Wednesday, September 30, 2015

9/30 Pesticides, Erich Hoyt, fish waste, eco-bylaw, Chesapeake Bay, more vessels, BC LNG, citizen science

Little owl (Athene noctua)
Reader’s note: ‘A gathering of species of the Strigiformes order is commonly referred to as a "parliament of owls."’ (Tony Angell)

EPA Toughens Pesticide Rules To Protect Farmworkers
Stronger rules for pesticides sprayed on farms and in forests, greenhouses and nurseries can cut health risks for workers, the federal government said in rolling out new safety standards this week…. The Environmental Protection Agency announced the new rules on Monday. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says the change are long overdue…. One major change is the setting of a federal age requirement for the first time. Workers who handle pesticides will need to be at least 18. Other states already have implemented a similar rule – in Washington, the minimum age is 18. EPA also will now require that workers get training on pesticide risks - every year. Currently workers have to be trained only every five years. Other changes include whistleblower protections, better notification around work sites and stricter enforcement of rules. The EPA expects to phase in the changes next year. Liz Jones reports. (KUOW)

Erich Hoyt returns to Puget Sound; whale sign goes up near Hansville
Chris Dunagan writes: "Erich Hoyt, who has spent most of his life studying whales, returns to Puget Sound in October for talks in Olympia, Tacoma and Seattle. I enjoyed interviewing Erich last year before he visited this region. (See Water Ways, May 3, 2014.) We talked about the ongoing capture of killer whales in Russia, where government officials refuse to learn a lesson from the Northwest about breaking up killer whale families and disrupting their social order. (Watching Our Water Ways)

What Americans do with fish is shocking
…. Of all the food that Americans waste — and Americans waste a lot of food — it's the seafood that never gets eaten that should trouble us most. Few sources of nutrition, after all, are as coveted as fish. They're high in protein, and low in fat. Eating them is associated with all sorts of beneficial health outcomes. And yet, few foods are discarded so frequently. Between 2009 and 2013, as much as 47 percent of all edible seafood in the United States went to waste, according to a new study from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF). Roberto A. Ferdman reports. (Washington Post)

Saanich mayor outvoted on ditching eco-bylaw
Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell has tried unsuccessfully to scrap the district’s controversial environmental bylaw with councillors solidly outvoting him. After a nearly four-hour torrent of negative comments about the Environmental Development Permit Area, Atwell said that “what I’m hearing tonight is that the burden is unbearable and overwhelming.”…. Coun. Vic Derman said scrapping the bylaw at this stage would be “beyond the pale” and Coun. Judy Brownoff said “chaos” would be the result. They said ditching the bylaw would fly in the face of an open house on the issue Saturday and a public meeting in October. “It’s a matter of a few months before we come back with our results, which is fair to everyone,” Brownoff said. The bylaw states that “alteration of land, subdivision and construction are prohibited within an environmental development permit area, according to the Local Government Act, unless an exemption applies or a development permit is issued.” It is meant to protect from development areas that the municipality calls “rare ecosystems and vital habitat.” Katherine Dedyna reports. (Times Colonist)

Tour shows journalists Chesapeake’s good, bad & plans for future
…. Many of the 14 other journalists on the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources tour had much of the same reaction as the group embarked on the IJNR’s first Chesapeake Bay Institute in more than a decade…. Tristan Baurick, who covers the environment beat for the Kitsap Sun in Bremerton, WA, said he applied to the institute because he wanted to see the parallels between the Chesapeake Bay and the Puget Sound. The sound struggles with some of the same issues as the Bay: algae blooms, sewage spills and a combined stormwater and sewage system in Seattle and King County that often overflows. And yet, Baurick said, he was surprised to learn about swim advisories after rainfalls and about riverkeepers and counties that put out fecal coliform warnings. “Nobody ever says ‘you can’t swim.’ That was amazing to me,’” Baurick said…. “We’re dealing with some of these same problems,” Baurick said of the Puget Sound and the Bay. “I don’t think either of us have the solutions to those problems.” Rona Kobell reports. (Bay Journal)

Storms for Salish Sea
Royal Dutch Shell said it will end oil exploration in offshore Alaska “for the forseeable future’’ after an exploratory well in the Chukchi Sea failed to yield the hoped for oil and gas, but that doesn’t mean the impacts of energy expansion projects will end on the Salish Sea. Our region is targeted for export projects that could dwarf the XL Pipeline. If all the new and expanding terminal and refinery projects in the Salish Sea are permitted and developed, including projects that became operational in 2014, there would be a 43 percent increase in large, commercial marine vessel traffic. Tim Johnson reports. (Cascadia Weekly)

Metlakatla signs agreement in support of Prince Rupert Gas Transmission
The Metlakatla First Nation has become the eighth aboriginal group to support TransCanada Corp.’s Prince Rupert Gas Transmission, a B.C. pipeline project that would transport natural gas to a West Coast export terminal. TransCanada’s $5-billion pipeline venture aims to supply a proposed plant that would export liquefied natural gas from Lelu Island to customers in Asia. The Metlakatla, one of five Tsimshian First Nations consulted during a provincial environmental review last year of Pacific NorthWest LNG, signed a project agreement with TransCanada. The pact details financial, employment and other benefits for the Metlakatla. Brent Jang reports. (Globe and Mail)

Olympia middle school launches Citizen Science Institute
About 45 Marshall students spent three days at the YMCA’s camp on Case Inlet on the Puget Sound near Longbranch last week for its Outdoor Environmental Education Program. They’re part of the newly launched Citizen Science Institute, a grade 6-8 alternative program that combines science, research and community service activities…. During the next school year, CSI students will spend about a half day each week conducting field investigations for a variety of environmental and community organizations, such as the Pacific Shellfish Institute, Garden Raised Bounty and the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge. Projects include migratory bird counting, water quality testing in local streams and assisting a research project that’s measuring nitrogen levels found in mussels. Lisa Pemberton reports. (The Olympian)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 248 AM PDT WED SEP 30 2015
TODAY
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
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