Monday, May 12, 2014

5/12 Frank Jr., orcas & fish, Oso mudslide, Kinder Morgan, oil spill, sewage spill, Shell air permit

Peregrine Falcon (BirdNote)
If you like to listen: Mother Birds
Avian motherhood is a mixed bag. Peregrine Falcon mothers share duties fairly equally with Peregrine dads. At the other end of the spectrum is the female hummingbird, which usually carries the entire burden of nesting, incubating, and tending the young. And then, there's the female Western Sandpiper: she usually leaves the family just a few days after the eggs have hatched! (BirdNote) See also: Black-capped chickadee crowned Vancouver's bird for 2015 (CBC)

Billy Frank Jr. remembered as humanitarian, ‘spokesman for the salmon’
Six thousand people attended a memorial service on Sunday for the tribal leader, who died last Monday at age 83. Paige Cornwell reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Billy Frank Jr. honored at Shelton memorial Adam Mertz reports. (KING)

Southern Residents: Data Behind the Impressions
Orca Watcher Monika Wieland writes: "I recently participated in two workshops about orcas and salmon: The Whale Museum's naturalist gear-up here on San Juan Island and a joint effort by several regional organizations of an orca and salmon recovery workshop in Seattle. Finally, thankfully, it seems like some discussion about the real issues facing these whales is starting to happen. There was a lot of public attention given to potential vessel impacts on the whales as NOAA went through the process of instituting new regulations for boating around the whales. General consensus is that the real issue facing these whales is not boats, not toxins, but salmon. No fish, no blackfish. It's that simple..."

Applying science to the Oso mudslide
.... Work at the mudslide has entered a new phase. With the active search for victims finished, scientists now are working to find out what happened that Saturday morning when the mountain came down. It will take time for researchers to fully understand what triggered the slide above Steelhead Haven, which sent a deadly torrent of slurry across the valley and up the slopes on the far side. In coming months, teams of geologists, hydrologists, geomorphologists, engineers and other researchers will visit the site and observe, measure, record and analyze. Chris Winters reports. (Everettt Herald)

State: Review now required before logging near risky landslide areas
Timber companies that want to harvest near potentially dangerous landslide areas will now have to conduct geologic reviews before getting a logging permit from the state, officials said Friday. Under the new standards announced by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, the state will require a geotechnical report when there’s a potential risk to public safety — even if the harvest area itself doesn’t include unstable territory. Mike Baker and Ken Armstrong report. (Seattle Times) See also: Landslide clogs river, floods Maple Valley properties Coral Garnick reports. (Seattle Times)

Analysis puts big benefits figure on Kinder Morgan expansion
The latest analysis of Kinder Morgan Canada’s proposed $5.4-billion expansion of its Edmonton-to-Burnaby pipeline indicates dramatically higher economic benefits, especially for B.C. The report by the Conference Board of Canada almost triples previous company figures for projected federal, provincial and municipal tax revenues over the life of the project. Peter O'Neil reports. (Vancouver Sun)  See also: PHOTOS: Pipeline plan protesters rally at Vancouver's Sunset Beach

Legal challenges could stall decision on Kinder Morgan pipeline: experts
The federal government’s efforts to speed up decisions on oil pipelines are at risk of backfiring, according to legal and policy observers. In the first real test of the National Energy Board’s new review rules, Kinder Morgan’s $5.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline is being assailed with legal action and a flurry of motions calling for a more open and lengthy public process. The federal review of the pipeline expansion — which will nearly triple oil output and bring another 400 tankers each year to the Burrard Inlet — is set to begin in August and supposed to be complete in 15 months. But the challenges — particularly those from First Nations — have the potential to be successful and delay a decision on the project, says University of B.C. law professor Gordon Christie. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun) See also: Burnaby, B.C., has some tough questions for Trans Mountain  Mark Hume reports. (Globe and Mail)

Mallards affected by oily spill in Gorge Waterway
An environmental organization said its members have seen as many as six mallards affected by the oily substance that entered the Gorge Waterway via Gorge Creek late last week.... Jeff Miller, Esquimalt’s director of engineering and public works, said the substance is a petrochemical that entered through the stormwater system. Jeff Bell reports. (Times Colonist)

Bacteria levels normal at 2 Everett beaches after sewer line break
Water samples taken on Saturday show bacteria levels are back to normal at Pigeon Creek beach and Howarth Park. As a cautionary measure, city officials were leaving closure signs in place on Sunday. They warned people to avoid contact with the water and closed the beach because of elevated bacteria levels after a sewer main broke and dumped waste into Port Gardner on Thursday night. Two pumps and the sewer lift station were submerged in the break. One pump is back in operation. It may be weeks before the other is fully restored. (Everett Herald)

NWCAA opens public comment on different Shell refinery permit
The Northwest Clean Air Agency is accepting public comment on a draft construction permit for the Shell Puget Sound Refinery’s proposed rail unloading facility. The facility would have the capacity to unload 14 railcars per day carrying a heavy petroleum “feedstock” that is not Bakken crude, according to a news release from the air agency. This rail extension project is separate from the refinery’s application to receive light, mid-continent crude, which could include Bakken oil from North Dakota. The emissions from this project would be “very low,” at 0.03 tons per year of volatile organic compounds and 4,500 metric tons per year of greenhouse gases, according to the agency. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 250 AM PDT MON MAY 12 2014
TODAY
E WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 2 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
E WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 1 TO 2 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
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"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato@salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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