Friday, December 20, 2013

12/20 BC pipe, oil trains, coal dust, assessing risk, geoduck arsenic, Puget Sound Pulse, Clark Co clean water, Vancouver WA oil

Kitsilano Morning (Heather Deal @VanRealDeal)
Winter solstice: The sun stands still on Saturday
...Because of the tilt in the Earth’s axis of rotation, the sun appears to rise and fall in our sky over the course of a year. It’s not the sun itself moving, but the Earth moving relative to the sun.... On Dec. 21, the sun stops moving southward, pauses, and then starts moving northward. This pause is called the "solstice," from the Latin words "sol" for "sun" and "sisto" for "stop." Similarly, on June 21 the sun stops moving northward and starts moving southward. Geoff Gaherty explains.

Northern Gateway pipeline recommended for federal approval, with conditions
A joint review panel has recommended the federal government approve Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline project.  The approval hinges on 209 required conditions, including developing a marine mammal protection plan, researching heavy oil cleanup and conducting emergency response exercises. "After weighing the evidence, we concluded that Canada and Canadians would be better off with the Enbridge Northern Gateway project," said the panel in its roughly 500-page report.

Pipeline will spur massive demonstrations, opponents warn  
Massive protests and court challenges based on native rights are likely after a National Energy Board decision that gave conditional approval to the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, say First Nations, environmental groups and others opposed to the project. Mark Hume reports.

Oil trains raise concerns in small towns, cities
It's tough to miss the trains hauling crude oil out of the Northern Plains. They are growing more frequent by the day, mile-long processions of black tank cars that rumble through wheat fields and towns, along rivers and national parks. As common as they have become across the U.S. and Canada, officials in dozens of towns and cities where the oil trains travel say they are concerned with the possibility of a major derailment, spill or explosion, while their level of preparation varies widely. Josh Funk and Matthew Brown report.

Shell’s rail unloading facility moves forward
Shell’s Puget Sound Refinery on March Point is moving closer to building a rail offloading facility for crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken formation now that high-level design work has been completed and the company is ready to apply for 17 permits required before construction starts. Shell needs the offloading facility to accept 100-car trains carrying roughly 60,000 barrels of crude oil from the formation, Refinery General Manager Thomas Rizzo said. The facility will be designed to handle up to one train in and out per day. Shell has no plans for the rail facility to increase capacity at the 145,000-barrel-per-day refinery, but Rizzo said less crude oil will be coming from two current sources: Alaska’s North Slope via tanker and to a lesser extent, Canada by pipeline. Mark Stayton reports.

Coal ports: Trains' dust problems swept up?
A federal board's ruling on coal dust could end helping backers of proposals to export coal through Pacific Northwest ports. Floyd McKay explains.

How math helps stop oil spills and plane crashes  
Jason Merrick, Ph.D., says that his daughters tell people that their father stops oil spills, plane crashes and terrorist attacks with math. That's one way to describe Merrick's research, which at its core involves developing complex mathematical models to help people make difficult decisions about risk – those involving significant uncertainty and trade-offs. Merrick, who is a professor of decision and risk analysis, and simulation in the Department of Statistical Sciences & Operations Research in the VCU School of Humanities and Sciences, is involved with both theoretical and applied research... Merrick's work has helped government agencies, environmentalists, industry and the Coast Guard come to agreement on effective ways to reduce the risks of oil spills and accidents. He's  led studies in the state of Washington  and on San Francisco Bay in California and Prince William Sound in Alaska. Sathya Achia Abraham reports.

Arsenic Was Toxin In Washington Geoduck Shipment To China
Officials in Washington have learned that inorganic arsenic was the toxin detected in a shipment of geoduck from their state to China, not the toxin causing paralytic shellfish poisoning, or PSP, as they previously believed. That shipment, along with one from Ketchikan, Alaska, led China to ban on all imports of shellfish harvested along the West Coast from Northern California up through Alaska. The Washington shipment was traced to a tract harvested by the Puyallup Tribe in Redondo, Wash., near Poverty Bay and Dumas Bay. Tony Schick reports.

‘Pulse of Puget Sound’ series halfway done
Kitsap Sun reporter Christopher Dunagan writes about his ongoing series “Taking the Pulse of Puget Sound,” which examines the health of our waterway and asks the question, “With all the money being spent on restoration, are we making any progress?” Although his pieces are only available to Sun subscribers when first published, Chris says they are now collected and available to all readers. Good stuff, with links.

Pressure mounts for farm bill approval
Farmers and agriculture advocates heard an update on the progress of the federal farm bill and voiced a few concerns with the proposed bill to U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene at a round-table discussion Wednesday afternoon. DelBene, D-Wash., a member of the House Agriculture Committee and farm bill conference committee, said she expects Congress to pass a comprehensive bill early in January if it wants to avoid possible repercussions of not passing a new farm bill or an extension of the 2008 farm bill by the end of December.... The five-year bill reauthorizes federal farm and nutrition programs, including crop insurance, research, conservation and energy programs, supplemental nutrition programs and food stamps. Mark Stayton reports.

Clark County to pay $3.6 million for violating Clean Water Act
Washington’s Clark County will pay $3 million over six years for violating the Clean Water Act, according to terms of a settlement announced Wednesday that ends years of litigation. The county will also pay $600,000 to the plaintiffs to cover attorney fees, said county Administrator Mark McCauley. The $3 million will be paid to an independent third party, the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board, which will “oversee projects to protect and restore Clark County rivers and streams harmed by stormwater pollution,” said Lauren Goldberg, staff attorney for Columbia Riverkeeper, one of three plaintiffs... The settlement follows a federal court ruling that the county violated the law for three years and would be liable for damages. In June, U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton granted partial summary judgment to plaintiffs Rosemere Neighborhood Association, Columbia Riverkeeper and Northwest Environmental Defense Center. Stephanie Rice reports.

Port of Vancouver oil terminal plan gets 31,000 comments
The state agency reviewing a proposed oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver piled up more than 31,000 comments before Wednesday's deadline passed. The controversial oil-by-rail facility, proposed by Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies, has taken on a higher profile than any project recently reviewed by the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council. If approved, the operation would bring in oil hauled by train from North Dakota, before shipping it to U.S. refineries. The facility would be capable of handling as much as 380,000 barrels of crude per day. Eric Florip reports.

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST FRI DEC 20 2013
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING
TODAY
E WIND 10 TO 20 KT BECOMING SE 25 TO 35 KT EARLY...THEN BECOMING SW IN THE AFTERNOON. COMBINED SEAS 5 TO 8 FT WITH A
 DOMINANT PERIOD OF 11 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT
W WIND 25 TO 35 KT...EASING TO 20 TO 30 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. COMBINED SEAS 9 TO 11 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF
 11 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN.
SAT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING 10 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 10 FT AT 11 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF
 RAIN.
SAT NIGHT
SW WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 9 FT AT 13 SECONDS.
SUN
S WIND 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT. W SWELL 8 FT AT 14 SECONDS.
--
"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato@salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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