Friday, November 22, 2013

11/22 Plastics, fish consumption, BC LNG, constitutional coal, BC oil spill, tropical orcas, many geese, old water

Surfrider Foundation
New blog: Where were you, what were you doing the day JFK was killed? Remembering November 22, 1963  

New Research: Lab Fish Fed Plastic More Likely To Develop Tumors, Liver Problems
Chelsea Rochman, the lead author of a new paper from the journal Nature, Scientific Reports, says: “We did find that the chemicals do transfer from the plastic to the fish...and we saw a greater concentration in the fish that ate the plastic that had been in the ocean than the fish that had eaten the controlled diet or the clean plastic diet.” As plastic floats around in the ocean, or polluted waterways, it acts like a sponge for heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants. That, Rochman says, could explain why the fish fed the San Diego Bay plastic showed higher levels of those chemicals in their bodies. Ashley Ahearn reports.

Fish consumption rate keys pollution laws
Legislators grappled Thursday with a seemingly small question that has a big impact on Washington’s pollution laws: How much fish do people eat? The answer will affect water pollution standards on many state waterways and the companies that must meet those standards because some of the pollution ends up in fish. How much fish people eat can determine the risk for some cancers and other diseases. The question is more complicated than it sounds, Kelly Susewind of the Department of Ecology told the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee. Some groups, particularly Native Americans, eat more fish than others, and some people don’t eat any. Fish that spend their entire lives in a polluted river like the Spokane pick up more pollution than salmon, which are born in fresh water, live in salt water for much of their lives, then return to fresh water. Salmon that spend most of their lives in the Puget Sound can have as much as five times the polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs, a known carcinogen, as salmon that spawn in coastal streams and live most of their lives in the Pacific. Jim Camden and Becky Kramer report. See also: New water standards may spare Boeing  

Pollution report on B.C. LNG projects raises alarm
...SkeenaWild Conservation Trust, a northwest B.C. environmental organization concerned about the area’s wild salmon ecosystem, released a report Thursday that estimated three proposed Kitimat LNG plants will burn 2.5 times more natural gas than is consumed in Metro Vancouver annually. The report, Air Advisory: The Air Quality Impacts of Liquefied Natural Gas Operations Proposed for Kitimat, B.C., concluded LNG plants permitted to operate primarily with natural gas will collectively burn 60 per cent of all the natural gas burned annually in B.C. The report concluded nitrogen oxide emissions from the LNG plants would increase 500 per cent above existing levels. Nitrogen oxide emissions create acid rain, which harms waterways and fish and creates smog, which causes respiratory problems for children and the elderly, the report states. The report also concluded natural gas driven LNG plants will increase emissions in the Kitimat area of volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide. Dirk Meissner reports.

On behalf of North Dakota and Montana, McKenna calls Washington coal study unconstitutional
Former Attorney General Rob McKenna has written a letter to Washington state on behalf of Montana and North Dakota that questions the constitutionality of Washington’s Department of Ecology review of a proposed coal-export terminal. “Some of the issues to be evaluated by Ecology transgress the boundaries of the States, infringing on (Montana and North Dakota’s) sovereignty,” McKenna wrote in a letter sent Monday, adding the review “ranges far beyond the boundaries of legitimate state interest.” He also wrote that the review of the proposed Gateway Terminal at Cherry Point, in Whatcom County, “is unrealistically broad, includes speculative impacts, requires impossible assessments of foreign environmental impacts, and appears to have been designed to hinder the development of that terminal.” Brian Rosenthal reports.

Length of B.C. oil spills investigation raises questions
Two small spills on Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline in British Columbia have triggered an investigation by the National Energy Board that is still going on six months after the incidents occurred. The length of the investigation into the spills that appeared minor at the time has prompted questions about whether the incidents were larger than reported, or whether it points to a potentially bigger problem with the structural integrity of the 60-year-old pipeline. Kinder Morgan, however, disputes both. Mark Hume reports.

Unique ‘tropical oceanic’ orcas still traveling west
“Tropical oceanic” killer whales, which were tagged near Hawaii and tracked by satellite, have now moved about 860 miles west. As of yesterday, they were approaching Johnston Atoll, seen just to the left of their last known location shown on the map above, according to Robin Baird of Cascadia Research Collective, based in Olympia. Initially, three orcas were tagged in this first effort to track the unique breed of killer whale, which travels in the open ocean. Christopher Dunagan blogs.

If you like to watch: Sumner’s great goose spectacle
Drivers passing a farm field near Sumner are being distracted by a massive flock of geese. Neighbors said the geese are feasting on a freshly cut corn field with some tasty ears and stalks left behind. They fly into the north Pierce County farm in the morning and begin a daily cycle of flying off, circling around and then coming back in for a landing. There are a few swans and ducks mixed in, but it is primarily Canada geese. Gary Chittim reports. Meanwhile, in the UK: Lake clean-up leads to huge bird decline at sanctuary  

Oldest Large Body of Ancient Seawater Identified Under Chesapeake Bay
USGS scientists have determined that high-salinity groundwater found more than 1,000 meters (0.6 mi.) deep under the Chesapeake Bay is actually remnant water from the Early Cretaceous North Atlantic Sea and is probably 100-145 million years old. This is the oldest sizeable body of seawater to be identified worldwide. Twice as salty as modern seawater, the ancient seawater was preserved like a prehistoric fly in amber, partly by the aid of the impact of a massive comet or meteorite that struck the area about 35 million years ago, creating Chesapeake Bay.

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca (PZZ130) 300 AM PST FRI NOV 22 2013
Today: E wind 20 to 30 kt...easing to 15 to 25 kt in the afternoon. Wind waves 2 to 5 ft. W swell 2 ft at 8 seconds.
Tonight: E wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. NW swell 2 ft at 8 seconds.
Sat: E wind 15 to 25 kt...easing to 10 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft...subsiding to 1 to 2 ft in the afternoon. W swell 2 ft at 14 seconds.
Sat Night: E wind 10 to 15 kt. Wind waves 1 to 2 ft. W swell 4 ft at 12 seconds.
Sun: E wind 10 to 15 kt. Wind waves 1 to 2 ft. W swell 4 ft at 11 seconds.

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