|(PHOTO: Skagit Valley Herald)|
The Skagit County Hearing Examiner will review permits and appeals of Shell Puget Sound Refinery’s oil-by-rail proposal Wednesday and Thursday. Shell’s project proposal has been at least two years in the making, following the lead of Tesoro — the first refinery in the region to accept North Dakota’s Bakken crude oil by train — as well as BP and Phillips 66 refineries in Whatcom County in developing oil-by-rail infrastructure. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)
State, local officials not notified of oil spill
State and federal officials are investigating an oil spill from a railroad tank car at Washington’s largest refinery last November, after a key agency was kept in the dark for nearly a month — and emergency spill responders were not notified at all. The delayed notification of the spill highlights gaps in communication and enforcement as more crude oil shipments travel by rail. According to reports reviewed by McClatchy, when the tank car arrived Nov. 5 at the BP Cherry Point refinery, Federal Railroad Administration inspectors discovered oil stains on its sides and wheels. A closer inspection revealed an open valve and a missing plug. The car was also 1,611 gallons short. Curtis Tate reports. (McClatchy)
5 things about Obama's move to protect refuge from drilling
President Barack Obama waded into a decades-long fight over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge over the weekend, announcing that his administration would pursue a wilderness designation for 12.28 million acres, barring drilling in most of the South Carolina-sized refuge. Dina Cappiello reports. (Associated Press)
Goldman Sachs: Coal hits ‘retirement age;’ IEA disagrees
…. When Goldman Sachs talks, people listen. Goldman said in a “research note,” the specifics of which were shared today — Monday, Jan. 26 — by Thomson Reuters, that coal was hitting “retirement age.” This from Reuters’ newsletter “Inside Dry Freight,” dated today:… “The use of coal for power generation is nearing its peak as the world turns to cleaner burning fuels and demand in top consumer China slows, analysts at Goldman Sachs said in a research note. Coal prices have fallen over the last four years and 2015 may make it five, with many now asking whether the fuel is in a cyclical slump or permanent decline....” Ralph Schwarz reports. (Bellingham Herald)
Vancouver Aquarium staff rescue sea lion from ocean debris
A Steller sea lion in danger of death after it became entangled in ocean debris was rescued by a team from the Vancouver Aquarium on Monday, but two others are still in trouble. The rescue team spotted the three animals in Fanny Bay a few weeks ago amid a group of sea lions. The one rescued Monday was freed from a packing strap. Olivia Zauli Fellows reports. (Globe and Mail)
Mount Polley rating won’t be released
An industry rating for Imperial Metals’ management of the water and potentially toxic finely-ground rock from its Mount Polley mine will not be released. The Mining Association of Canada made the decision as a result of the collapse of the earth-and-rock dam that had held back millions of cubic metres of water and fine-rock tailings at Mount Polley. (Vancouver Sun)
Jan. 26, 1700: How Scientists Know When The Last Big Earthquake Happened Here
At approximately 9 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, Jan. 26, 1700, a magnitude 8 or 9 earthquake occurred on the Cascadia Subduction Zone, a 600-mile stretch between Vancouver Island, British Columbia and Cape Mendocino, California. What evidence points to an earthquake 1700? Tullan Spitz reports. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)
Sultan High students operate their own hatchery on campus
Biology students at Sultan High School are raising salmon in a hatchery on campus and expect to release them into the wild later this year. The school's hatchery apparently is unique in the state. Students also visit nearby spawning streams to learn about the life cycle of salmon. Amy Nile reports. (Everett Herald)
Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST TUE JAN 27 2015
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 12 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN.
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 12 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
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