Georgia Strait Alliance alerts BC folks to make their application before February 12 to comment officially to the National Energy Board review of Kinder Morgan's proposal to expand its Trans Mountain Pipeline. Meanwhile, south of the border, Friends of the San Juans asks WA folks to get the San Juan County Commissioners and the Washington Department of Ecology to formally apply to comment on the Kinder Morgan proposal. Lots at stake for the Salish Sea.
Pipeline rupture report raises questions about TransCanada inspections
A CBC News investigation has unearthed a critical report that the federal regulator effectively buried for several years about a rupture on a trouble-prone TransCanada natural gas pipeline. On July 20, 2009, the Peace River Mainline in northern Alberta exploded, sending 50-metre-tall flames into the air and razing a two-hectare wooded area. Members of Dene Tha’ First Nations community of Chateh, about 50 kilometres away from the site of the blast, also want to know why the report was not released until now. (Courtesy of Dene Tha' First Nation) Few people ever learned of the rupture — one of the largest in the past decade — other than the Dene Tha’ First Nation, whose traditional territory it happened on. In an early 2011 draft report about the incident, the National Energy Board criticized TransCanada, the operator of the line owned by its subsidiary NOVA Gas Transmission, for “inadequate” field inspections and “ineffective” management.
Whatcom County won't revoke permits for oil train terminals
It's too late to revoke permits already granted for construction of crude oil rail terminals at both Whatcom County refineries, a county planning official says in a letter to environmental groups. Those groups, Protect Whatcom and Friends of the Earth, had asked Whatcom County Planning Manager Tyler Schroeder to consider revoking the permits. Among other things, they argued, new information about the explosive risk from crude oil and the safety of tank cars has emerged since permits were granted. John Stark reports.
Activist Groups Seek Tighter State Scrutiny Of Oil Trains, Export Terminal Permits
Faced with increasingly volatile sources of crude from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week issued an executive order directing his state agencies to review safety regulations and response plans. Now community activists in Washington are asking Gov. Jay Inslee to do the same for the state’s coast. Bellamy Pailthorp reports.
Protesters hold vigil against Keystone XL pipeline near state Capitol
A few dozen activists held lit candles and signs near the state Capitol in a Monday evening protest against the Keystone XL pipeline project. Organizer Paul Pickett said the 6 p.m. event coincided with protests across the country aimed at encouraging President Obama to reject the TransCanada project that would carry heavy crude oil from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast through several Midwest states. Brad Shannon reports.
If you like to watch: Dolphins and orcas mix it up off Vancouver Island
Company behind ocean fertilization experiment off B.C. coast loses court bid to block charges
The organization behind a controversial ocean fertilization experiment off the coast of British Columbia faces potentially 10 charges for environmental violations after losing a court bid that would have brought an end to the investigation. The Haida Salmon Restoration Corp. caused waves around the world in July 2012 when it dumped more than 100 metric tonnes of iron into the ocean near Haida Gwaii, hoping it would increase salmon returns and produce profits from carbon capture. The practice is unproven. International scientists condemned the unsanctioned experiment at a United Nations meeting and the federal environment minister announced an investigation into what he called "rogue science." Dene Moore reports.
Birch Bay beach closed because of fecal coliform contamination
Public health officials have closed the beach near where Terrell Creek empties into the south end of Birch Bay because of unsafe fecal coliform levels. The closure began Friday, Jan. 31. A red sign has been posted to alert people at the beach. Fecal coliform bacteria come from human and animal feces. Kie Relyea reports.
Taxpayer group predicts sewage bill inflation
The price tag is rising on the capital region’s sewage-treatment project, and the $783-million initiative “has boondoggle written all over it,” says the B.C. director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. Jordan Bateman said a 48-page report prepared by an independent accountant puts the actual cost of the project, after factoring in inflation, at $830 million. That’s because the current price tag is based on 2010 dollars, he said. Jeff Bell reports. Meanwhile: Sewer rates to rise as Everett upgrades antiquated system
Oregon Minnow Is The First Fish Recovered From Endangered Species List
Officials say a tiny, unsung fish that lives only in Oregon’s Willamette Valley is the first endangered fish in the U.S. to be recovered. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is planning to announce Tuesday its petition to remove Oregon chub from the Endangered Species List and touting the success story of a minnow that’s no more than three inches long. Other fish have made it off the endangered species list -– but not because their numbers rebounded. In many cases, it was because they went extinct. Cassandra Profita reports. Meanwhile: AP NewsBreak: Changes sought for endangered act
Skagit Land Trust seeks land along Nookachamps
Just east of Mount Vernon’s city limits, north of College Way, Nookachamps Creek feeds into a thriving wetland known as Barney Lake. The creek runs through a 16-acre, forested property adjacent to the Skagit Land Trust’s Barney Lake Conservation Area before entering the wetland on its way to the Skagit River. The trust has high hopes of acquiring this plot, called the Bell Property, as an expansion of the 350-acre conservation area. It has until the end of April to secure $250,000 for the purchase. Kimberly Cauvel reports.
Environmental Awareness and Public Support for Protecting and Restoring Puget Sound
From the paper's abstract: "...Using data from a telephone survey of residents of the Puget Sound region of Washington, we investigate how perceptions of the severity of different coastal environmental problems, along with other social factors, affect attitudes about policy options. We find that self-assessed environmental understanding and views about the seriousness of pollution, habitat loss, and salmon declines are only weakly related. Among survey respondents, women, young people, and those who believe pollution threatens Puget Sound are more likely to support policy measures such as increased enforcement and spending on restoration. Conversely, self-identified Republicans and individuals who view current regulations as ineffective tend to oppose governmental actions aimed at protecting and restoring Puget Sound..." Thomas G. Safford, Karma C. Norman, Megan Henly, Katherine E. Mills, Phillip S. Levin
Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST TUE FEB 4 2014
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT
E WIND 20 TO 30 KT. WIND WAVES 3 TO 5 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 14 SECONDS.
E WIND 25 TO 30 KT. WIND WAVES 4 TO 5 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 13 SECONDS.
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