Monday, November 16, 2015

11/16 Tanker ban, BC pipe, storm poop, BC CG, Lummi life, toxic crab, KPLU sold, rail bridges, Tacoma LNG

(PHOTO: Laurie MacBride)
Stone-Faced
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "Over time, the sandstone shores of our region have been eroded by the elements, producing all manner of fascinating textures, patterns and visual oddities. I’ve written before about the natural art gallery you can find here and its strange shape-shifting tendency. When the tide is right, you can find some pretty interesting “faces” along many stretches of shoreline in the Gulf Islands. This one, off Portland Island, jumped out at me when I was rowing our dinghy there this summer – though I’m not sure whether its open mouth was welcoming me or warning me off."

Trudeau bans oil tankers on B.C.'s north coast, threatening pipeline plan; But Enbridge says it will proceed with Northern Gateway
Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway plan is, at least for now, dead in the water after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a letter of instruction Friday telling his transport minister to ban oil tanker traffic on British Columbia’s north coast. A ban would prevent hundreds of tankers each year from carrying diluted bitumen extracted from Alberta’s oilsands and piped to northern B.C. from being shipped for export overseas. Brian Morton reports. (Vancouver Sun)

100 groups urge Trudeau to end pipeline reviews
Environmental, community and business groups are pushing for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to shut down a pair of pipeline reviews before heading to Paris for climate talks. The City of Burnaby, the Georgia Strait Alliance, Greenpeace Canada and the Sierra Club B.C. are among 100 groups seeking a halt to National Energy Board reviews of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion and TransCanada’s Energy East proposal. In a joint letter sent Thursday to Trudeau, the groups say the reviews should be put on hold until fundamental flaws in the process are fixed…. Trudeau has voiced his support for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, but has also said the approval system is broken and designed to support the previous government’s objectives. The Liberals have pledged to overhaul the federal environmental review process so future projects would have the public trust. Matt Robinson reports. (Vancouver Sun)

B.C. storm causes sewage overflows in Greater Victoria
The heavy rains that hit B.C. on Thursday have caused the Capital Regional District to advise people to stay away from beaches on southern Vancouver Island, after storm water and sewage combined to create overflows. The waste water is pumped, raw, into the Strait of Juan de Fuca by the CRD municipalities, and now the CRD has advised the public not to wade along the shorelines or allow their pets into the water in the core area of Greater Victoria. (CBC) See also: Sewage flood forces Savary Island Pie Company to lay off 35 staff  Matthew Robinson reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Trudeau orders Kitsilano Coast Guard station re-opened
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has ordered Vancouver's Kitsilano Coast Guard station re-opened in a mandate letter to Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Hunter Tootoo. The move was promised during Trudeau's election campaign, and is included in a list of initiatives the prime minister labeled "top priorities" in his letter. Max Haberstroh reports. (CBC) See also: Justin Trudeau makes Coast Guard fleet refresh 'top priority'  (CBC)

For Lummis, fishing is more than a living — it’s a way of life
Members of Lummi Nation say that for them, fishing is different. Tribal and nontribal fishers alike must keep to the seasons and mind their catch quotas. Still, for most Washington residents, fishing is a privilege granted by the state government, said Jay Julius, a Lummi member who has a seat on the tribe’s council. The tribe, on the other hand, has been fishing for 150 generations, Julius said. Ralph Schwartz reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Calif. boats sit idle as algae threatens Dungeness crab season
San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf typically bustles this time of year as workers prepare to haul millions of pounds of Dungeness crab that are a tradition at Thanksgiving and other holiday meals. But crab pots are sitting empty on docks, boats are idled and fishermen are anxiously waiting for California authorities to open the lucrative Dungeness crab season. California has delayed the Nov. 15 start of its commercial crab season after finding dangerous levels of a toxin in crabs. Officials in Oregon and Washington are testing crab samples and will decide soon whether to open its coastal season by Dec. 1 as planned. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

Manchester stormwater project to help clean up Puget Sound
On a rainy day in Manchester Nov. 6, a cluster of people gathered to celebrate completion of Kitsap County’s stormwater retrofit project. The park has been named qaqad, which translated means “a place to dry clams,” and will serve as a stormwater purification area for runoff from more than 80 acres of surrounding land…. The project took shape in 2009 after the Stormwater Advisory Committee was established at the request of the Manchester community. Sara Miller reports. (Port Orchard Independent)

University of Washington will buy KPLU-FM, pull the plug on its news operation
Pacific Lutheran University announced Thursday that it will sell its broadcasting licenses to the University of Washington, in a plan that will turn the current KPLU at 88.5 FM into an all-music, all-jazz station while KUOW at 94.9 FM becomes the Seattle outlet for National Public Radio and Northwest news…. The sale is expected to close in 2016 when FCC approval is received. The purchase price for KPLU and its assets is $8 million, with $7 million in cash and $1 million of “underwriting announcements” over 10 years. Proceeds from the sale will go to Pacific Lutheran’s endowment, which currently totals $85 million. The sale, and change of formats, will deprive the Puget Sound area of a first-rate news operation. Joel Connelly reports. (SeattlePI.com)

