TIERRA DEL MAR, Ore. (AP) — A county board in Oregon has voted in favor of a project that’s pitting residents of a tiny town against one of the world’s biggest tech companies. The Tillamook County Board of Commissioners voted Thursday to allow Facebook to use a beachfront lot in Tierra del Mar to build a landing spot for a trans-Pacific fiber optic cable. Residents worry vibrations from drilling for the cable landing will damage septic systems and foundations of some of the town’s roughly 200 homes. They say Tierra del Mar is zoned for residential use and worry the project will pave the way for other commercial ventures. Residents say they plan to appeal the decision to a state board.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued a $1.3 million fine to an aluminum recycler in The Dalles for violating air pollution regulations. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the fine, issued to Hydro Extrusion USA, represents the largest ever issued by the agency for an air quality violation and the second largest in the agency’s history. State compliance and enforcement manager Kieran O’Donnell says DEQ found Hydro Extrusion operated with flagrant disregard for the rules and conditions of its air quality permit. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In April, inspectors found that the company, which is owned by Norway-based Norsk Hydro, had been improperly melting down coated aluminum.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Hillsboro woman is seeking more than $1 million from the ride-hailing company Uber, alleging she was sexually assaulted by one of the company’s drivers in 2018. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the woman filed a lawsuit against Uber and one of its drivers, Wosey Yeaney, on Tuesday. According to court documents, the woman alleges assault, battery and negligence. Uber did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
PARADISE, Calif. (AP) — Increasingly intense wildfires that have scorched forests from California to Australia are stoking worry about long-term health impacts from smoke exposure in affected cities and towns. In the Sierra Nevada foothills town of Paradise, California, where a fire in 2018 killed 85 people and destroyed 14,000 homes, researchers are tracking respiratory problems suffered by survivors and people in downwind communities. The work has far-reaching implications as climate change turns some regions of the globe drier and more fire-prone. Smoke from major wildfires can travel thousands of miles and affect millions of people.