Thursday, August 14, 2014

8/14 Stormy weather, stream buffers, stormwater, Vic sewer, Bainbridge sewer, fault lines, Polley mine, 'street view'

Factoria Blvd., Bellevue WA (KOMO)
Heavy August rains wreak havoc across Puget Sound region
Heavy rainfall swamped much of the Puget Sound region overnight, flooding many streets and homes and triggering crashes during the early morning commute. In the 24-hour period ending at 5 a.m. Wednesday, Sea-Tac Airport received a whopping 1.33 inches of rain - most of it falling in a six-hour period from 11 p.m. Tuesday to 5 a.m. Wednesday. The 0.86" that had fallen officially on Wednesday was already more than double the record amount for Aug. 13 (0.33"). (KOMO) See also: Severe thunderstorm alert issued for Fraser Canyon, southern B.C.  Kim Pemberton reports. (Vancouver Sun)

New blog: Beating The Oil and Tanker Combine By Eating Chocolate (Ship) Brownies
Good folks at the San Juan County Fair Safe Shipping booth are selling brownies in four flavors, including Bakken Shale Brownies with Caramel Crude.  Funds raised this week and weekend go to spreading the message of Safe Shipping in the Salish Sea….

County adds conditions for Shell rail project permits
Skagit County planners announced Wednesday that they will require Shell Puget Sound Refinery to meet some conditions to bolster public and environmental safety as part of its quest to move forward on a proposed rail offloading facility. Planners modified an earlier mitigated determination of non-significance under the State Environmental Policy Act, according to a news release. The changes come after the county reviewed public input and obtained additional information from the refinery in Anacortes. But Skagit County Planning and Development Services said it still will not require a full environmental review. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

News release: Obama Administration Finalizes Stronger Steam Buffers to Protect Imperiled Salmon from Pesticides  
The Environmental Protection Agency today finalized an agreement to restore no-spray buffer zones around waterways to protect imperiled salmon and steelhead from five toxic pesticides. A coalition of conservation organizations, advocates for alternatives to pesticides, and fishing groups cheered the victory. These groups brought a lawsuit to demand reasonable fish protections from the insecticides, some of which are derived from nerve toxins developed during World War II…. The buffers apply to salmon habitat throughout California, Oregon, and Washington to prohibit aerial spraying of broad-spectrum pesticides diazinon, chlorpyrifos, malathion, carbaryl, and methomyl within 300 feet of salmon habitat and prohibit ground-based applications within 60 feet. The agreement provides detailed notice to state regulators, pesticide applicators, farmers, and the public about the required no-spray buffer zones. These buffers will remain in place until the National Marine Fisheries Service completes analyses of the impacts of these five pesticides on the fish. Then, the EPA must implement permanent protections grounded in the Fisheries Service’s findings. (Indymedia)

Bellingham, Sumas businesses fined for failing to file pollution reports
The state fined two Whatcom County businesses $3,000 each for failing to file routine reports on possible pollution in the stormwater that runs off their sites. EPL Feed in Sumas and Hunnicutt's Inc. of Bellingham failed to provide stormwater reports for at least three straight quarters as required by a state permit, according to the Department of Ecology. Ralph Schwartz reports. (Bellingham Herald) See also: News release: 14 firms fined for failing to submit stormwater reports

CRD trashes sewage flyer campaign targeting Esquimalt residents
The Capital Regional District has abandoned a controversial plan to send a flyer directly to Esquimalt residents offering them $19 million in exchange for putting a sewage treatment plant at McLoughlin Point. The strategy has been denounced by critics as a “bribe” and an attempt to undercut Esquimalt council’s decision to reject the proposed plant. CRD directors approved the mail-out last month, but backed down Wednesday after several municipalities indicated they were unlikely to support it. Lindsay Kines reports. (Times Colonist)

Sewage woes crimp Bainbridge businesses
Winslow’s routine fouling of its most vaunted waterway is hurting business and tarnishing Bainbridge Island’s reputation for outdoor recreation. The town’s ailing sewer system has dumped untreated human waste into Eagle Harbor nine times over the past decade. Four of the sewage spills occurred this year. The latest, which spewed 67,000 gallons of effluent Sunday, closed the harbor to swimming, shut down two popular park beaches, forced the cancellation of several kayaking and sailing camps and cut deeply into the bottom lines of boat rental shops that depend on summer business to get them through the year. Tristan Barrick reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Geologist details fault lines' possible impacts on North Olympic Peninsula
The Cascadia Subduction Zone's huge fault isn't the only mover and shaker residents need to worry about, according to geologist Dann May. The North Olympic Peninsula is riddled with earthquake faults, he said. May, who spends summers in Port Angeles, told about 30 people at the Port Angeles Business Association on Tuesday morning that he began studying the Peninsula's geology after he purchased property in Port Angeles, where he eventually hopes to live, and wanted to know more about its stability. Arwyn Rice reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

First Nation set to evict mining company at centre of B.C. tailings pond breach
A British Columbia First Nation plans to issue an eviction notice to Imperial Metals Corp., the company behind a massive tailings pond breach at a gold and copper mine last week – over a separate project in the band’s territory. The declaration from the Neskonlith Indian Band is the latest sign that last week’s tailings spill at the Mount Polley Mine in central B.C. could ripple across the company’s other projects and possibly the province’s entire mining industry. James Keller reports. (Globe and Mail)

'Street View' Goes Undersea to Map Reefs, Wonders
It's easy to go online and get a 360-degree, ground-level view of almost any street in the United States and throughout the world. Soon, scientists hope people will be able to do the same with coral reefs and other underwater wonders. U.S. government scientists are learning to use specialized fisheye lenses underwater in the Florida Keys this week in hopes of applying "street view" mapping to research and management plans in marine sanctuaries nationwide. Some of the rotating and panoramic images will be available online this week, including a selection on Google Maps, giving the public a window into ecosystems still difficult and costly to explore for long stretches of time. It will be like scuba diving from your computer. Jennifer Kay reports. (Associated Press)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 254 AM PDT THU AUG 14 2014
TODAY
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING W 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 TO 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS. AREAS OF FOG WITH
 VISIBILITIES OF 1 NM OR LESS THIS MORNING. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 9 SECONDS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
--
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