Wednesday, October 28, 2015

10/28 Whale watch, BC oil, WA coal, Friends, BC LNG, Shell drill, port upgrades, viaducts

(PHOTO: Laurie MacBride)
Thirty Shades of Yellow
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "November tends to be damp, gray and dreary here on the west coast, so it’s a month I never anticipate with pleasure. Right now, with the darkness closing in earlier each day and that dreaded month fast approaching, I’m starting to crave a bit of extra light and colour. Thankfully, our Hardy kiwis and Bigleaf maples are managing to brighten up their respective corners of our yard – along with my spirits…."

This you need to see: This Is Your Century
Eric Becker's latest. Beautiful inspiration in 2:47. (weareshouting.com)

Tofino whale-watching boat capsized after wave struck, says TSB
Most of the passengers and crew on the whale-watching boat that capsized near Tofino, B.C., on Sunday appear to have been on one side of the vessel's top deck when it was hit by a wave, the Transportation Safety Board said at a news conference in Tofino.  "This would have raised the centre of gravity, affecting the vessel's stability," said Marc-AndrĂ© Poisson, the TSB's director of marine investigations. He said the vessel then rolled and capsized.  (CBC) See also: 1998 Tofino whale-watching accident sparked call for regulation  Coroner says earlier incident that left 2 whale watchers dead will be reviewed as part of latest tragedy. Jason Proctor reports. (CBC)

Tsleil-Waututh Nation take NEB to court to stop Kinder Morgan hearing
Tsleil-Waututh Nation says the outgoing Harper government failed in its constitutional legal duty to adequately consult with their community when it began the NEB review of Kinder Morgan's proposed $5.4-billion Edmonton-to-Burnaby pipeline expansion more than a year ago. The band is now seeking a court order to stop the hearing. The band believes the case will also add political pressure for the incoming Trudeau Liberals to act quickly on their election promise to overhaul the review of oil pipeline proposals. Oral hearings for citizens to speak up about the pipeline are set to begin in January 18-29 at a Burnaby casino and conference centre. Mychaylo Prystupa reports. (National Observer)

Coal, environmentalists spend $100K each on Whatcom charter measures
The company behind a proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point is the biggest donor in a campaign fight over obscure ballot propositions in Whatcom County. The $101,089 spent by Pacific International Terminals was matched by environmentalists, who contributed at least $102,738, according to the Public Disclosure Commission. Both sides seek to amend the county charter in ways that would determine the political makeup of the County Council. The charter is essentially the county’s constitution, with rules for how the government is run and how officials are elected. Ralph Schwartz reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Small Non-Profit Leading Charge For International Protection Of Salish Sea
A small non-profit in the San Juan Islands has taken the lead in an international campaign to protect the Salish Sea from adverse effects of shipping. Currently, proposals for 14 new or upgraded export facilities for fossil fuels in British Columbia and five in northwestern Washington could dramatically increase shipping traffic through local waters. “We’ve found ourselves having to speak up time and time again for these fossil fuel projects that are coming through our waters,” said Stephanie Buffum, the executive director of Friends of the San Juans, a non-profit based in Friday Harbor that has worked to protect quality of life in the area for the past 35 years. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KPLU)

LNG plant near Squamish clears first hurdle in environmental assessment
The Woodfibre LNG planted proposed for Squamish has cleared its first regulatory hurdle after being granted an environmental assessment certificate by the B.C. government. The certificate includes 25 conditions meant to mitigate the negative impacts construction and operation of the plant will have on things like marine life and water quality.  Squamish mayor Patricia Heintzman opposes the Woodfibre project and says she has questions about the certificate, including the conclusion the plant will generate $21-million per year in municipal taxes. (CBC)

TransCanada gets final regulatory approval for Prince Rupert natural gas pipeline
A proposed 900-kilometre gas pipeline in northern B.C. that would supply a liquefied natural gas terminal in Prince Rupert has final approval. TransCanada said Tuesday it has received 11 permits for its $6-billion Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project from the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission. The permits cover the length of the pipeline that starts in Hudson’s Hope in northeast B.C., as well as compressors at the Pacific NorthWest LNG terminal at Lelu Island near Prince Rupert. They are the final approval step for the pipeline that earlier received approval from the B.C. government following an environmental assessment. The pipeline is dependent on the LNG terminal being approved by the federal government and a final decision by Petronas to proceed. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Oil platform headed for Port Angeles near mouth of Strait
The Polar Pioneer oil rig, which is headed for Port Angeles Harbor, was near the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca on Tuesday afternoon. The 355-foot-tall oil drilling platform was headed east at over 6 knots. The floating platform's tugs, Ocean Wind and Ocean Wave, were expected to arrive with the platform sometime after 2 a.m. today, according to a vessel tracking website, www.marinetraffic.com. (Peninsula Daily News)

Ports may need up to $1 billion to update terminals
Port commissioners from Tacoma and Seattle on Tuesday adopted their first budget for a new cargo alliance while warning they’ll have to spend hundreds of millions more to make the port facilities competitive with rivals. The $174.5 million included in the Northwest Seaport Alliance’s 5-year capital budget is “woefully inadequate to our needs,” asserted Tacoma Port Commissioner Don Meyer as the two commissions were preparing to accept the budget. Meyer predicted the alliance and the two ports will have to spend $800 million to $1 billion over the near future to equip the two ports to handle the new generation of mega-sized container ships. John Gille reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Vancouver viaducts to be removed, votes council
Vancouver city councillors have voted 5-4 to remove the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts, which connect the downtown core to neighbourhoods on the city's east side. "This is a once-in-a-generation city-building opportunity," said Mayor Gregor Robertson in a written statement. "There is no decision at the city that has been more scrutinized, studied, deliberated or consulted on than whether or not to remove the viaducts, and after four years, it is time to move forward." (CBC)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT WED OCT 28 2015
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 AM PDT THIS MORNING
TODAY
S WIND 15 TO 25 KT...EASING TO 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 2 FT OR LESS BY LATE MORNING. W SWELL BUILDING TO 8 FT AT 15 SECONDS. RAIN IN THE MORNING... THEN SHOWERS LIKELY IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
SW WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING S AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 8 FT AT 14 SECONDS. SHOWERS IN THE
 EVENING...THEN SHOWERS LIKELY AFTER MIDNIGHT.
--
"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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