Thursday, May 1, 2014

5/1 Pteropods, #SSEC14, pollution penalties, oil protest, tanker fire, tug terminal, BC LNG, BC fish farms

Pteropod at risk (Steve Ringman/Seattle Times)
New Study: Acidifying Ocean Destroying Sea Butterflies
Tiny, delicate marine snails called pteropods are a key part of the marine food web. New research indicates they are dissolving to a greater extent than previously thought because of ocean acidification. Scientists know that greenhouse gas emissions are contributing to the dropping pH in the world’s oceans. They also knew that as the oceans become more corrosive they eat away at marine species’ shells before they have a chance to form. But new research reveals the unprecedented scale of destruction of some of the ocean’s tiniest shell-makers. Ashley Ahearn reports. (EarthFix) Read also: Vital part of food web dissolving  Craig Welch reports. (Seattle Times)

New blog: #SSEC14 Day 1: Will Science Inform Policy and Politics?
#SSEC14 is the Twitter hashtag for the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference that kicked off on Wednesday in Seattle at the Washington State Convention Center. The three-day conference brings together scientists, academics, tribes, NGOs, and government from both sides of the WA/BC border this year around the theme of how the Salish Sea is “Our Shared Responsibility...”

U.S., Canadian, tribal leaders discuss Salish Sea's environmental, economic concerns
...The environment doesn't stop at the border and neither does the economy. A healthy economy depends on a healthy environment and we must work across the border with our Canadian and tribal/First Nations partners to ensure both. This week in Seattle, Western Washington University is the proud lead organizer of the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference bringing together about 1,200 of the top marine science professionals, First Nations and tribal leaders, industry executives and policymakers who make decisions about resource management on our shared waters. Elliot Smith reports. (Bellingham Herald)

WA firms settle CWA violations with EPA as part of Puget Sound initiative
As part of ongoing federal and state efforts to restore Puget Sound, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing enforcement actions against three Seattle-area companies for discharging industrial stormwater to area waterways in violation of the Clean Water Act (CWA)... In addition to the companies committing to manage stormwater more diligently at their facilities in the future, they agreed to pay a combined total of $163,500 in penalties.... (T)he three facilities settling with EPA (are): Steeler, Inc. (Penalty: $40,000)... MacMillan-iper, Inc. (Penalty: $37,500)... Saint-Gobain Container, Inc. (Penalty: $86,000) (WaterWorld)

Activists rally for stricter regulations of crude oil transported via rail
Washington State is experiencing a boom when it comes to transporting crude oil by rail, but environmental activists are out to stop it in its tracks. They fear disasters that have happened around the U.S. and Canada could easily happen in the state... The Northwest Clean Air Agency held a public hearing Wednesday morning. The agency is currently considering renewing the Shell Anacortes refinery draft air operating permit... It does not issue permits for the transportation of crude oil by rail. Still, activists from around Western Washington showed up at a public hearing to voice their concerns about the environmental impacts and disasters shipping crude oil by train could bring. (KIRO) See also: Shell Refinery air permit hearing draws full house, heated talk  Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Tankers carrying oil derail, catch fire in Va.
Multiple CSX train cars carrying crude oil derailed and caught fire Wednesday along the James River, with three tankers ending up in the water and leaking some of their contents, becoming the most recent crash involving oil trains that has safety experts pushing for better oversight. Alan Suderman and Michael Felberbaum report. (Associated Press)

Saltchuk ends deal to move Foss shipyard to Everett site
Seattle-based maritime conglomerate Saltchuk has dropped plans to buy Kimberly-Clark’s 66-acre former mill site on Everett’s waterfront as a new location for its 250-employee Foss Maritime shipyard... While inspecting the site, Saltchuk found problems with soil stability and seismic and environmental conditions at the property, said company spokeswoman Emily Reiter. Coral Garnick reports. (Seattle Times)

Squamish LNG plant could have jump on larger northern B.C. proposals
It is nowhere as big as the liquefied natural gas projects touted for northwest B.C., but a proposed plant near Squamish has as good a chance as any to be the first to be built in the province. Woodfibre LNG’s size helps. With an annual output of 1.2 million tonnes, it is about one-tenth the size of the proposed $10-billion-plus northern projects, which significantly cuts down on its capital costs. It also has a private owner, Indonesian billionaire Sukanto Tanoto, whose holding company, Raja Garuda Mas International (also known as Royal Golden Eagle), owns Pacific Oil and Gas Ltd., of which Woodfibre LNG is a subsidiary. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Farms in B.C. netted $4.1 million in compensation for diseased fish
The federal government quietly paid $4.1 million in compensation to two Norway-headquartered aquaculture companies operating in B.C. that had to destroy fish hit by a deadly virus in 2012. The payments came from a program that has paid out $94 million since 2011 — mostly to East Coast fish farmers — to cover losses from exposure to disease. The payments of $2.8 million to Cermaq Canada and $1.3 million to Grieg Seafoods are outlined in federal documents about the culls after fish farm exposure to infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus, also known as IHNv. Peter O'Neil reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT THU MAY 1 2014
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
TODAY
E WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
S WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING SW AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG AFTER
 MIDNIGHT.
--
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