Monday, October 28, 2013

10/28 Starfish deaths, pipeline safety, carbon reduction, electric vehicles, oil terminal, Vic sewage, creosote, bag ban

(PHOTO: from BirdNote)
If you like to listen: From BirdNote--How Shorebirds Find Their Way
Shorebirds such as these Pacific Golden-Plovers have a built-in map and a built-in compass. Many night-flying migrants use star patterns to orient themselves, and the fact that the sun always sets in the west makes it a compass point for a bird about to take off on a night flight. Perhaps the most amazing thing is birds' ability to use variations in the Earth's magnetic field to mark their approximate position.

Biologists search for cause of sea star deaths
Divers were out in Puget Sound waters Saturday to see if they can help solve a mystery. Scientists are trying to figure out what's causing one species of starfish to die in parts of Puget Sound and the waters off of Canada. Seattle Aquarium biologists Jeff Christiansen and Joel Hollander suited up in scuba gear in their search for answers.  “We're going to look for both healthy and potentially diseased sea stars,” Christiansen explained. “We've got some sea stars that look like they're melting on the bottom.” The same thing is happening in the waters near Canada and nobody’s sure why.  The cause could be environmental or perhaps driven by disease. Amy Moreno reports.

Pipeline safety incident rate doubled in past decade
Pipelines regulated by the federal government — which include some of the longest lines in the country — have experienced a swell in the number of safety-related incidents over the past decade, documents obtained by CBC News suggest. In recent months, a spate of oil and gas spills both from train derailments and pipelines have raised questions about what mode of transport is the safest. The pipeline industry has touted its record as it seeks support for numerous controversial projects across the continent, including TransCanada’s Keystone XL to the U.S. Gulf Coast and Enbridge’s Northern Gateway to the B.C. coast. However, according to figures from a National Energy Board (NEB) data set obtained under access-to-information by CBC, the rate of overall pipeline incidents has doubled since 2000.

West Coast States, B.C., To Align Carbon Reduction Efforts  
Oregon, Washington, California and British Columbia are aligning their efforts to reduce carbon pollution, with an announcement scheduled for Monday. Washington Governor Jay Inslee told EarthFix the new plan will limit CO2 emissions on the regional level, and he didn’t spare any criticism for the lack of definitive action at the federal level. Ashley Ahearn reports.

CA joins 8-state pact to add electric cars
Eight states representing nearly one quarter of America’s auto market have signed a pact to boost the use of electric cars, hoping to add 3.3 million zero-emission vehicles to their roads by 2025. And of course, California is helping lead the charge. The agreement, signed by each state’s governor and announced Thursday, calls for developing joint policies to increase sales of electric cars, plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles... In addition to California, the pact includes Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont. Each state already has policies in place to encourage the use of zero-emission cars, seeing them as a key weapon against air pollution and global warming. David Baker reports.

Public Scoping Meeting For Vancouver Port Oil Terminal
Washington agencies are holding two public meetings Monday and Tuesday on a controversial oil terminal proposed for the Port of Vancouver. The Tesoro-Savage oil terminal would transport 360,000 barrels of crude oil a day. The oil would come from North Dakota’s Bakken fields by trains, be transferred to vessels on the Columbia River and then shipped to West Coast refineries. It’s the largest oil terminal project of several proposed in the Northwest. Earlier this month, the Port Commission approved a lease for the project, amidst opposition and a lawsuit challenging the legality of an earlier vote. Cassandra Profita reports.

Incinerator could be needed for sludge, adding to cost of sewage project
Greater Victoria will need to look at building an incinerator to burn its sewage sludge if politicians refuse next week to overturn a ban on applying sludge to land, says the chairwoman of the civilian commission overseeing the sewage project. Brenda Eaton has written to Capital Regional District politicians warning that the treatment-project budget might have to be increased by $38 million for an incinerator, unless the region lifts a ban on applying sludge to land. Eaton’s letter, released Friday, said the civilian commission of experts in charge of building the project “strongly supports” using sludge as fertilizer, compost or soil-amendment, and “respectfully requests” politicians reconsider the ban. CRD directors will vote on the issue Wednesday. Rob Shaw reports. And: Alternate sewage proposal for regional plants, gasification rejected by director

Creosote-tainted pilings, docks to be removed in Jefferson County
The state will begin removing hundreds of toxic, creosote-treated pilings in East Jefferson County.  Beginning Nov. 4 and continuing into next year, the state Department of Natural Resources will take out pilings and several thousand square feet of overwater structures at seven sites from Port Townsend Channel southward to Point Whitney in Hood Canal in the $588,000 project. Most of the removal sites provide habitat for forage fish and migrating juvenile salmon that feed on them, DNR said. Creosote, containing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), was used historically to prevent wood decay and insect infestations.

Tenino council tables proposed plastic bag ban
The Tenino City Council has tabled indefinitely a county-recommended measure to ban plastic bags — an action that effectively rejects the ban for the foreseeable future. Already adopted by Thurston County and the cities of Olympia and Tumwater, the suggested measure bans single-use plastic bags and adds a 5-cent fee to all paper bags. Over the last several months, these jurisdictions have enjoined Tenino to follow suit. Before making a motion to table the agenda item, Councilman Frank Anderson expressed his frustration with the issue that, he said, has wasted too much of the council’s time. Lisa Broadt reports.

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT MON OCT 28 2013
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
TODAY
NE WIND 20 TO 30 KT...EASING TO 15 TO 25 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 5 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
NE WIND 10 TO 20 KT...EASING TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 11 SECONDS.

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