Wednesday, February 12, 2014

2/12 Oil transport, spill, forage fish, BC blasts, Boldt40, stormwater, coal contracts, smarter fish?

If you care to watch: Voices Against Oil Trains  
Columbia Riverkeeper shows why you should care.

Have your say: Public comment deadline on the proposed Shell/Equilon Oil Train Terminal on March Point, Anacortes, is Monday, February 17, 4:30 pm. Go here to comment online.

Upcoming: “Community Engagement in Oil Spill Preparedness and Response” is a free public workshop sponsored by the Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee, Saturday February 22, from 9:00am-3:00pm at the Squalicum Boathouse in Bellingham. Contact: Michelle Lim; 360-733-1725.

Up To 2,000 Gallons Of Oil Spilled In Hood Canal
Officials are responding to an oil spill in Washington’s Puget Sound. The spill occurred at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor and has spread 10 miles north to Hood Canal. State agencies estimate that up to 2,000 gallons of oil was spilled Monday when a ship was pumping out oily discharge at the naval facility. The pier-side transfer system failed and overflowed. Initially the Navy estimated that 150 gallons spilled, but by Tuesday other agencies were disputing that amount. Ashley Ahearn reports.

Taking Sound!Action
Sound Action in its February alert asks that, "Before February 17, we need you to contact the members of the Senate Rules Committee...and ask them to send SSB 6072 for a vote on the Senate floor.  SSB 6072 makes it possible to know how healthy the forage fish population is in Puget Sound. Forage fish (surf smelt, sand lance and herring) are not glamorous, but they are THE essential link in the food web in Puget Sound. Forage fish are eaten by marine birds and by salmon which are eaten by orca whales. More science about the health of forage fish is key to saving the Sound!"

CFB Esquimalt says booming sounds no reason for alarm
Officials at CFB Esquimalt say that perpetual booming sound you may be hearing today is nothing to be alarmed about. One resident of Victoria's James Bay neighbourhood says she's been hearing the sound all day. "I heard booming sounds. It sounded like it was coming from under the water. It was quite loud, and it's been frequent. It's been happening... oh, easily every five to ten minutes today." CFB Esquimalt says the sounds are likely due to firing exercises being held at the Whirl Bay Underwater Demolition Range, on the south shore of Rocky Point. The exercises will continue every day -- from 8am to 5pm -- through February 27. Kyle Reynolds reports.

Landmark salmon decision left a legacy of science
Before the landmark Boldt decision in 1974, tribal anglers had fished alongside non-Indian fishermen for years. Tulalip tribal leader Stan Jones said he counted many of those fishermen among his friends. “Once we started lobbying for the tribal fishing rights, they turned against us,” Jones wrote in his 2010 book, “Our Way: Hoy yud dud.” Bill Sheets reports.

What Ever Happened to the Stormwater Rules?
Remember the Puget Sound stormwater permits? Washington state was ready at last to get serious about cleaning up polluted runoff through the use of rain gardens, permeable pavement, and other green strategies. The new rules went into effect in August, but were socked with a downpour of legal challenges. So while cities and counties are working to meet the new regulations, a mist of uncertainty hangs over the process. But that could be cleared up soon. The Pollution Control Hearings Board, the legal entity weighing the challenges, announced it will rule on the case before the end of February. Lisa Stiffler reports.

Whatcom council shies away from coal terminal contract
The Whatcom County Council appears unwilling to take over the review of a contract with a consultant writing the environmental impact statement for a proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point. Several council members said at a committee meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 11, that they feared this would put them on shaky legal ground. Dan Gibson, a deputy prosecuting attorney advising the council at the committee meeting, didn't say anything to dispute that. An ordinance written by council member Carl Weimer would require contracts that involve "pass through" money, not the county government's own money, to be approved by the council. Currently, the executive can approve such "pass through" contract amendments without consulting the council. The council only approves contracts in which the county's money would be spent. Ralph Schwartz reports.

If you like to watch: Group genius: Why fish are smarter in swarms
You really think so?

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST WED FEB 12 2014
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON PST TODAY
 GALE WATCH IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING
TODAY
W WIND 15 TO 25 KT EASING TO 10 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT SUBSIDING TO 1 OR 2 FT. SW SWELL 9 FT AT 10
 SECONDS. SCATTERED SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
S WIND 5 TO 15 KT BECOMING SW 20 TO 30 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS BUILDING TO 3 TO 5 FT. SW SWELL 8 FT AT 11
 SECONDS. RAIN.
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