Monday, January 13, 2014

1/13 WA legislature, CN coal train derails, rail safety, Vancouver WA oil port ruling, herring, fuel standards

From BirdNote
If you like to listen: Donald Duck
From BirdNote: "Today, we celebrate Donald Fauntleroy Duck, first sighted in Hollywood in 1934. Despite nearly 80 years on the big screen and more than 150 films and countless comic books to his credit, Donald's plumage has never changed. Donald doesn't migrate, but resides year round in Duckburg. To our knowledge, longtime sweetheart Daisy has never made Donald a father. But he does show a strong paternal instinct for a trio of unruly nephews. While he means well, he tends to get in over his head, but he somehow overcomes the odds. And that perhaps is why Donald Duck is still loved after all these years."

New blog: Freedom Enterprises in West Virginia
“I don’t want to be ironic so early in the new year but it’s awful that hundreds of thousands have been put at risk in West Virginia by the spill of the chemical 4-methylcyclohexane methanol into the Elk River by a company called Freedom Enterprises...”

Legislators enter session with limited ambitions
The Legislature will return to Olympia on Monday for a 60-day session that is low on expectations as a divided government enters an election year. Apart from an opportunity to pass a major transportation tax package – a roughly once-a-decade event – little else of major substance is likely to happen. Partisan gridlock is one factor limiting ambitions this year. Brad Shannon and Jordan Schrader report.

CN Rail says beavers, rain to blame for Burnaby derailment  
CN Rail has completed its initial investigation into the derailment of nine coal cars in Burnaby, B.C., Saturday morning, and says that heavy rain and the workmanship of beavers are to blame. Emily Hamer, CN Rail regional manager for public and government affairs, said that environmental factors undermined the tracks near Burnaby Lake.... At around 11 a.m. nine rail cars carrying coal on a westbound CP Rail train operated by a CN Rail crew derailed near the intersection of Cariboo Road and Government Street. Six of the cars remained upright, but three were on their sides and some of the contents had spilled out into a ditch, Hamer said.

Bellingham mayor wants federal attention to rail safety
With trainloads of Bakken crude oil already rolling through the heart of the city to the BP Cherry Point refinery, Mayor Kelli Linville will ask City Council to approve a resolution calling on state and federal officials to do everything they can to promote safety.... Linville said she was troubled to learn that regulators and the rail industry acknowledge the need to replace tens of thousands of tank cars pressed into service to handle the Bakken oil boom. The Railway Supply Institute, an industry group, has proposed a 10-year timeline for making the estimated $1 billion investment in new rail cars that would be more resistant to rupture and explosion if trains derail. John Stark reports.

Judge rules partly in favor of port over oil terminal
A Clark County judge Friday ruled partly in favor of the Port of Vancouver in a lawsuit that claimed the port violated state environmental and open public meetings laws in approving a lease to build the largest oil-handling facility in the Northwest. Superior Court Judge David Gregerson dismissed a claim by three environmental groups that the port violated the state Environmental Policy Act by approving a lease to build an oil terminal before an environmental impact statement was issued. The decision means the lease — involving 42 acres and worth at least $45 million over an initial 10 years — remains intact, although the ruling could be appealed. Meanwhile, the oil-by-rail proposal by Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies, which faces strong public opposition, is moving through a yearlong environmental-impact review by a state-level permitting agency. At the same time, Gregerson said there's a "public benefit" in allowing Columbia Riverkeeper, Sierra Club and Northwest Environmental Defense Center to pursue their separate complaint that the port violated the state Open Public Meetings Act by holding an illegal secret meeting to discuss the lease. Aaron Corvin reports.

Herring key food for land-based species: study
Scientists on Vancouver Island have for the first time linked spawning Pacific herring, a well-known marine food fish, to the health of land creatures big and small. “We often talk about how salmon subsidize and influence ecosystems by providing food but herring are also one of these species — and we have them in abundance,” said Caroline Fox, the lead researcher on a study released by the Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the University of Victoria. After a worrisome decline, herring stocks look to be bouncing back. While the effects of herring on marine life have been studied, scientists haven’t really looked at what happens in other ecosystems when waves of eggs wash ashore during spawning. Sarah Petrescu reports.

Potential fuel standard has state GOP, truckers up in arms
Gov. Jay Inslee joined leaders of California, Oregon and British Columbia in October to sign a Pacific Coast agreement on climate change and energy policy that includes a pledge to adopt a green fuel standard. The standard could encourage wider use of blended fuels or biodiesel that lower the carbon emissions linked to global warming. Three months later, Inslee finds himself fending off claims by state Republican lawmakers and the trucking industry that he might act alone to enact such a standard. The critics claim the standard would drive up the cost of fuel by $1 a gallon and that it jeopardizes passage of a gas tax package to fix state bridges and upgrade the highway system. Brad Shannon reports.

Upcoming: Way of Whales Workshop, January 25, Coupeville:  "Saving Iconic Pacific Northwest Species -  Southern Resident Orcas and Salmon " Cost of the workshop is $30 ($25 for Students/Seniors), and a hot lunch is available for purchase for an additional $10  (for those who pre-register by Jan. 20, or on an as-available basis after this date). Register at Orca Network.

Upcoming: Sound Waters,  February 1, Oak Harbor: Whidbey Beachwaters’ “one day university” for those with an interest in learning about and taking care of this amazing place that we call home. Register by January 25.

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 900 PM PST SUN JAN 12 2014
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH MONDAY AFTERNOON
MON
W WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 11 FT AT 12 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
MON NIGHT
SW WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 11 FT AT 13 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
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"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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