Wednesday, January 13, 2016

1/13 Puyallup & Skagit fish, Longview port, BC oil, plastics, Vic sewer, creosote, Site C dam, Delta 5

Puyallup River fishing (NW Sportsman/Jason Brooks)
Groups File Suit to Protect Threatened Salmon and Trout in the Puyallup River
A coalition of conservation groups filed suit today to protect Puget Sound Chinook salmon, steelhead and bull trout – all threatened with extinction – from being killed by the Electron hydroelectric project on the Puyallup River…. Federal agencies acknowledge that the Electron project kills and harms Endangered Chinook salmon and steelhead. But Electron Dam’s new owner is using it to generate revenue while ignoring its responsibility to comply with the Endangered Species Act and protect these species. Plaintiffs American Rivers and American Whitewater, represented by the Western Environmental Law Center, point to Section 9 of the ESA, which prohibits any person from “killing, trapping or harming an endangered species” and has been extended by federal agencies to include threatened Chinook salmon and steelhead. (eNews Park Forest)

Officials seeing low salmon returns, small fish
Something is awry in the Skagit and Samish river watersheds. Officials and locals alike are seeing fewer salmon, and in some cases those returning from the ocean to spawn are smaller than usual. Some suspect the blob — an unusually warm patch of water in the northern Pacific Ocean since late 2013 — could be to blame. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Coal Company Backing Longview Export Terminal Declares Bankruptcy
Amid a drop in demand for coal, a key investor in a proposed coal export project on the Columbia River filed for bankruptcy Monday. Arch Coal is a 38-percent shareholder in the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals project, which would export 44 million tons of coal annually through a terminal in Longview, Washington. Arch owns mines in Colorado, Wyoming and five other states. Officials with Arch Coal say the company’s mines will stay open and the bankruptcy won’t affect its employees. Millennium CEO Bill Chapman said in a statement Monday that the company is still committed to the export project. Cassandra Profita and Ashley Ahearn report. (OPB/EarthFix)

With coal on the wane, Longview turns to oil exports
Monday’s announcement of yet another bankruptcy in the coal business elicited cheers from climate activists seeking to halt coal export terminals along the Washington coast. But while coal is taking a beating, the announcement promises to boost the pressure to use the region as a funnel for another fossil fuel: the crude oil shipped in by train from the massive Bakken Field in North Dakota. Floyd McKay reports. (Crosscut)

North coast tanker ban could do more harm than good
A plan by Justin Trudeau to “formalize” a tanker ban on B.C.’s north coast would prevent Canada from fully capitalizing on crude exports to Asian markets and could potentially damage Canada-U. S. relations. In other words, “a damaging and ill-advised plan,” according to the Ottawa-based Macdonald-Laurier Institute. The independent think-tank opposes a recent move by Canada’s prime minister to have his transport minister, Marc Garneau, implement a moratorium on crude oil tanker traffic on B.C.’s north coast. The moratorium presumably would apply to the Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound. Barbara Yaffe writes. (Vancouver Sun)

Rachel Notley urges energy board to approve Trans Mountain pipeline
[Alberta] Premier Rachel Notley says the proposed expansion of a pipeline to the B.C. coast is not just in Alberta’s best interests, but is the best thing for Canada as well. “This important pipeline infrastructure will support an integrated energy economy in Canada that will be more attractive to investors, which in turn will generate more economic activity Canada-wide,” Notley said Tuesday in a written submission to the National Energy Board. A three-member board panel is hearing submissions on its environmental assessment of the 1,150-kilometre Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, which carries crude oil and refined products from Edmonton to terminals in the Vancouver area. Dean Bennett reports. (Canadian Press)

Underwater photographer to kids: Plastic, oceans don’t mix
She's exposing kids to the real sea monster. It's not man-eating sharks, killer whales or giant jellyfish — it's people and the plastics they use.  That's the message “Ocean Annie” Crawley is bringing to 100 schools. The underwater photographer and author is encouraging everyone to rethink their relationship with plastic by sharing the environmental problems she's documented while diving around the world. Amy Nile reports. (Everett Herald)

Underground sewage plant pitched to CRD
Knappett Projects is pitching a sewage plan to Capital Regional District politicians today — despite a thumbs down from hired experts. Company president John Knappett is scheduled to appear at the CRD’s sewage committee today to make a pitch for “deep shaft vertical treatment.” Knappett refused to comment in advance of the meeting, but a letter sent by his engineering firm, which has 29 years’ experience, to CRD politicians proposes a $177-million treatment plant at Clover Point that it promises will be attractive and effective. A second plant would be needed, but a cost estimate was not given in the letter. Richard Watts reports. (Times Colonist)

Toxic creosote removal in progress in waters during January
Removal of toxic creosote structures from the waters of the county will start Jan. 13 and the barge based work is expected to take about ten days. Numerous unnecessary or derelict creosote pilings, docks and boathouses will be removed, through a partnership effort of the Washington Department of Natural Resources and Friends of the San Juans with funding provided by the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board. Multiple removal sites are located in Fisherman Bay on Lopez, with additional removal sites on Shaw and Henry Islands. (San Juan Journal)

Site C dam protest gets support from David Suzuki
Environmental campaigner David Suzuki is throwing his support behind First Nations protesting the construction of the $9-billion Site C dam in northeastern British Columbia. Suzuki and the grand chief of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, Stewart Phillip, travelled to the remote Rocky Mountain Fort Camp in the Peace Valley on Tuesday morning. (CBC)

In ‘Delta 5’ Trial, Defense Argues Climate Change Necessitated Blockade Of Oil Trains
What is worse: blocking train traffic and the cost it causes to the public good?  Or the effects of climate change, globally and locally? Those are two issues at the heart of a jury trial taking place in Lynnwood this week – in what is being called a historic case about climate justice. A group of activists who  have branded themselves “The Delta 5” are in court this week, trying to explain their actions.  Bellamy Pailthorp discusses. (KPLU)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  300 AM PST WED JAN 13 2016  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR HAZARDOUS SEAS IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS  AFTERNOON  

TODAY
 W WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 12 FT AT  13 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.

TONIGHT
 SW WIND 5 TO 15 KT BECOMING S TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT.  WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 9 FT AT 12 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY.

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