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KUOW's environment beat brings you stories on the ongoing cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, alternative energy, the health of the Puget Sound, coal transportation and more. We're also partnered with several stations across the Northwest to bring you environmental news via EarthFix.

Why Some Buildings Aren't Ready For 'The Big One'

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Flickr Photo/Richard Walker (CC BY-NC-ND)
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When disaster strikes, architects and engineers see their best laid plans put to the test.

When the Nisqually Earthquake struck in 2001, home repair expert Roger Faris was at the Phinney Neighborhood Center celebrating the retrofit of the former school lunchroom.

Steve Scher recently met with Faris and engineer Dan Say to point out the work that was done to reinforce the old school building. They say there are still hundreds of un-reinforced masonry buildings at risk if and when the next earthquake hits.