Thursday, December 11, 2014

12/11 Oil train rules, Growlers hushed, Kinder Morgan slammed, warming waters, Ed Ricketts, sage grouse

Pond Transformations (PHOTO: Laurie MacBride)
Finding Fascination in Confusion
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "This photo of our partly frozen pond is never going to win any awards. It’s visually chaotic, with lines running every which way, a jumble of geometric shapes, and no clear focal point. Not to mention, my shivering hands were probably shaking when I pressed the shutter. Nevertheless, I can’t resist looking at it. I zoom in on the details, drawn one moment by the network of slow, meandering ridges of slush, and the next by the straight, decisive tracks made by the floating sticks and twigs…."

Federal budget bill sets January deadline on safety rules for oil tanker cars
Hidden away in Congress’ big spending bill, designed to fund the federal government through FY 2015, are stern marching orders to the U.S. Department of Transportation: Deliver a final rule for new, safer oil tank car design standards by Jan. 15, 2015, and require that all rail carriers put in place comprehensive oil spill response plans. The budget provisions, inserted by Sens. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, are prompted by an oil train disaster in Quebec, and the rapid increase in trains carrying volatile Bakken crude oil from North Dakota to four refineries on northern Puget Sound. Joel Connelly reports. (SeattlePI.Com)

'Hush house' for Growlers backed by Larsen, Murray
The amount of noise emanating from Whidbey Island's fleet of navy jets may be muffled to a significant degree if navy officials heed a request of two senior members of the Washington state's congressional delegation. Sen. Patty Murray and Congressman Rick Larsen last week asked the Navy to consider a funding recommendation earmarked for construction of a so-called "hush house" hangar at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, ground-zero in a rising controversy over the impact of noise created by air and ground testing of the naval station's fleet of EA-18G Growlers. (San Juan Journal)

U.S. report slams Kinder Morgan’s enviro transgressions, including on Burnaby Mountain
The Seattle-based think-tank Sightline Institute released a report Tuesday highlighting Kinder Morgan’s enviro-transgressions across the energy giant's continent-wide network of pipelines and export terminals. The company's recent troubles on Burnaby Mountain in Canada were cited as a major reason for updating the second edition of this report.  More than 100 people were arrested last month -- including scientists, environmentalists, First Nations and other people young and old -- for disobeying a court order designed to protect the company's drillers on the mountain. Mychaylo Prystupa reports. (Vancouver Observer)

Study: Warming West Coast will send fish north
Warming seas will likely send West Coast fish species northward by about 20 miles a decade, and some species probably will disappear from southern ranges off California and Oregon, a new study says. The study, in the January issue of Progress in Oceanography, projects how 28 West Coast species ranging from sharks to salmon will react as greenhouse gases warm the surface of the Pacific Ocean. Warm-water species such as thresher sharks and chub mackerel will become more prominent off British Columbia and in the Gulf of Alaska, the study predicted.  (Associated Press)

Pacific Grove filmmakers champion Ed Ricketts’ contribution to science
The history of Ed Ricketts the scientist can be summed up by three books laid out on a stack of large, note-covered newsprint paper in the office of two Pacific Grove filmmakers. All three are different editions of Ricketts’ seminal 1939 book “Between Pacific Tides,” in which he documented in comprehensive detail the creatures found in tidepools and rocky shores along the coast from Sitka, Alaska, to northern Mexico…. In their half-hour documentary “The Great Tidepool: The Story of Ed Ricketts’ Scientific System,” the Alberts demonstrate Ricketts’ holistic approach to research. At a time when scientific texts described marine animals divorced from their surroundings, Ricketts documented how the animals related to their habitats and each other. That approach helped set the stage for the practice of marine ecology. Jeannie Evers reports. (Monterey Herald)

Flap over sage grouse spurs Congress to intervene
Congress is poised to make an end-run around the Endangered Species Act with a legislative rider on a massive spending bill that would delay protections for several struggling bird populations in the Western U.S. The rider blocks the Interior Department from spending money on rules to protect greater sage grouse and three related birds. The chicken-sized sage grouse has been on a collision course with oil and gas companies, agriculture and other industries in recent years. The Obama administration was up against a September 2015 deadline to either turn around the bird's fading fortunes, or propose protections that could mean severe restrictions on industry. Matthew Brown reports. (Associated Press)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 305 AM PST THU DEC 11 2014
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM PST THIS MORNING THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
 STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM THIS EVENING THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING
TODAY
E WIND 10 TO 20 KT...RISING TO 20 TO 30 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT...BUILDING TO 3 TO 5 FT IN THE
 AFTERNOON. W SWELL 12 FT AT 14 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT
E WIND 30 TO 40 KT WITH POSSIBLE GUSTS TO 50 KT...BECOMING SW 15 TO 25 KT LATE. SEAS 12 TO 15 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 14
 SECONDS... SUBSIDING TO 9 TO 11 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 15 SECONDS AFTER MIDNIGHT. RAIN IN THE EVENING...THEN SHOWERS AFTER MIDNIGHT.
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"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato@salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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