Thursday, July 18, 2013

7/18 Capitol Lake, Anacortes creosote, Tim Malone, BPA, Skeena sockeye, BC corvids, gas pipeline, oil trains, bumblebees, stormwater manual

Capitol Lake and Heritage Park
The 57th Annual Lakefair festival opened Wednesday under cloudy skies on the shore of a lake with a cloudy future. Capitol Lake used to be an integral park of the mid-summer celebration, home to water skiing competitions, sailboat races, swimming events, log rolling and water polo in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The fair and the lake used to fit together like a hand and a glove. Not anymore. The lake is in a state of prolonged neglect, choked with aquatic weeds and invasive species, including the New Zealand mud snail, which was discovered in October 2009, prompting a ban on all recreational use of the lake to avoid spread of the miniscule creation to other Puget Sound water bodies. John Dodge reports. Soundings: Lakefair doesn't have much to do with Capitol Lake these days

Work crews began removing pilings Tuesday from the former Custom Plywood mill site on Fidalgo Bay in Anacortes. The pilings were coated with creosote during construction to prevent the wood from deteriorating in the water. Now, the creosote poses an environmental threat as it leaches into the bay. Kimberly Cauvel reports. Fidalgo Bay cleanup begins  

The husband of Sen. Karen Fraser has died in Alaska while accompanying his wife at a meeting in Alaska. The Secretary of the Senate sent an email Wednesday to staff and senators informing them of the death of Tim Malone, who died Tuesday. Malone had traveled to Anchorage with Fraser, who was attending a Pacific Northwest Economic Region meeting this week. Malone was 78... Malone retired from the state Attorney General's office in 1989, where he worked as a senior assistant attorney general. Fraser, of Olympia, is the Senate Democratic Caucus chair and has served in the Senate for 20 years. Sen. Fraser's husband dies in Alaska

The ubiquity of the endocrine-disrupting chemical bisphenol A led researchers to ask what it might be doing in publicly supplied, chlorinated drinking water. The answer: Chlorinated BPA has different, but no less profound effects on cell-signaling networks than unmodified BPA. For years, scientists have been worried about bisphenol A. The chemical is known as an "endocrine disruptor," a substance that interferes with the body's hormone signaling system, and it's found in everything from plastic drink bottles to the linings of food and drink cans to the thermal paper used for cash register receipts -- not to mention the urine of 92.6 percent of Americans over the age of six. BPA has been associated with the development of chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma and ovarian dysfunction. In 2012, the FDA banned BPA from use in the production of baby bottles and drinking cups. BPA and Chlorine Means Bad News: Modified Forms of Bisphenol A Found to Alter Hormone Signaling in New, Disturbing Ways

A near record-low sockeye salmon run for Skeena River fisheries has cut off the catch in B.C., but conservation groups say Alaskan fishermen are not pulling in their nets, making the problem worse. "This is probably one of the lowest [runs] we've seen in about 50 years," said Mel Kotyk, North Coast area director for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Only 453,000 sockeye are expected to swim along the Skeena this year, Kotyk said, compared to approximately 2.4 million last year. The DFO has been forced to close all commercial and recreational fisheries for the area. Alaskan fisheries allegedly endangering Skeena sockeye  

A deadly paralysis is striking ravens and crows in the Peace River region. Leona Green, who runs the Hillspring Wildlife Rehabilitation facility in Dawson Creek, said Wednesday that she has had dozens of reports of ravens and crows being found sitting on the ground unable to use their feet. University of B.C. professor Patrick Mooney, who specializes in biodiversity and urban birds, believes it’s possible that the birds have died from contracting the West Nile Virus that is carried by mosquitoes. Gerry Bellett reports. Paralysis killing ravens and crows in B.C.

Northwest Pipeline LLC, an operation of the Williams company, filed an application June 25 with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to expand and operate a 140-mile natural gas pipeline in Washington state, including about 13 miles in Skagit County. Public comment regarding the application is open until 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 12. Comments should be addressed to FERC or submitted online and should reference the assigned docket number CP13-507.... The proposed expansion will add 10 segments of 36-inch diameter pipeline to the existing system along the I-5 corridor between Sumas and Woodland. It will transport 750 million cubic feet of natural gas from Canada to the Washington-Oregon border per day. Kimberly Cauvel reports. Pipeline application open for public comment

The number of spills and other accidents from railroad cars carrying crude oil has skyrocketed in recent years, up from one or two a year early in the previous decade to 88 last year. Only four of those were classified as serious by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), and none involved injuries. So they didn't even approach the human tragedy caused by a runaway oil train in Quebec earlier this month. But the jump highlights a side effect of crude oil production growing faster than pipeline capacity: more rail accidents. Much of the increase involves crude shipments from North Dakota, where booming Bakken Shale oil drilling is producing more oil than its limited pipelines can transport. Mike Soraghan reports. Crude mishaps on trains spike as rail carries more oil  And see: CN and CP tighten safety rules after Lac-M├ęgantic disaster  

The plight of honeybees is well known. Their numbers are dropping, and entomologists are trying to figure out the cause. But did you know that bumblebees—the larger, slower, and furrier relatives of the honeybee—are also in trouble? A project in Seattle, called the Urban Pollination Project, is trying to show how important bumblebees are for pollinating food. That ripe juicy tomato in your salad was likely made possible by bumblebees. Jennifer Wing reports. The Decline of Bumblebees  

The 2012 Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington (“SWMMWW” or “manual”) is a bedrock document that guides how nearly everyone involved in regional stormwater management does his or her job. It outlines how to control the quantity and quality of stormwater pollution that typically increases as new development replaces natural landscapes with roads, driveways, roofs, and other impenetrable surfaces that no longer soak up rain. Once it hits the ground, that rain picks up pollutants—from oil and grease to toxic metals to nutrients in animal waste and fertilizers—and washes them into state waters. Ashley Pedersen and Jennifer Langston at Sightline go deep into the updated Manual. The Skinny on Washington’s New Stormwater Bible

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT THU JUL 18 2013
TODAY
W WIND TO 10 KT...RISING TO 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT BUILDING TO 1 TO 3 FT. NW SWELL 3 FT AT 7 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...EASING TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT SUBSIDING TO 1 FT. NW SWELL 3 FT AT 7 SECONDS.

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