Friday, April 11, 2014

4/11 Tar sands oil, Grays Harbor oil, BC pipes, Elwha steelhead, Stilly fish, drones eye elk

http://xkcd.com
Cantwell Questions Top U.S. Coast Guard Nominee on Tar Sands Oil Spill Readiness in the Northwest
The Obama administration's nominee to lead the U.S. Coast Guard told U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) [Tuesday] that increased shipping of tar sands oil is a concern, and that there is a lack of adequate technology to handle a large-scale tar sands oil spill in Northwest waterways.
At a U.S. Senate Commerce Committee hearing Tuesday, Senator Cantwell questioned Vice Admiral Paul Zukunft on his agency's preparedness for a tar sands oil spill.

Oil-by-rail terminal proposed for Washington state
U.S. Development Group is seeking permits to build an oil terminal on the Washington coast that could handle about 45,000 barrels of crude oil a day. The $80 million proposal at the Port of Grays Harbor is one of several in Washington that together would bring millions of barrels of oil by train from the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana.... The Grays Harbor Rail Terminal project would bring about one unit train to the facility every two days. A unit train typically has 120 rail cars and each car can hold about 28,000 gallons. The company filed permit applications Monday with the city of Hoquiam, Skaggs said. The state Department of Ecology and the city are expected to begin an environmental review process. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

Kinder Morgan’s pipeline studies may contravene park-research permit, critics say
Kinder Morgan Canada Inc. is conducting pipeline studies in B.C. parks under a permit that was issued at a time when any research was supposed to be focused on gathering scientific knowledge to help better manage protected areas. The permit falls in a grey area because while research related to potential industrial projects would be permitted in parks under new legislation – which passed just two weeks ago – Kinder Morgan got authorization last November. At that time, the regulations stated that research in parks “must contribute to the scientific knowledge of the protected area(s).” Mark Hume reports. (Globe and Mail)

Kitimat residents to cast ballots on Northern Gateway pipeline project
Residents of Kitimat will cast votes in a local plebiscite Saturday for or against the multibillion-dollar Northern Gateway pipeline. The District of Kitimat has remained neutral on the $6-billion project, but the vote will decide council's position.... The city on the North Coast would be the end of the pipeline and home of the marine terminal for loading oil onto tankers. Kitimat council's neutral stance went so far as to keep the city from participating in a federal review panel on the project. (Vancouver Sun)

Federal judges deny request for emergency injunction against steelhead planting in Elwha River
A panel of federal appellate judges has rejected a wild-fish advocacy group’s request to stop the planting of hatchery-born steelhead in the Elwha River.  The ruling clears the way for Lower Elwha Klallam tribal hatchery managers to proceed with their planned release of as many as 175,000 steelhead — an ocean-going salmonid trout species — from the $16.5 million hatchery built to help restore Elwha River fish runs.  The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday dismissed a request from four wild-fish advocates for an emergency injunction to stop the steelhead plantings. The appellate court upheld a U.S. District Court judge’s decision to reject the injunction March 12. Joe Smillie reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Scientists Monitoring Oso Slide’s Effects On Stillaguamish Fish Runs
As the search for victims of the Oso mudslide continues, scientists are monitoring its effects on endangered fish runs. The cloudiness of the Stillaguamish River due to sediment washing down after the slide is a big concern. But it looks like initial fears of devastation are giving way to optimism.  Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KPLU)

Drones plot upriver elk herd’s size
Looking out over the town of Hamilton in the upper Skagit River valley from a hillside on state Department of Natural Resources land, a team of federal unmanned aircraft operators and local researchers scouted for elk. They couldn’t see elk themselves from that high up, but they knew they were there. Using radio monitors, they noted the general location of collared animals before sending a former military drone over the landscape to capture video footage. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 248 AM PDT FRI APR 11 2014
TODAY
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
SAT
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING SE TO 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
SAT NIGHT
SE WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
SUN
E WIND 10 KT...BECOMING SE 15 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT...BUILDING TO 2 OR 3 FT IN THE AFTERNOON. W SWELL
 5 FT AT 15 SECONDS.
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