Washington’s pollution standards would be made much tougher — making water clean enough that people can safely eat a daily serving of fish — under a plan laid out by Gov. Jay Inslee. The governor announced Wednesday that he wants Washington to use the same fish-consumption standards that guide water pollution rules in Oregon.... In the new plan the governor called on the State Department of Ecology to limit zinc, PCBs, pthalates, plasticizers and other chemicals commonly found in household goods, building materials and runoff from paved surfaces. Inslee said expanding the use of permeable pavement and rain gardens, while boosting research on eco-friendly roofing and green chemistry, will help stymy pollutants before they get into waterways. Tribal members and environmental groups said the new plan was a step in the right direction, but they cautioned that the new plan allows for a slight increase in cancer risk for fish consumers. Ashley Ahearn reports. (EarthFix)
State fines SJ Island westside property owner $79K for waterfront clearcut
The cost of the waterfront clearcut at the former Mar Vista Resort just got quite a bit steeper. The state Department of Ecology announced July 9 that it has leveled $79,000 in fines against owners of the westside waterfront property, Orca Dreams, an incorporated entity formed by Dave Honeywell, for violating state water-quality rules and for cutting down about 80 trees without proper permits. San Juan County authorities previously fined Honeywell and the contractor that clearcut a 1.25-acre area of the shoreline a total of $3,000 for violating local land-use rules. (San Juan Journal)
Project manager: New state, Navy conservation easement for areas of Hood Canal won't halt pit-to-pier
A conservation easement between the state Department of Natural Resources and the Navy that prohibits industrial development along areas of Hood Canal won't stop a gravel-moving facility nicknamed the “pit-to-pier,” the project manager said. The agreement signed earlier this week suggests that the proposed construction of the project would not be allowed. Charlie Bermant reports. (Peninsula Daily News)
Salmon can adapt to warmer environment, study says
With climate change heating up British Columbia’s rivers, there are growing concerns about the vulnerability of cold-water species such as salmon. But a new study shows salmon may have the ability to adapt to a warming world because Chinook that lay larger eggs produce offspring that have greater heat tolerance. Mark Hume reports. (Globe and Mail)
Enviro agency spent $27,000 in tax dollars on anti-dog poop music video
Critics are outraged after learning that a government agency tasked with cleaning up Washington’s Puget Sound spent $27,000 on an anti-dog poop rap video.... The Freedom Foundation, a government watchdog based in Olympia, criticized the Puget Sound Partnership, saying that the hip hop video is just the latest piece of evidence that the group spends tax dollars recklessly. Dustin Hurst reports. (Watchdog.Washington)
Costs laid out for Colwood sewage plant
Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton has put forward a motion calling on the CRD to support those municipalities and First Nations wanting to develop their own approaches to sewage treatment. It will probably cost Colwood $1 million to develop its sewage treatment plant to the shovel-ready stage, says Michael Baxter, the municipality’s director of engineering. The municipality is using a $25-million sewage treatment plant being built in Sechelt as a potential model for the Colwood Resource Recovery Centre. Bill Cleverley reports. (Times Colonist)
Meet 4 young leaders changing Northwest environmentalism
Call them the advance guard in our evolving clean energy revolution. One plays Captain Kilowatt on his home turf in Idaho. Another heads Washington's largest community energy efficiency program. A third skirted a career in nuclear energy to become an energy efficiency advisor at Washington's largest utility. The fourth uses affordable, clean energy to tackle joblessness and environmental and social justice issues. Martha Baskin reports. (Crosscut)
Lake, estuary debate is as hot as the summer sun
As the summer heats up in South Sound, so does the years-long debate over whether or not to keep Capitol Lake or remove the Fifth Avenue Dam to allow the Deschutes River to flow freely. The Thurston Chamber of Commerce, firmly in the pro-lake camp, heard on Wednesday a lake-friendly report from retired Evergreen State College marine sciences professor David Milne, who recently analyzed a voluminous technical report and computer model used by the state Department of Ecology to look at pollution loading in the Deschutes River, Capitol Lake and Budd Inlet. The Ecology team of three professional engineers concluded that the Capitol Lake dam has a negative effect on Budd Inlet water quality, specifically reducing dissolved oxygen levels critical to marine life in lower Budd Inlet. Milne comes to a far different conclusion about the lake and the dam. He said the two working in concert intercept and trap 50 percent to 90 percent of the nitrogen entering the lake from upstream on Deschutes River. John Dodge reports. (Olympian)
Skagit oil train protest continues
They were nurses, teachers, waitresses, artists and students. Two were younger than 10 years old, and others were in their 70s. A year has passed since a fiery explosion claimed the lives of 47 people in Quebec, but their story is far from forgotten. The tragic train derailment sparked a growing awareness of the booming oil-by-rail industry, and with it concern in communities across the nation, including Skagit County. About 80 people convened at Skagit Station on Monday and walked across the BNSF Railway tracks that divide downtown. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)
What's up on the beach? More than you might think
You may be surprised to learn that there are two kinds of marine fish, Pacific sand lance and surf smelt, that use the upper portions of sand and gravel beaches to spawn and incubate their eggs. Smelt and sand lance are part of a small group of species of schooling fish in the area more commonly known as "forage fish" for the important role they play as food for larger fish, seabirds and marine mammals. As of today, forage fish spawning activity has been documented along 10 miles of local beaches, comprising just four percent of the total length of shoreline in San Juan County and 10 percent of non-bedrock shores. (San Juan Journal)
Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 900 PM PDT WED JUL 9 2014
LIGHT WIND BECOMING E TO 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
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