Friday, November 20, 2015

11/20 'Frankenfish,' murrelet, storm sewage, Mt. Polley, oil rules, train safety, Inslee on refugees

“Frankenfish” AquAdvantage salmon (LA Times) 
Genetically engineered salmon is fit for dinner, FDA says in first decision of its kind
Perhaps that last breed does not evoke images of ancient and frigid headwaters in Alaska or Arctic Canada, where wild salmon spawn every year, or even the humble hatcheries that produce less expensive species consumed by millions of people. But on Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration announced that the AquAdvantage salmon — developed using growth hormone from Chinook salmon and a gene from an eel-like ocean fish that makes it reach market size twice as quickly as other salmon — has become the first genetically engineered animal approved for American consumption. AquaBounty Technologies Inc., the Massachusetts company that created the fish, calls it "the world's most sustainable salmon." Opponents call it "Frankenfish." The FDA, which was accused of delaying the decision for years amid public concern, now says you can call it dinner. William Yardley reports. (LA Times)

State considers conservation options for marbled murrelet
The state Department of Natural Resources is reviewing conservation plan options for the marbled murrelet, a seabird that is found along the state’s coast, including several bays on Skagit County’s shoreline. The state agency worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to draft five strategies to conserve the bird’s habitat. The options would protect between 594,000 and 734,000 acres of land managed by Natural Resources. The marbled murrelet is considered threatened under the Endangered Species Act, meaning it is likely to become endangered. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Deadly storm flushes sewage into Seattle's waterways
Heavy rains means heavy runoff making its way into bodies of water around Seattle. But that's not all that's making its way into area lakes and the Puget Sound. The recent storms that moved over Seattle and the Pacific Northwest and knocked out power to thousands, also sent rivers of stormwater into underground pipes. As pipes became overwhelmed, they were flushed into local bodies of water, carrying not only stormwater, but sewage as well. Richard Oxley reports. (MyNorthwest.Com)

Critics warn of another disaster at Mount Polley
 Rapidly rising water levels in a vast containment pit at the Mount Polley mine are now a scant six metres below the level where they could seep into groundwater and the Quesnel River system. Bigger worries loom for spring. Winter snow melt could overwhelm storage capacity causing another catastrophic spill like August 2014, when a breach dumped 10 billion litres of water and 4.5 billion litres of slurry into Polley Lake. Stephen Hume reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Ecology working on new rules for movement of oil
he state Department of Ecology is developing new rules for transporting oil by train and pipeline. The changes could require companies moving oil through the state to improve accident response plans and provide advanced notice about the movement of oil. The changes could go into effect as early as 2016. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

No more breaks on positive train control, agency chief tells railroads
The nation’s rail safety chief told a group of railroad officials she expects them to complete a long-delayed collision-avoidance system by the end of 2018 and to not count on Congress to give them an additional reprieve. Recent legislation approved by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama gives them a three-year extension to complete positive train control, though with some wiggle room to seek an additional two years if necessary. Sarah Feinberg, who heads the Federal Railroad Administration, encouraged attendees of the Rail Trends conference in New York Thursday to make 2018 their goal. Curtis Tate reports. (McClatchy)

Why My State Won’t Close Its Doors to Syrian Refugees
OVER the last week, a growing number of governors, representatives, senators and presidential candidates have demanded that America slam shut our borders to refugees who are fleeing unspeakable horrors at the hands of the Islamic State. On Thursday the House passed a bill containing impossibly onerous vetting procedures for new refugees from Syria. The American character is being tested. Will we hew to our long tradition of being a beacon of hope for those chased from their homelands? I have always believed that the United States is a place of refuge for those escaping persecution, starvation or other horrors that thankfully most in America will never experience. Governor Jay Inslee writes. (NY Times)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
 WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST FRI NOV 20 2015
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING
TODAY
E WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING 15 TO 25 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
E WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
SAT
E WIND 15 TO 25 KT...BECOMING SE 15 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
SAT NIGHT
SE WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING 5 TO 15 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
SUN
SE WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING E 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 11 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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