Tuesday, February 11, 2014

2/11 Bog fight, BC pipe, BC coal, train safety, climate, shellfish health risk, steelhead, Glines Canyon Dam

Randy Whalen in Hooven Bog (Mark Harrison/Seattle Times)
Bog a battlefield for developer, neighbor in Snohomish County
To Randy Whalen and environmental consultants who’ve seen the property, Hooven Bog and wetlands are a rare wonderland of unique plants and lofty trees and likely the last remaining sphagnum-moss bog of its kind in the Everett-to-Olympia corridor. To Rod Loveless and Robert Dillon, who own 90 percent of the 30-acre site, the property is an investment that could bring $1.4 million if they put five homes on it and logged the wetlands. Hooven Bog and wetlands, just north of Woodinville in Snohomish County, will be before the state Court of Appeals on Friday when that court will decide whether or not to take the case of Loveless & Dillon v. Snohomish County — which ultimately pits property-owner rights against environmental preservation. What it comes down to is this: Can Loveless & Dillon legally build a road through the wetlands so they can develop or log their property — and in the process irreparably damage the headwaters to Bear Creek, which meanders through King County. Nancy Bartley reports.

Vancouver seeks intervener status in Trans Mountain Pipeline
The City of Vancouver is the latest local government body to file for intervener status at the National Energy Board hearings into the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline. Several other municipalities including, Surrey, White Rock, Langley and the District of North Vancouver have already applied. Last week the provincial government also applied for intervener status at the upcoming hearings. Wednesday is the final day to register. Kinder Morgan has applied to triple the capacity of the existing 60-year-old pipeline, which runs from near Edmonton, Alberta to Vancouver Harbour in Burnaby. To register citizen comment, go to: The clock is ticking- apply to take part in the Kinder Morgan hearings today

B.C. coal export plan faces resistance
As Canada’s efforts to send oil abroad encounter thorny opposition, critics are increasingly targeting another resource export: Coal. Plans to export thermal coal from the West Coast to Asia are being put under the microscope as North American miners jockey to ship abundant domestic supplies overseas. Demand for thermal coal, a commodity used by power plants to generate electricity, has weakened in recent years in North America due to the boom in U.S. shale gas production. With many U.S. power plants switching to natural gas, a coal glut has forced miners to look to Asia for new markets. Fraser Surrey Docks LP, a marine terminal located on the Fraser River in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey, wants to serve as a new staging ground for exports of thermal coal originating from Wyoming’s Powder River basin. Fraser Surrey Docks is owned by Macquarie Infrastructure Partners, an investment fund managed by Australia’s Macquarie Group. Brent Jang reports.

Freezing out the bigger picture: Arctic blasts tied to climate change
....If the world is really warming up, how come it is so darned cold? The question might say more about how humans perceive the world than it does about the climate. After all, in principle, we are all supposed to know that climate and weather are not the same thing. But we have a strange tendency to think that whatever is happening to us right now must be happening everywhere. Scientists refer to global warming because it is about, well, the globe. It is also about the long run. It is really not about what happened yesterday in New York. Justin Gillis reports.

Competing bills to address safety of oil transport
Washington lawmakers on Monday considered competing measures that try to address potential risks as more crude oil is shipped by rail into the state. The Senate Ways and Means Committee heard testimony on a mostly Republican-backed bill that would study the safety of transporting oil and hazardous materials by train, including reviewing gaps in local, state and federal oil-spill response. Meanwhile, the House Appropriations Committee took testimony on a competing Democratic-sponsored bill that is favored by environmental groups who say it provides more transparency and calls for more immediate action. Phuong Le reports.

Health risks estimated for Port Gamble Bay shellfish  (subscription)
People who consume significant quantities of contaminated shellfish from Port Gamble Bay face a higher risk of getting cancer than people who eat foods without cancer-causing chemicals, according to a new health assessment. Out of every 1,000 people who eat 1.1 pounds of clams, oysters and crabs every day over a lifetime, two people could be expected to get cancer because of those shellfish, according to the analysis, which focuses on shellfish taken from the upper portion of Port Gamble Bay.... According to a study of shellfish consumption by the Suquamish Tribe, an average tribal member eats about a half-pound of shellfish a day. If those shellfish were taken from Port Gamble Bay, the increased risk of cancer over a lifetime would be three additional cases of cancer in 10,000 people. The 1.1 pounds is consumed by about 5 percent of tribal members. As a comparison, recreational shellfish harvesters consume about 0.13 pounds of shellfish a day, according to King County statistics. If taken from Port Gamble Bay, the health risk for recreational harvesters would not be significant, according to the report. Chris Dunagan reports.

Stalking Puget Sound Steelhead With Science
You might call Barry Berejikian a steelhead stalker. The government scientist’s pursuit of these anodramous trout has brought him to the deck of the Chasina, a research vessel that’s motoring through choppy gray waters of southern Puget Sound near the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. He’s here to lay the groundwork for an experiment that could explain why so few steelhead are completing their journey through Puget Sound and on to the Pacific Ocean. Ashley Ahearn reports.

May 1 finish sought for Glines Canyon Dam removal project as work continues
Workers were on schedule to blast away at the last upright section of Glines Canyon Dam early Monday evening, and hopes are to finish the removal project by May 1, according to Olympic National Park spokeswoman Barb Maynes. Officials from contractor Barnard Construction Inc. of Bozeman, Mont., hope to have the edifice completely demolished by May 1, she said. The contract with Bozeman calls for completion by Sept. 30. Paul Gottlieb reports.

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST TUE FEB 11 2014
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
 GALE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING
TODAY
S WIND 5 TO 15 KT BECOMING SE 15 TO 25 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS BUILDING TO 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 8 FT AT 10
 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT
S WIND 25 TO 35 KT. COMBINED SEAS 7 TO 10 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 11 SECONDS. RAIN.
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