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EPA, Environmental Groups Reach Agreement To Protect Salmon From Insecticides
Environmental groups and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced an agreement Friday reinstating rules meant to protect salmon and steelhead from insecticides. The agreement sets streamside buffers prohibiting aerial spraying within 300 feet and ground spraying within 60 feet of salmon and steelhead streams. The restriction applies to five different insecticides: diazinon, chlorpyrifos, malathion, carbaryl, and methomyl. Tony Schick reports. (EarthFix) See also: Residents fear health risks from Whatcom's roadside spraying of Roundup Ralph Schwartz reports. (Bellingham Herald)
Oso neighborhood never should have been built
The Steelhead Haven neighborhood near Oso that was destroyed by this year’s landslide should never have been built. The developer failed to secure a required flood plain permit, avoiding a process that would have warned of the dangers of building there. Mike Baker and Ken Armstrong report. (Seattle Times) See also: State’s top attorney to weigh in on halt to logging in slide-prone areas Jerry Cornfield reports. (Everett Herald)
Northern Gateway pipeline: 10 days left for decision
Some time in the next 10 days, the federal government is supposed to announce its final decision on the Northern Gateway pipeline — the multibillion-dollar political minefield dividing the West. Even detractors expect the federal government to give the $7-billion project the go-ahead. But the nod from Ottawa would not be the crest of the mountain Northern Gateway must climb before the oil — and the money — begin to flow. The path to the British Columbia coast has many hurdles left for Calgary-based Enbridge and its partners. (CBC)
Fixes After BP Spill Not Enough, Board Says
Federal safety regulators warned on Thursday that another disastrous offshore oil well blowout could happen despite regulatory improvements in the four years since a BP well explosion in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 workers and dumped millions of gallons of oil into the sea. The warning came with the release of a report by the Chemical Safety Board that placed much of the blame for the destruction of the Deepwater Horizon, the rig involved in the BP disaster, on a buckled steel drill pipe that interfered with the functioning of an emergency device in sealing the well. The report was consistent with several other government reports on the accident, which pointed to multiple causes for the disaster. But the new report focused more acutely on the malfunction of the so-called blowout preventer, the rig’s last defense, which was supposed to cut through the drill pipe and seal the Macondo well. Clifford Kraussjune reports. (NY Times) See also: Federal plan for B.C. oil spill relies on using banned chemicals
Hundreds more fatalities if Keystone XL isn’t built? Not exactly
On Friday, the State Department revised its January report on the environmental impacts of building or not building the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, including the number of potential injuries and fatalities if Canadian oil would move by rail instead. The New York Times reported that the revisions projected “hundreds more fatalities and thousands more injuries than expected over the course of a decade.” Frightening numbers that supporters and opponents of the pipeline used to boost their case-- except that the newspaper tied the wrong set of numbers to the no-build scenario. Curtis Tate reports. (McClatchy) See also: Bellingham council to hear concerns over rail traffic from proposed coal terminal John Stark reports. (Bellingham Herald) See also: Group to report findings on oil, coal train count on Tuesday Jerry Cornfield reports. (Everett Herald)
Skagit River Flood Risk Management General Investigation
After 14 years and %14 million, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Skagit County have opened a comment period until July 21 on a draft integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement for the Skagit River Flood Risk Management General Investigation study. The draft FR/EIS documents the process of developing potential solutions to reduce flood risk in the Skagit Basin and documents the environmental consequences analysis of the final array of alternatives per requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act.
Amid long cleanup, Tsawout reconnect with seafood traditions
Tsawout elder Earl Claxton Jr., 63, remembers how the squirt of seawater felt on his calves as he walked past clusters of butter clams at low tide as a kid. Decades later, sewage outfall has contaminated the shellfish, a former dietary staple of the coastal nation. But organizers of a local seafood festival hope to revive knowledge of the harvest, even if it means buying the clams elsewhere or bartering with First Nation partners in Alert Bay. Amy Smart reports. (Times Colonist)
Unsettled regional sewage plan has Victoria exploring options
As the Capital Regional District struggles to find some relief for its constipated sewage megaproject, Victoria will examine its own options. Victoria councillors Friday endorsed a resolution from Mayor Dean Fortin and Coun. Marianne Alto to have city staff investigate building one or more sewage treatment plants of its own. The investigation will include the potential of Victoria entering into agreements with other municipalities on sewage treatment. Bill Cleverley reports. (Times Colonist)
Native oysters make unexpected comeback
Beneath the quiet surface of the Gorge Waterway and Portage Inlet, life, death and survival play out in a drama affecting a rare, tasty B.C. marine species. The Olympia oyster is the only oyster species native to the province. Once abundant from Alaska to Panama, it disappeared from much of its habitat by the early 20th century, a victim of its own tastiness, overfishing and waters contaminated with sewage, chemicals and sediment that poisoned and suffocated the oyster beds. The fished-out waters included the Gorge Waterway, from which the oyster was considered locally extinct by the 1920s. The state of Olympia oyster populations in the province remains such that Canada’s Species at Risk Act lists it as a species of special concern. However, the oyster has surprised everyone. Some years back, researchers found the small mollusk had returned to the Gorge. Monique Keiran reports. (Times Colonist)
Commission hears update on rockfish
Fish and wildlife A number of fishing issues, including the Puget Sound rockfish conservation plan, are on the agenda when the state Fish and Wildlife Commission meets Friday and Saturday. Research scientists Dayv Lowry and Dr. Theresa Tsou will provide the commission members with an evaluation of the implementation status for the rockfish conservation plan. The discussion is scheduled to begin about 2:50 p.m. Friday. The meeting will be held at the Natural Resources Building, Room 172, 1111 Washington St. SE, Olympia. Agenda, wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings/2014/06/agenda_jun1314.html.
Team prepares to weigh historic anchor off Whidbey If it’s what a team of treasure hunters hope, an artifact connected with the Pacific Northwest’s most famous European explorer will leave the seafloor for the first time in over two centuries next week. State regulators have issued Anchor Ventures, LLC, a permit to raise an anchor they believe was lost during Captain George Vancouver’s legendary exploration of Puget Sound in the early 1790s. The plan is to raise the 1,000-pound relic from shallow water in Admiralty Inlet on Monday, a date team members say holds special significance. Justin Burnett reports. (South Whidbey Record)
Beach program makes summer debut Saturday
Beachgoers will have the chance to explore five Olympia-area beaches at low tide this summer, as the South Sound Estuary Association opens its annual beach naturalist program Saturday. Now in its fifth year, the program attracts about 2,300 people a summer... While the programs are free, participants should note that a Discover Pass ($10 daily, $30 annually) is needed for parking at the state park. Jeffrey Mayor reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)
Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT MON JUN 9 2014
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 7 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF LIGHT
RAIN AND DRIZZLE THIS MORNING...THEN A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 7 SECONDS.
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