Thursday, January 15, 2015

1/15 Oil safety, Shell drill, geoduck farm, dumping, BC resource reviews, state ESA, energy prize

Forecast: Rain in Puget Sound, snow in the Cascades
Forecasters say a storm blowing into Washington Thursday night and Friday will bring rain to western Washington and snow to the mountains. It also will bring snow or freezing rain to parts of eastern Washington that will persist through the weekend. The National Weather Service forecasts about an inch of rain by Friday in western Washington. Six to 11 inches of snow are forecast above 4,500 feet in the Cascades, which will affect the higher ski resorts and roads to Mount Baker and Paradise ranger station on Mount Rainier. Lisa Cowan reports. (Associated Press) See also: Let it snow, let it snow  Statewide, snowpack is at about 50 percent of historical average levels for this time of year thanks to a warm and rainy start to winter.Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Ericksen, Ranker introduce dueling oil transportation safety bills
Two legislators who represent parts of Whatcom County have introduced dueling oil transportation safety bills in the Senate. Wasting no time, Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, introduced his bill the first day of the session. As chair of the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee, he will host a public hearing on the bill tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 15 at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 14, Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, along with Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Kitsap County, introduced oil legislation requested by Gov. Jay Inslee. That bill has also been referred to Ericksen’s committee. Samantha Wohlfeil reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Shell Arctic Drilling Fleet OK'd To Use 'Green' West Seattle Port
The Seattle Port Commission decided on Tuesday to let Shell Oil's Arctic drilling fleet use West Seattle as its home port. Shell's drill rigs and barges would overwinter at the Port of Seattle's Terminal 5 in West Seattle while the terminal is being renovated. At a commission meeting on Tuesday, environmentalists asked the five-member port commission to block the proposal. John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

Possible shellfish farm in Dungeness Bay interest intensifies
The second floor of the Dungeness Schoolhouse was standing room only Saturday where community members gathered to learn about a possible 30-acre geoduck farm in Dungeness Bay. The well-attended meeting was coordinated by citizen representative for the Coalition to Protect Puget Sound, Laura Hendricks, and reviewed the potential adverse implications associated with shellfish aquaculture and specifically Taylor Shellfish Farms’ proposed geoduck farm in Dungeness Bay…. At their project location offshore from the mouth of the Dungeness River and neighboring the eastern border of U.S.` Fish and Wildlife Service Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, Taylor Shellfish officials plan to stagger planting geoducks within 0.5- to 5-acre parcels in any given year. Alana Linderoth reports. (Sequim Gazette)

Illegal-dumping charges filed against owner of tank-removal company
The state Attorney General’s Office has filed charges against the owner of a Seattle tank removal and repair company for allegedly dumping at least 20,000 gallons of wastewater into the public sewer system. Thomas Wise, the owner of Tank Wise, a company located in South Seattle, was charged in King County Superior Court with first-degree defrauding a public utility, unlawful dumping of solid waste without a permit and making a false or misleading statement to a public servant, according to the state Attorney General’s Office. Wise is accused of using a pipe to discharge oil and oil sludge into a sanitary sewer near the Duwamish River for up to eight years. Paige Cornwell reports. (Seattle Times)

B.C. government reviews environmental oversight of resource development
The B.C. Liberal government has launched an internal review of how its laws and oversight of resource development affects wildlife habitat. The review, headed by Prince George North MLA Mike Morris, is a response, in part, to concerns raised by a trio of wildlife user groups late last year. The 43,000-member B.C. Wildlife Federation, B.C. Trappers Association and the Guide Outfitters Association of B.C. called on the provincial government to retake control of resource extraction practices, planning and oversight. The groups said the government’s move in the past decade to rely on professionals hired by industry to make decisions on the land base, with little government oversight, has failed. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Comments being accepted through Jan. 23 on status of tufted puffins, Steller sea lions
State wildlife managers are seeking public comment on the protective status for tufted puffins and Steller sea lions. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has recommended listing tufted puffins on the state's endangered species list and removing Steller sea lions from the state's threatened species list. The public can submit written comments through Jan. 23. (Peninsula Daily News)

County reaches semifinals of $5M energy prize competition
San Juan County on Wednesday advanced to the semifinal round of the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a national competition challenging communities across the U.S. to rethink their energy use. At a Jan. 14 press event in Washington, D.C. today, San Juan County was recognized as one of the 50 communities leading the way in energy efficiency. (San Juan Journal) [Also in contention, locally: Anacortes, Bellingham, Bellevue, and Walla Walla.]

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 252 AM PST THU JAN 15 2015
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
TODAY
SE WIND 10 TO 15 KT...RISING TO 25 TO 35 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. SEAS 7 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 13 SECONDS...
 BUILDING TO 8 TO 10 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 13 SECONDS IN THE AFTERNOON. A CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE MORNING...THEN RAIN IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
S WIND 25 TO 35 KT...BECOMING W 15 TO 25 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. SEAS 7 TO 9 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 13 SECONDS...
 BUILDING TO 10 TO 12 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 12 SECONDS AFTER MIDNIGHT. RAIN IN THE EVENING...THEN RAIN LIKELY 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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