Friday, October 4, 2013

10/4 Sewage, fed shutdown, winter weather, Skagit water, BC pipe, BP payout, Elwha, BC LNG, Stopps' award

Kingfisher (TonyAngell/BirdNote)
If you like to listen: Tony Angell, gazing on Puget Sound, writes: "From the beach below, that evocative perfume of the sea, decaying kelp, is wafted up on the breeze... Near the shore, disputing kingfishers rattle in their mercenary manner, chasing one another... Behind me, in the woods, a Cooper's hawk chants and ravens chortle and croak, composing poems and telling jokes. For the moment, at least, all is right with the world." BirdNote: Tony Angell Reflects on Nature

If you like to watch: What's killing B.C.'s sea stars?

Sewage pollution has been found to exceed federal limits as far away as William Head, near Metchosin, and Trial Islands, near Oak Bay. The federal government’s shellfish closure zone off Victoria should be expanded because of pollution from untreated sewage, says a group of environmental organizations. New sampling shows sewage pollution exceeds federal limits as far away as William Head, near Metchosin, and Trial Islands, near Oak Bay, according to figures released Thursday by the T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation, the Georgia Strait Alliance and the David Suzuki Foundation. Rob Shaw reports. Victoria sewage pollution found over wide ocean area, environmental groups say  

The public has been warned to avoid contact with Port Angeles Harbor for the next seven days after heavy rains forced about 8 million gallons of stormwater and raw sewage into it. The Clallam County Environmental Health Division issued the alert Thursday after the city's four combined sewer overflow, or CSO, outfalls discharged over a four-day period between Sept. 28 and Tuesday. Jeremy Schwartz reports. Port Angeles Harbor polluted with 8 million gallons of raw sewage, runoff stormwater

It is far from clear how badly the country’s environment will be damaged by the government shutdown. But the immediate prospects are not promising. Republicans who detest the Environmental Protection Agency were not bothered in the least by the fact that the agency furloughed more than 90 percent of its 16,000-plus full and part-time employees. But people living near toxic waste sites will be bothered. Forced to perform what amounts to emergency triage, agency officials said they had no choice but to stop work on about 500 of the nation’s Superfund sites, more than 60 percent of the total, with work proceeding only at those sites where industrial residues could get into the drinking water supply or present other immediate threats to human health. Work at sites presenting longer-term dangers will be set aside until funding is restored. Robert B. Semple, Jr. reports. How the Shutdown May Hurt the Environment

A National Weather Service workshop aimed at preparing for the coming winter, which could be marked by a higher number of “Pineapple Express” type rainstorms, was washed out by the federal government shutdown. Jack Broom reports. Weather Service sees ‘Pineapple Express’ winter for area  

The state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the state Department of Ecology overstepped its authority in a water rights decision that would allow rural landowners to gain access to water. The 6-3 ruling invalidates Ecology’s amendment to the 2001 Skagit River Instream Flow Rule and reverses a 2010 trial court decision against the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community. The Swinomish objected to Ecology’s use of the “overriding consideration of public interest” provision, saying new water withdrawals from the basin by rural landowners put salmon in danger. Rachel Lerman reports. Swinomish win water rights case against Ecology

While raising concerns about the increased tanker traffic that would result from the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, the B.C. Liberal government has also voiced profound doubts about the overland portion of the project. Premier Christy Clark’s tanker worries were back in the news this week because she told the CBC’s Peter Mansbridge that “we are woefully under-resourced” to deal with a marine oil spill on the B.C. coast. But her government has also highlighted multiple problems with the pipeline itself, starting with a chosen route that would take it through some of the most inaccessible parts of the province. Vaughn Palmer reports. Nightmare scenario of spill looms large in B.C.’s objections to pipeline  

Oil giant BP's attempts to limit claims over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill have been given a boost after a US appeals court halted some payments. A federal appeals court has asked a lower district court to take a fresh look at which claims are legitimate. The higher court said that if businesses that did not suffer losses from the spill were compensated, the whole settlement could be invalid. BP wins reprieve over Gulf of Mexico payouts

After a yearlong project hiatus, an 800-square-foot hole will be blasted into Glines Canyon Dam on Saturday as work resumes on the teardown of the final 50 feet of the Elwha River edifice. Completion of the $29.5 million dam teardown phase of the $325 million Elwha River restoration project was delayed in October 2012 by sediment clogging the Elwha Water Treatment Plant after river water was released from behind the Glines Canyon and Elwha dams. Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum was confident Thursday that the most recent $3.8 million in upgrades to the plant were sufficient to handle sediment loads and that issues related to salmon being harmed by that sediment have been addressed. Paul Gottlieb reports. Elwha water plant clog fixed, so work begins again on tearing down Glines Canyon Dam

The B.C. government is starting to look at the impact on air quality that a liquefied natural gas industry would have in Kitimat, the epicentre of the province’s proposed LNG sector. The $650,000 study, which will not be complete until the spring of 2014, is being launched nearly two years after concerns were raised about the threat of industrial pollution posed by LNG in Kitimat. The announcement was made the same day that Premier Christy Clark was in Washington, D.C., where she is seeking to market B.C.-produced LNG as a clean energy. Justine Hunter reports.  B.C. to review Kitimat air quality in light of LNG development  

Eleanor Stopps’ infusion of her environmentalism with passion was the reason behind her success, according to the latest recipient of the award that bears Stopps’ name.  “I’ve often wondered what leads a person to make a difference in this world and sometimes ask myself how I am making a difference,” said Rebecca Benjamin after being awarded the ninth annual Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award on Thursday. She addressed her comments to the 135 guests at a breakfast hosted by the Port Townsend Marine Science Center at Fort Worden State Park. Charlie Bermant reports. Environmental award given to salmon coalition director  

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT FRI OCT 4 2013
TODAY
SE WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
SE WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
SAT
SE WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
SAT NIGHT
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
SUN
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING E 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT...THEN 1 FT IN THE AFTERNOON. W SWELL 6 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
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