Study adds 37 species to Salish Sea’s fish list, bringing total to 253
…. A new analysis published this fall puts the region’s total number of fish species at 253. That includes 37 species never before documented in the Salish Sea — the 6,500-square-mile expanse that includes Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the San Juan Islands and the Strait of Georgia. And since the report, “Fishes of the Salish Sea: A Compilation and Distributional Analysis,” was finished, scientists have added another five to the list. Sandi Doughton reports. (Seattle Times)

Environment groups' study calls attention to rail bridge safety
Environment groups from throughout the country say government oversight, industry transparency and safety standards fall short when it comes to railroad bridges that in recent years have seen an increase in the number of oil trains that cross them. A study released Tuesday titled “Deadly Crossings: Neglected Bridges and Exploding Oil Trains,” urges government and industry officials to take action to prevent derailments such as the one that killed 47 in Lac-M├ęgantic, Quebec, in July 2013 or the one that spilled burning oil into the James River in Lynchburg, Virginia, earlier this year. The study comes from RE Sources in Bellingham, which collaborated with international environment groups ForestEthics and the Waterkeeper Alliance to develop the report. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Tacoma Moves Ahead On Plans For A Liquefied Natural Gas Plant At The Port
Plans for a liquefied natural gas facility at the Port of Tacoma are one step closer to reality, after the Tacoma City Council passed a resolution to move ahead on an agreement with the port about the project. Puget Sound Energy says it needs a place to store natural gas and the way to do that is to chill it to a liquid form. So the company wants to spend $275 million to build the plant which would convert the gas to a liquid and then keep it on port property in a 140-foot-tall storage tank. Ashley Gross reports. (KPLU)

Explosive tanks carried in unmarked cars
Every work day, a small fleet of vehicles travels the roads and highways of Western Washington carrying cargo that, if mishandled or damaged in an accident, can explode. The fleet is not comprised of SUVs or heavy trucks equipped to safely transport cargo that could explode if not handled properly. The cargo is compressed hydrogen gas, and it is transported into neighborhoods and business districts, near schools, playgrounds, coffee shops and senior centers -- in ordinary cars…. The company responsible is Puget Sound Energy, the big utility serving hundreds of thousands of customers. The hydrogen gas, ironically, is used to make sure PSE's network of natural gas pipes running under nearly community are not leaking. Chris Ingalls reports. (KING)

Cadboro Bay threatens to secede over Saanich’s ecological bylaw
The Cadboro Bay Residents Association is threatening to separate its neighbourhood from Saanich if a controversial Environmental Development Permit Area bylaw isn’t changed by next spring. The bylaw, introduced in 2012, affects about 2,000 residents. It kicks in with restrictions and requirements when someone tries to build on land that the bylaw deems to be a rare ecosystem or vital habitat…. In a heated four-hour townhall meeting at the Garth Homer Society on Thursday, the threat was cheered by the more than 300 people who packed the meeting space and spilled into the hallways. The majority of residents were angry and asked councillors to rip up the bylaw or remake it. Cindy Harnett reports. (Times Colonist)

To save the orcas, do we need to demolish dams?
The show is over — at least it’s almost over. SeaWorld has announced that next year, it will phase out its killer whale performances in San Diego. The theme park has been under fire — and, perhaps more importantly, losing visitors — ever since the 2013 movie Blackfish documented its abusive treatment of captive killer whales. But the whales – endangered Puget Sound orcas, if you prefer – need more than just to be freed from captivity. Not surprisingly, they need to eat. Daniel Jack Chasan reports. (Crosscut)

Have a whale of a time at Langley’s new center dedicated to Puget Sound whales
The Langley Whale Center is drawing an increasing number of visitors to its new location in Langley... The move is next door to the previous location but provides far more visibility and double the space for educational displays, information and a gift shop. They also have a lending library for books and DVD’s relating to Puget Sound whales…. The Langley Whale Center is a project of Orca Network, which is based in Freeland, Washington, and is a non-profit started by Howard Garrett and his wife, Susan Berta, in the 1990’s. The organization is dedicated to raising awareness of the whales of the Pacific Northwest, and the importance of providing them healthy and safe habitats. Carolyn Tamler On reports. (Whidbey News Times)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 259 AM PST MON NOV 16 2015
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING
 GALE WATCH IN EFFECT FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY EVENING
TODAY
S WIND 15 TO 25 KT...RISING TO 20 TO 30 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 5 FT. W SWELL 9 FT AT 12 SECONDS...
 SUBSIDING TO 7 FT AT 12 SECONDS IN THE AFTERNOON. RAIN.
TONIGHT
SW WIND 15 TO 25 KT...BECOMING W 5 TO 15 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 2 FT OR LESS AFTER
 MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 10 FT AT 9 SECONDS. RAIN.
--
"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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