Thursday, July 17, 2014

7/17 Drone pix, oil & coal terminals, oil & coal trains, Moby Doll, Victoria sewage

Eagle 2014 (Dendi Pratama/Chicago Tribune)
If you like to watch: Best drone photos of 2014
The first place winner of a new contest determining the best aerial photos taken by drone went to Dendi Pratama who photographed an eagle soaring over Bali Barat National Park in Indonesia. The contest was sponsored by Dronestagram and National Geographic. (Chicago Tribune)

Vancouver site zoned OK for oil terminal
A state panel reviewing a plan to build the Northwest's largest crude-by-rail terminal says the proposed site is properly zoned for the purpose. The state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council said Tuesday that zoning at the Port of Vancouver site allows for an oil terminal. (Associated Press)

Whatcom environmentalists balk at redesign of coal terminal
Proponents of a coal terminal that would be built at Cherry Point have revised the layout "to ensure greater environmental safeguards," including the destruction of fewer wetlands, according to an announcement they released on Tuesday, July 15. Environmental groups that oppose the Gateway Pacific Terminal remained unimpressed. The new layout is 14 percent smaller and would require removal of only half of the wetlands that would have been disturbed in the original plan, according to a report by project proponent SSA Marine, submitted in April to Whatcom County, the state Department of Ecology and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Ralph Schwartz reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Report Shows Coal, Oil Trains Would Quadruple Rail Traffic, Alarming Lawmakers
Lawmakers are expressing concerns over an updated report outlining the combined impacts of coal and oil trains that would roll through the Northwest if plans for export terminals move forward. Elected officials in the Leadership Alliance Against Coal, a group that formed under the leadership of former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, met in Seattle Tuesday to hear from the author of the report. Proposals for two export terminals are still on the table in Washington: one in Cherry Point, near Bellingham, and one in Longview. A third is planned for the Port of Morrow near Boardman, Oregon.  Shipments of domestic oil products are already slowing rail traffic. They’ve more than doubled over the past four years. And if all plans for export terminals go forward, added volumes from coal and oil trains would be more than triple the current shipments for agriculture, according to the report commissioned by the Western Organization of Resource Councils, a network of grassroots community groups. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KPLU)

4 ways Moby Doll changed how we think about orcas
July 16, 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the capture of Moby Doll, the first orca ever caught in B.C. for display. In 1964, the Vancouver Aquarium had wanted to kill what was viewed as a vicious predator to study its brain and use its body as a model for a large sculpture. But after their harpoon hit the animal and it didn't die, the crew had a change of heart and brought Moby Doll to shore. The orca lived in a pen at Jericho Beach for three months before he died. Charlie Cho reports. (CBC)

In face of delays, Greater Victoria groups push for sewage cleanup
Local politicians arguing over how to best treat Greater Victoria’s sewage shouldn’t lose sight of the environmental damage being caused by current practices, says a lawyer for several environmental groups. Ecojustice lawyer Margot Venton recently wrote to Esquimalt council warning that its plan to rezone McLoughlin Point to prevent sewage treatment could mean local municipalities would have to bear the costs of additional environmental cleanup around sewage outfalls.... About 129 million litres of raw, screened sewage is pumped daily through long outfalls at Macaulay and Clover Points. A 2005 assessment of the seabeds around the outfalls found they legally qualify as contaminated sites under provincial law, Venton said in a letter to Esquimalt council on behalf of the Georgia Strait Alliance, the T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation and the David Suzuki Foundation. Bill Cleverley reports. (Times Colonist)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT THU JUL 17 2014
TODAY
SW WIND 10 KT...BECOMING W 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING SW TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 FT OR LESS AFTER
 MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 8 SECONDS.

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