Tuesday, May 10, 2016

5/10 GPT coal port, Esquimalt spill, bag ban, electronic waste, Prince Rupert port, Burrard Inlet, halogen radicals

Terminal terminated
Army Corps rejects permit for coal terminal at Cherry Point
 The proposed coal terminal for Cherry Point is dead after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied a needed permit Monday, May 9. The Corps ruled the project would impact the treaty-protected fishing rights of Lummi Nation based on the fact that the proposed trestle and associated wharf would take up 144 acres over water. “The Corps may not permit a project that abrogates treaty rights,” said Col. John Buck, commander of the Corps’ Seattle District. Samantha Wohlfeil reports. (Bellingham Herald) See also: Tribes prevail, kill proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point  Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times) And also: A death blow to coal ports in Washington?  Floyd McKay reports. (Crosscut)

Cleanup underway after barge runs aground in Esquimalt Harbour
Cleanup crews are focusing on the shoreline of Plumper Bay after a barge carrying up to 30,000 litres of diesel ran aground in Esquimalt Harbour. Vancouver Pile Driving said its construction barge contained between 20,000 and 30,000 litres when it broke loose in high winds early Sunday morning and hit the shore. On Monday, a red Canadian Coast Guard helicopter circled over the small protected bay surveying the impact of the spill. The large construction barge, which carries a crane, ran aground near the mouth of Plumper Bay. The sandy rock-strewn beach is ringed by Esquimalt Nation on one side and Songhees Nation on the other. Cindy E. Harnett reports. (Times Colonist)

Plastic bag ban proposed for San Juan County
Should single-use plastic bags be banned in San Juan County? The idea was put to the county council last week by solid waste program administrator Mark Herrenkohl, who is spearheading a public works effort to pass a ban here…. Herrenkohl and public works director Brian Vincent suggested San Juan County adopt a resolution similar to those passed in other regional communities. (San Juan Journal)

On the trail of America's dangerous, dead electronics
High above the Pacific Ocean in a plane headed for Hong Kong, most of the passengers are fast asleep. But not Jim Puckett. His eyes are fixed on the glowing screen of his laptop. Little orange markers dot a satellite image. He squints at the pixilated terrain trying to make out telltale signs. He’s searching for America’s electronic waste…. He doesn’t know it yet, but on this trip to Hong Kong, he will stumble on boxes bearing the logo for Total Reclaim, one of the largest electronics recyclers in the Pacific Northwest, with contracts to handle e-waste from the City of Seattle, King County, the University of Washington, and the State of Washington. Katie Campbell & Ken Christensen report. (KUOW)

Seattle, Tacoma ports battling much smaller BC neighbor
Remote just begins to describe it. As legend has it in these parts, Ketchikan is about 60 miles away as the crow flies.  It's tough to get here by road. Yet, Prince Rupert, British Columbia, population 12,000, is now on a path to arguably become the biggest threat to the Puget Sound economy. "We're quite happy," said Port of Prince Rupert CEO Don Krusel, who describes his town and port as a "real success story."… At the port's interpretive center, visitors can see the sales job.  This port bills itself a day closer to the Far East than Seattle or Tacoma, and it doesn't need trucks. Ships can pull in and off-load right onto on-dock rail, which can take cargo to the upper midwest and southern United States days earlier. Chris Daniels reports. (KING)

Water's Edge: Park life and sulphur piles in Burrard Inlet, where homes coexist with industry 
Larry Pynn writes: "For 15 minutes I pinball around the offices of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation — “People of the Inlet” — until a decision is made allowing me to launch my kayak from a small rocky beach next to the canoe shed on Dollarton Highway in North Vancouver. The band’s director of administration, Dale Komanchuk, even writes a note of authorization on the back of his business card in case anyone challenges me, and allows me to park my pickup truck overnight behind the community centre. I launch over several dozen dead prawns visible on the ocean floor then paddle toward Maplewood Flats Conservation Area, a haven for birds featuring 96 hectares of intertidal area and 30 hectares of uplands. The late novelist, Malcolm Lowry, wrote Under The Volcano while living in a squatter cabin near here, but there’ll be no investigating literary ghosts today. I can barely skim across the exposed mud on a receding tide even staying 200 metres off shore and wisely decide to reverse course and continue eastward through the inlet…." (Vancouver Sun)

Engineers discover good and bad seawater salt effects on coastal algae
Scientists have long studied the role that free radicals play in freshwater because of how these charged compounds affect the chemistry of our drinking water. The special nature of these processes in saltwater ecosystems, however, has been poorly understood. Now civil and environmental engineers at Stanford have discovered how salty free radicals in seawater act as a double-edged sword – sometimes they break down poisonous byproducts of algae but at other times they diminish the supply of beneficial algal byproducts. Writing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Associate Professor William Mitch and PhD student Kimberly Parker explore the effects of a seawater-specific category of chemical agents known as halogen radicals. Shana Tonn reports. (Phys.org)

Hawks used to scare away unwanted birds
Playing tennis on courts covered with bird droppings is no fun. That’s where Lummi and Roslyn, a couple of skilled Harris’s hawks, come into play. The two hawks, along with owner Sue Hanneman, have been busy the past couple of weeks scaring away unwanted starlings from the covered courts at Skagit Valley College. Vince Richardson reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  245 AM PDT TUE MAY 10 2016  

TODAY
 LIGHT WIND...BECOMING NW 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND  WAVES LESS 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 9 SECONDS.

TONIGHT
 W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING SW TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT.  WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 9 SECONDS.

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