Tuesday, June 24, 2014

6/24 EPA rule, Oso slide, BC pollution, oil train info, ship bell, Wild Olympics

Supreme Court upholds rules curbing greenhouse gases from power plants
The Supreme Court in a split decision Monday upheld most of the Obama administration’s environmental rules designed to limit greenhouse gases from power plants. The outcome is likely to be welcomed by environmentalists because it confirms the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to restrict greenhouse gases. The justices handed down two separate rulings in a dispute over permits for new or modified power plants and factories. In a 7-2 vote, the justices agreed the Environmental Protection Agency could force major polluters to use new and better technology to limit their emissions of carbon dioxide.... But in a separate 5-4 vote, the court struck down an EPA regulation that could have extended the required greenhouse gas permits to millions of other facilities. Scalia said EPA had stretched the law to cover new facilities that were not major polluters. While most of the court’s opinion dealt with the rejected permitting rules, the court said EPA had won more than it had lost. David Savage reports. (LA Times)

County Council to take up land use in slide areas
Homebuilders and conservationists are honing arguments to sway the Snohomish County Council's policy decisions about building near landslide zones. They'll get to put their powers of persuasion to the test during a hearing scheduled Wednesday. That's when county lawmakers plan to take up proposed land-use changes reacting to the catastrophic Oso mudslide. They could vote to pass some into law, after two months of back-and-forth. Noah Haglund reports. (Everett Herald) See also: Mudslide geological data to be released soon  Chris Winters reports. (Everett Herald)

Polluters now face fines of up to $75,000
Polluters could face stiff new fines of up to $75,000 under administrative penalties announced by the government on Monday. The new penalties fill “a gap” between warnings, violation tickets and criminal prosecutions for such offences as dumping waste, the government said in a statement. Those violations include releasing too much of a regulated substance into the environment, and not following other regulatory rules under the Environmental Management Act and Integrated Pest Management Act. Fines would fall into categories of $2,000, $10,000, $40,000 and $75,000 depending on the offence, the Ministry of Environment said in a statement. (Vancouver Sun)

BNSF Won’t Seek Injunction To Stop Release Of Oil Train Info In Washington
BNSF Railway says it’s not going to court before Monday’s deadline to block Washington state from releasing oil train notification information under its public records law. “BNSF does not intend to file an injunction regarding prospective handling of the information provided,” spokeswoman Courtney Wallace wrote in an email Monday. “The determination about how such information is controlled or communicated is ultimately a decision for the federal government and subsequently the Washington State Emergency Response Commission.” Tony Schick reports. (EarthFix) See also: Wash. state senators say public has right to know about oil trains

Original Adventuress bell to be reunited with schooner in Port Townsend
A belle of the seas is getting her bell back. Lost for 99 years, the schooner Adventuress’ original ship’s bell arrived in Washington state Sunday after being retrieved from a Belmont, Calif., family by cinematographer John Leben and Catherine Collins, executive director of Sound Experience, the Port Townsend-based nonprofit that owns and operates the vessel for youth education programs. Paul Gottlieb reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Wild Olympics legislation an investment in environmental, economic future, proponent tells Jefferson County chamber
The Wild Olympics bill represents an investment in the future that makes good economic and environmental sense, a speaker told the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce on Monday. “Business owners willingly tell you what they do, but they won’t always tell you why,” said Roy Nott, president of Surfactor Americas LLC in Centralia, a manufacturer of surfaces for the woodworking industry. “In this case, my ‘why’ has to do with my 6-year-old granddaughter Mariam and her peers and their future.” Nott addressed about 45 people at the chamber’s weekly meeting at the Port Townsend Elks Club. Charlie Bermant reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT TUE JUN 24 2014
TODAY
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING W 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 9 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY...
 MAINLY IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 9 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.

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