives and the hand that takes at the Oregon Department of Transportation. For its funding, the agency relies on taxes collected from statewide gas sales. To power road crews, mowers and snow plows, it has to buy about three million gallons of gas and diesel a year.  When prices […]

After two-year review, Oregon’s climate change strategy must be more aggressive, committee says

By: - March 10, 2022

More than 50 organizations on a committee focused on Oregon’s climate change policies released a report Thursday calling on state leaders to take more aggressive action.  The Oregon Climate Action Plan Steering Committee is made up of environmental, labor, public health and youth and community groups such as Renew Oregon, the Oregon Public Health Association […]

DeFazio’s USPS Fairness Act passes, saving the Postal Service $5 billion a year

By: - March 10, 2022

Since 2006, the U.S. Postal Service has been required to put aside $5 billion a year to pay for the health benefits of all employees expected to retire for the next 75 years.  On Tuesday, the requirement ended with the passage of the USPS Fairness Act, which was approved by the U.S. Senate and House […]

Electric vehicle charging

Carbon credits bought by gas companies will pay for new electric vehicles, charging stations

By: - March 8, 2022

A rural northeast Oregon gas station, several community colleges and the Portland NAACP are among 10 grantees to receive money for electric vehicle charging stations from Pacific Power.  The electric utility company awarded $800,000 in grants to boost electric vehicle use and infrastructure in the state, using earnings from its sale of carbon credits.  Through […]

State Energy Department to offer $12 million in grants for community solar, wind projects

By: - March 8, 2022

Ideas for community projects to boost renewable energy access could soon have up to $1 million each from the Oregon Department of Energy. The agency announced they’ll release $12 million in grants for projects such as adding more electric vehicle charging stations in rural parts of the state and adding solar panels to public buildings. […]