Wednesday, July 29, 2015

7/29 BC boats, Inslee acts, warm waters, fish collapse, oil push, Edelman, human measure, Vic sewer, Tesoro, drought

Salish-class ferries (BC Ferries/Times Colonist)
B.C. Ferries announces names of new Salish-class ships
The mid-size ferries joining the B.C. Ferries fleet starting in 2016 will form the new Salish class of vessels. B.C. Ferries announced Tuesday that the Salish class name applies to all three vessels being built at a Polish shipyard for a total cost of $165 million. The three 351-foot vessels will be called Salish Orca, Salish Eagle and Salish Raven. Carla Wilson reports. (Times Colonist)

Inslee: I’ll use my authority to impose cap on emissions
Frustrated by legislative inaction on climate, Gov. Jay Inslee plans to wield his administration’s executive authority to impose a binding cap on carbon emissions in Washington state. Inslee on Tuesday directed the state Department of Ecology to step up enforcement of state pollution laws and develop the emissions cap — aimed at enforcing greenhouse-gas-reduction targets that have been in state law since 2008. Jim Brunner and Hal Bernton report. (Seattle Times)

Puget Sound waters reach record warm temperatures
Puget Sound has reached the highest temperatures on record based on 25 years of data, the state Department of Ecology announced Tuesday. Scientists are seeing unusual conditions in the sound as a result of the statewide drought and the pool of unusually warm water in the northern Pacific Ocean some are calling “the blob.” Warming waters are increasing harmful algae blooms and shellfish closures, lowering the oxygen content of the water and creating unfavorable conditions for salmon and other marine species. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Sockeye face 'catastrophic' collapse in South Okanagan
A potentially catastrophic collapse of the sockeye salmon run is unfolding on the Columbia River system this year. Scientists once predicted that about 100,000 sockeye would return to spawning grounds in the rivers and streams in British Columbia's South Okanagan region. In fact, it was supposed to be one of the largest sockeye runs in recent history, said Okanagan Nation Alliance fish biologist Richard Bussanich. But Bussanich said the latest projection falls short of earlier expectations. Instead, it's now thought that only 18,000 sockeye will return this year. He said higher water temperatures and low water levels are stressing the migrating salmon. (CBC)

Big oil push for crude exports could bring more oil trains through Washington state
Right now, U.S. companies are not allowed to export crude oil. But if some very powerful oil companies get what they want, that could be about to change. If that happens, Washington state could become a major portal for crude exports. Last week, top executives of four leading U.S. oil companies sent a joint letter to the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, pressing for repeal of the 30-year ban on crude oil exports. Steve Wilhelm reports. (Puget Sound Business Journal)

GPT: Departure of PR firm Edelman ‘won’t impact anything’
News broke late last week in environmentalist social media circles that Edelman, reportedly the world’s largest public relations firm, had dropped Gateway Pacific Terminal as a client. Gateway Pacific Terminal is the coal port proposed on a 1,500-acre site at Cherry Point. At full capacity, it would ship 48 million metric tons of coal annually to overseas markets, primarily in Asia. The story appeared initially in Environment and Energy Publishing, an independent news site that is all but inaccessible to the hoi polloi due to subscription rates that range from $2,000 to $150,000 a year. But some advocacy groups are subscribers, and the news did filter down to Bellingham environmentalists. Ralph Schwartz reports. (Bellingham Herald)

State Agency Adding Human Well-Being To Puget Sound Health Indicators
Humans should be part of any consideration of how well Puget Sound’s ecological recovery is going. How we’re thriving and benefiting are critical parts of the equation, according to new research conducted for the state agency in charge of the cleanup. The agency, called Puget Sound Partnership, is adding indicators of human well-being and quality of life to the “vital signs” it tracks. They’ll be included on the colorful pinwheel “dashboard” that anyone can see online. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KPLU)

Westside sewage committee asks for extension to look at sites
The westside sewage committee wants more time to evaluate site options — and it’s banking on a centralized treatment option in the eastside to keep funding out of jeopardy. The westside committee voted Tuesday to submit a full technical analysis of short-listed sites by the end of October, instead of September, as outlined in its PPP Canada $83-million funding agreement. The core area liquid waste management committee will consider the plan today. Co-chairwoman of the westside Barb Desjardins said the extra time is about getting the right technical information, not delaying the process. Amy Smart reports. (Times Colonist)

Tesoro to enter chemical business with new project
n a few years, your polyester jacket could be made, in part, by a chemical extracted from crude oil at the Tesoro Refinery. It’s called xylene and can be found in just about any hardware store. The liquid solvent is already being extracted by other refineries and sold overseas to be made into polyester for plastics and clothing, but the Anacortes refinery will be the first in the Tesoro family to expand its repertoire, entering into the chemical business. Shelby Rowe reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Snoqualmie Valley farmers fight drought with innovation
…. Twenty minutes east of Seattle, (the Snoqualmie Valley) is home to multiple small and organic farmers who feed much of Puget Sound’s insatiable appetite for chemical free fruits, vegetables, eggs and poultry. Like every farm in every county across the state, Local Roots is struggling to access enough water this year. Farm owners Siri Erickson-Brown and Jason Salvo, a 30-something couple with advanced degrees, have farmed in this valley for nine years. They’ve seen 100-year floods wash out fields in consecutive years, and record cold on one Fourth of July. But they’ve never seen a year like this – record heat combined with soil so dry they’ve had to exhaust virtually every water resource available. Martha Baskin reports. (Crosscut)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 255 AM PDT WED JUL 29 2015
TODAY
W WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING NW TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 9 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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