Tuesday, April 2, 2013

4/2 Coal comments, Howe Sound, dead squid, mink farms, Exxon spill, Helena Star

Ken Salazar, Maria Cantwell and Rick Larsen sign on (KOMO)
If you like to watch: San Juan Islands celebrate national monument designation  

What’s new: Pacific Coast Gets First Whale Trail Sign At Olympic National Park's Kalaloch Lodge

State and federal agencies have joined project opponents in calling for a wide-ranging review of potential impacts from the Gateway Pacific Terminal project that SSA Marine hopes to build at Whatcom County's Cherry Point. SSA Marine and its allies have made it clear they would prefer an environmental impact statement that focuses on the immediate environs of the coal pier site itself, on industrial waterfront south of the BP Cherry Point Refinery. Environmental groups fighting the coal terminal, as well as people concerned about health and traffic impacts from coal trains, have demanded a broader review. They want an analysis that includes air pollution and climate change impact from coal burning, as well as assessment of rail traffic impacts from Wyoming and Montana mines to Cherry Point. John Stark reports. State and federal agencies want sweeping review of proposed Cherry Point coal port Also: Last partner drops out of Coos Bay coal port

On a bracing morning, the sun dancing across this great urban fiord, the Marine Life Sanctuaries Society members break the surface off Lions Bay, all smiles, after a complicated first-ever dive to a fantastic garden of white sponges. The society has lost faith in the federal government’s ability to protect marine life and is launching its own grassroots initiative to document critical marine habitats in Howe Sound and create a network of voluntary no-take marine protected areas. Larry Pynn reports. Marine society blasts lack of enforcement, launches campaign to protect Howe Sound marine life

Hundreds of dead squid mysteriously turned up in Victoria's Gorge Waterway this past week, but the gruesome sight may just be a sign that the ecosystem is healthy. Passers-by first began noticing the dead cephalopods over the weekend, grouped together at the floor of the waterway. Theories abounded about how they got there. Some thought a shipment of expired calimari had been dumped. But Paula Romagosa, a marine educator with the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre, said the creatures appear to be opal squid, which are indigenous to the West Coast. Dead squid whodunit verdict is death by natural causes

The owner of two mink farms west of Glacier has been fined nearly $50,000 for letting water contaminated with manure enter local creeks, according to the Washington Department of Ecology. Ecology inspectors found water contaminated with mink manure and feed draining directly into ditches that flow into nearby salmon-bearing creeks in December 2012 at Marr's Black Plush Ranch, 9471 and 9580 Mount Baker Highway. The farms' owner was fined $48,000 and ordered to apply for state and federal water-quality permits and to properly contain and manage wastewater from the farms. Zoe Fraley reports. Deming mink farm fined $48,000 for contaminating creeks

Exxon Mobil Corp. says crews are working to contain and clean up an oil spill near Mayflower, Arkansas, after its Pegasus pipeline ruptured Friday afternoon. The pipeline carries Canadian heavy crude oil from Patoka, Illinois to refineries on the Texas Gulf coast. Exxon Mobil issued a release saying the company was responding to a spill of more than 10,000 barrels — or 1.59 million litres — of oil, and that some 4,500 barrels of oil and water had been recovered. 10,000 barrels of oil spilled in Arkansas pipeline rupture

The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) issued an emergency enforcement order (order) requiring those responsible for the Helena Star to remove the vessel from Hylebos Waterway in Tacoma’s Commencement Bay. The 167-foot steel hull vessel is spilling oil and posing a risk of releasing other contamination into the waterway. The Helena Star and a second vessel named the Golden West are tangled together at Mason Marine docks at the head of the Hylebos Waterway. Both vessels are in deteriorating condition. Ecology Orders Removal of Helena Star From Hylebos Waterway

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 245 AM PDT TUE APR 2 2013
TODAY
SW WIND 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 12 SECONDS. SLIGHT CHANCE OF RAIN OR PATCHY DRIZZLE.
TONIGHT
W WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING S 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 11 SECONDS. SLIGHT CHANCE OF
 SHOWERS.
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