Friday, June 26, 2015

6/26 BC pipe, oil export rules, train rules,BC oil, fish stress, algae blooms, beaver fight, flood study

Goldfinch (Laurie MacBride)
Enjoying the Weedy Buffet
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "I owe some thanks to a goldfinch for saving me some work the other day. I was taking a brief rest in the garden, planning to return to my weeding in a few moments. But then this natty little fellow came hopping along and caused me to change my plan. One item that had been on my to-do list was to clear away the many straggly patches of forget-me-not that were going to seed throughout our flower and veggie beds. But the goldfinch obviously viewed my messy weeds as a tasty opportunity, tucking into the seeds with gusto…."

Environment lawyers challenge B.C.'s Kinder Morgan pipeline conditions
British Columbia’s five conditions for approval of the proposed $5.4 billion Kinder Morgan pipeline won’t be addressed if the province isn’t involved in the process, says a lawyer representing an environmental group. Ecojustice lawyer Karen Campbell said Thursday that the conditions set out by Premier Christy Clark are invisible during the ongoing National Energy Board process that is considering environmental approval of the pipeline. Ecojustice, on behalf of Living Oceans Society, filed a motion with the NEB requesting B.C. answer questions relating to the five conditions and the Kinder Morgan project. The province elected earlier not to file any evidence with the NEB. Dirk Meissner reports. (Canadian Press)

Sightline Sues Obama Administration over Crude Oil Exports and Illegal Secrecy
If the oil industry gets its way, the US will soon begin exporting tankers full of American crude to overseas markets. Although such shipments are for the most part illegal today, the Obama Administration is quietly changing the rules to favor oil exporters. To shed some light on the government’s behavior, the environmental law firm Earthjustice filed a formal Freedom of Information Act request in February on Sightline’s behalf, but it was greeted only by stony silence. So today, Sightline Institute, represented again by Earthjustice, is suing the federal government. We are asking the Courts to force the Obama Administration to do what it was legally required to by March 11: release information about its secretive deals with oil exporters to the public. Eric de Place writes. (Sightline)

Railroads use new oil shipment rule to fight transparency
Railroads may have found a new weapon in their fight to keep information about oil train shipments from the public: a federal rule that was supposed to increase transparency. The U.S. Department of Transportation insists that its May 1 final rule on oil trains, which mostly addresses an outdated tank car design, does not support the railroads’ position, nor was it intended to leave anyone in the dark. But in recent court filings in Maryland, two major oil haulers have cited the department’s new rule to justify their argument that no one except emergency responders should know what routes the trains use or how many travel through each state during a given week. Curtis Tate reports. (McClatchy)

Petroleum producers court B.C. with new sales pitch
In an era of collapsed oil prices and suspended projects in Alberta’s oilsands, the industry’s key lobby group argues new pipelines to the West Coast are needed more than ever. And in a renewed sales pitch to British Columbians, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers promises it will talk less and listen more, starting with opening an office in Vancouver, said the organization’s CEO Tim McMillan. Derrick Penner reports. (Vancouver Sun)

If you dare to watch: Face of bizarre sea creature Hallucigenia revealed
Scientists finally have a complete picture of what one of nature's most bizarre animals looked like. The tiny sea creature - Hallucigenia - lived 500 million years ago, but all fossils appeared to be without heads. New specimens unearthed in Canada have revealed the missing part, revealing its strange face for the first time. Rebecca Morelle reports. (BBC)

Ban anglers from drought-stressed streams, groups urge
The provincial government is failing to protect B.C.’s prized game fish in the face of a drought crisis that threatens the survival of the very trout, steelhead and salmon upon which a billion-dollar freshwater fishing sector depends. First Nations, professional guides, angling associations and naturalists are all pleading with an apparently deaf province to close drought-stricken Vancouver Island streams to sport fishing until they can be replenished by winter rains. Stephen Hume reports. (Vancouver Sun)

UW researcher helping pinpoint massive harmful algal bloom
The bloom that began earlier this year and shut down several shellfish fisheries along the West Coast has grown into the largest and most severe in at least a decade. UW research analyst Anthony Odell left June 15 from Newport, Oregon, aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s research vessel Bell M. Shimada. He is part of a NOAA-led team of harmful algae experts who are surveying the extent of the patch and searching for “hot spots” — swirling eddies where previous research from the UW and NOAA shows the algae can grow and become toxic to marine animals and humans. Hannah Kickey and Michelle Ma reports. (UW Today) See also: Dungeness Crabbers Hit Hard By Algae Bloom On Washington Coast  Ashley Ahearn reports. (KUOW)

Researchers study plumes of algae in Sequim, Discovery bays; biotoxins stand below hazard levels
An algae strain capable of producing a potentially deadly biotoxin rarely found on the North Olympic Peninsula has been found in large quantities in both Sequim and Discovery bays. The marine algae has produced biotoxins in Sequim Bay, but not to the level that represents a public health risk, researchers said. Chris McDaniel reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Mom fights Shoreline School District about beaver and wins
The maintenance crew at Brookside Elementary in Lake Forest Park had a wildlife-removal firm set up traps to catch and kill a beaver at a creek by the school. Then they heard from moms and kids. The traps are gone. Erik Lacitis reports. (Seattle Times)

Skagit County officially puts end to Skagit River flood study
Skagit County will not invest any more money into the Skagit River General Investigation study. Skagit County officials say taxpayer money will be better spent on small-scale flood risk management projects, rather than on a study that has been 18 years and $14.4 million in the making and remains in the second of five phases. The county has paid half that cost, with the money coming from county, dike district, city and state Department of Ecology sources. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
 WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 900 PM PDT THU JUN 25 2015
FRI
NW WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
FRI NIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...EASING TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 FT OR LESS AFTER MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
SAT
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
SAT NIGHT
W WIND TO 10 KT IN THE EVENING...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
SUN
SE WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING W IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 8 SECONDS.

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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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