Thursday, May 24, 2012

5/24 Eldridge landfill, Seattle coal, Kinder Morgan pipe, ocean acid, Clear Cr., snakehead, Cedar Grove compost, LA bag ban, logging roads, BP Whiting, fish DNA

Spring Spurge (Laurie MacBride)
Wonderful way to start the day: Laurie MacBride in Eye on the Environment writes: “The Euphorbia in our garden is a strange-looking but oddly beautiful plant – with a very ancient pedigree...” Look But Don’t Touch!  

Researchers in the Northwest have found those giant, anvil-shaped thunderclouds you see looming in the distance may actually be getting bigger and stronger this summer, all because of aerosol pollutants. Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., have discovered these really big clouds trap more heat high up in the atmosphere. Courtney Flatt reports. Summer Thunderclouds Warm the Atmosphere  

Soil and water samples taken this week from the old Eldridge Municipal Landfill will determine whether a 2011 cleanup worked. Among other toxins, the samples will be tested for metals and chemicals associated with petroleum products and burned trash.  Soil, water tested for toxins at old Bellingham dump  

For some it’s the next big source of high-wage jobs; for others, an environmental nightmare: At least 9 trains a day could soon rumble through Seattle, carrying coal to export terminals in Washington and Oregon. Cities from Missoula, Mont., to Edmonds have passed resolutions that call the idea into question.  Seattle’s resolution on the coal trains is expected to go before the full council next week. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. Seattle gearing up to oppose coal exports from northwest ports    Got something to say? WWU workshop to aid community participation in terminal review  

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners has reduced the size of a planned expansion of its pipeline to the Pacific Coast after fewer shippers than expected signed 20-year contracts that would allow surging Canadian oil supplies to be shipped to Asia. Kinder Morgan now plans a $4.1 billion expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline to the Vancouver area from Alberta, increasing capacity to 750,000 barrels a day from 300,000. That is down from last month's estimate of 850,000.  Kinder Morgan reduces size of Vancouver-Alberta Trans Mountain expansion    Also see: Kinder’s Trans Mountain Pipe Oversubscribed By 68% In June  

Carbon emissions are threatening Washington’s shellfish industry. That’s the concern of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification, which met Wednesday in Seattle. It was created after shellfish hatcheries noticed a correlation between declining PH values in Hood Canal and dying oyster larvae.  Carbon pollution, absorbed by the ocean, interferes with their ability to form shells. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. Blue Ribbon panel warns about dangers of ocean acidification

Clear Creek spills from an old metal culvert alongside Sunde Road, tumbling 2 feet into a pool. In fall, when salmon are spawning, it's a coho parking lot. They can't make the leap and get farther upstream. By the end of next summer, the culvert will be gone. So will the street. Kitsap County plans to dead-end it on both sides of the stream, yank the 4-foot-diameter pipe, restore the stream bed, and build a trail and footbridge.  Fish-blocking CK culvert being removed, along with road  

The notorious snakehead fish said to be lurking in a Burnaby park eluded capture Wednesday. Scientists and officials from the B.C. Ministry of Environment began the hunt for the fish in the lower pond of Burnaby's Central Park. By mid-afternoon, scientists had only caught carp, bullheads, a couple turtles, a coffee cup and a whole lot of mud. Snakehead fish too slippery for scientists in Burnaby  

Cedar Grove Composting will have to undergo the most thorough type of environmental study required if it wants to continue to pursue building an anaerobic digester to generate electricity, the city of Everett and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency announced Wednesday. The decision is a setback for the composting operation on Smith Island in Everett, the target of many odor complaints the past few years.  The city and Clean Air Agency noted in a joint statement that Cedar Grove had earlier submitted, and then withdrew, a plan to more than triple its capacity to produce finished compost to 620,000 tons per year. The company later scaled back its goals and said it was not planning a large increase.  Everett, agency call for study for compost plant

Los Angeles became the largest city in the nation to approve a ban on plastic bags at supermarket checkout lines, handing a hard-fought victory to environmentalists and promising to change the way Angelenos do their grocery shopping.  The City Council voted 13-1 to phase out plastic bags over the next 16 months at an estimated 7,500 stores, meaning shoppers will need to bring reusable bags or purchase paper bags for 10 cents each. Ban on plastic bags at L.A. markets is approved

The Obama administration wants to change the rules applying to stormwater running off logging roads, blunting a landmark court ruling that found the muddy water running into salmon streams and drinking water reservoirs should be regulated like industrial pollution. The roads would instead be regulated under a less stringent system known as "Best Management Practices," where authorities set up guidelines for the design and maintenance of logging roads to minimize erosion that sends mud into rivers.  EPA proposes new rules for muddy logging roads

BP will spend more than $400 million to significantly reduce noxious air pollution from its massive refinery in northwest Indiana, the company announced Wednesday in a settlement with federal authorities and environmental groups that could set a precedent for oil companies nationwide. Steps that BP agreed to take and equipment it promised to install at the nation's sixth-largest refinery should help relieve problems with lung-damaging soot and other air pollution throughout the Chicago area. The deal resolves a nearly decade-long legal battle over a $3.8 billion upgrade and expansion of BP's Whiting, Ind., refinery to process heavy crude oil pulled from tar-soaked clay and sand in Northern Canada.  BP to spend $400 million in air pollution settlement  

Powerful and versatile new genetic tools that will assist in safeguarding both European fish stocks and European consumers is reported in Nature Communications. The paper reports on the first system proven to identify populations of fish species to a forensic level of validation. New Means of Safeguarding World Fish Stocks  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 251 AM PDT THU MAY 24 2012
TODAY
SW WIND 10 KT...BECOMING E IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 10 SECONDS. OCCASIONAL SHOWERS WITH A CHANCE OF TSTMS IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 9 SECONDS.

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