Monday, April 4, 2016

4/4 Military plans, coal port pause, toxic budget, whale fight, grizzly hunt, xylene, black walls, Colstrip

EA-18G Growler at Whidbey NAS (Ken Lambert/Seattle Times)
Jets, helicopters, rockets: Military plans more uses of Northwest public lands
Visitors who pitch a tent or park their camper here [Deception Pass State Park] are warned that the late-evening quiet policy does not apply to the Navy jets practicing their takeoffs and landings at nearby Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. Some are able to embrace the noise. Others who play or live on north Whidbey and across the water on Lopez Island bridle at rumbling blasts that in summer may stretch past midnight. At Deception Pass, on a bad night, the park may refund $500 to $1,000 in camping fees from those who pick up stakes and opt for an early exit. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

Backer of proposed coal port stops work amid Lummi Tribe concerns
The sponsor of a proposed Washington state coal port for shipments of the fuel to Asia is suspending work on an environmental review because of a Native American tribe’s concerns that the project could hurt its fishing rights. SSA Marine, which retains a 51 percent ownership of the project, said Friday it was halting the environmental review while it waits for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to make a decision on the treaty rights of the Lummi Tribe. The Puget Sound port just south of the U.S.-Canada border would accommodate almost 60 million tons a year of coal and other commodities. (Associated Press)

Senate Republicans ax toxic-waste help for public
Senate Republicans scored a little-noticed but significant victory this week against grassroots environmental and community groups, zeroing out funding for the groups to help citizens monitor toxic-waste cleanups and prevent future pollution. Now, community-based organizations working on environmental issues from the Olympic Peninsula to Spokane and Bellingham to Olympia and out to the Tri-Cities are scrambling to figure out how they can continue to assist the public…. From early in the legislative session Republicans, led by Sen. Doug Ericksen, sought to help balance the books of state’s Model Toxics Control Act accounts by eliminating $3.8 million in “public participation grants” that were authorized by a citizens’ initiative nearly 30 years ago.  Ericksen, chair of the Senate Environment, Energy and Telecommunications Committee, argues that actual cleanup of toxic materials should take precedence over the public participation grants. Robert McClure reports. (Investigate West)

Rare whale attack in Puget Sound witnessed near Everett
A rare whale attack, a "clash of titans," in Puget Sound this week was captured on camera. According to Pacific Whale Watch Association officials [PWWA], the attack occurred between transient orcas [Bigg’s killer whales] and gray whales -- close to Everett, Washington…. PWWA officials say a crew saw four killer whales cross paths with two adult “Saratoga gray whales,” part of around a dozen grays that come to Puget Sound each spring to feed on ghost shrimp. One of the transients decided to engage with a gray whale -- “and the battle was on.” (KIRO) See also: SeaWorld pulled into long-running battle against Japanese whaling  Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

B.C. grizzly bear hunt to include Great Bear Rainforest
B.C.’s spring grizzly bear hunt has opened for another year, with the government authorizing a limited number of bears to be killed in parts of the province – including the Great Bear Rainforest. That authorization exists despite an announcement in February in which the provincial government heralded a “globally significant” management pact for the Great Bear Rainforest and said, as part of the deal, that “the commercial grizzly bear hunt will cease in Coastal First Nations’ traditional territories.” Wendy Stueck reports. (Globe and Mail)

Commenters ask for broad study of Tesoro Anacortes Refinery project
The Tesoro Anacortes Refinery’s proposed $400,000 upgrade project has raised concerns among some in the region.  All 11 speakers during an open house and verbal comment period Thursday for the project’s environmental impact statement, or EIS, voiced concerns with the project and said they want to see a broad scope of issues addressed. The refinery’s proposed Clean Products Upgrade Project would include upgrading existing equipment so that it could produce xylene, a natural component of crude oil, during the oil refining process, as well as include new and upgraded emissions control systems. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Farmed salmon like their walls painted black, UBC study finds
Cage-free eggs and massages for dairy cattle represent ways farmers are trying to improve the comfort of the animals we raise for food. But what would comfort and humane treatment look like for farmed salmon? Scientists at the University of British Columbia say a key factor is the decor of their tanks. Salmon are traditionally housed in tanks with light blue walls. But Lee Gaffney, a master's student with the animal welfare program at UBC, wondered if that's really what salmon would prefer if they could choose the colours themselves…. What she and her colleagues found was that given the choice between black, white, light blue, light grey, dark grey or dappled walls, coho salmon chose to hang out near the black walls. Emily Chung reports. (CBC)

Against Montana governor’s wishes, Inslee signs coal-plant bill
Washington state’s largest utility will be able to set aside money to pay for the future shutdown of two coal-powered electricity plants it co-owns in Montana under a bill Gov. Jay Inslee signed Friday. However, before signing the bill, Inslee vetoed a section of the legislation that had said Puget Sound Energy (PSE), Colstrip’s largest owner, couldn’t use that money if it closed two aging units before Dec. 31, 2022…. Senate Bill 6248 lets Puget Sound Energy create a fund to cover future decommissioning and cleanup costs at the Colstrip plant in Montana. The Bellevue-based utility owns half of units 1 and 2, which were built in the mid-1970s. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  300 AM PDT MON APR 4 2016  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
 

TODAY
 W WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 7 FT AT  8 SECONDS. SHOWERS IN THE MORNING...THEN SHOWERS LIKELY IN THE  AFTERNOON.

TONIGHT
 W WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT..W SWELL 8 FT AT  10 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY IN THE EVENING...THEN A  CHANCE OF SHOWERS AFTER MIDNIGHT.

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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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