Monday, May 2, 2016

5/2 Coal port, derailed train, drones, water tests, BC LNG, What's Upstream?, seal pups, crow mob

Pussy Ears (Monika Wieland)
West Coast Wildflowers
Monika Wieland in Orca Watch writes: "Our trip up the coast in late March and early April was timed perfectly to enjoy abundant wildflowers along the whole way. I wanted to share some of my favorites…"

Environmental Impacts Linked To Columbia River Coal Project 
Coal dust, greenhouse gas emissions, noise and traffic congestion are among the environmental impacts of the proposed coal export terminal in Longview, Washington, according to a draft report released Friday. Cassandra Profita (EarthFix)

 
Train derails in Washington, D.C.; leaks hazardous chemical
A CSX freight train derailed near a Metro stop in Washington, D.C., Sunday morning, sending about 10 cars off the tracks and spilling hazardous material from one of them, officials said. No injuries were reported and no evacuations were ordered. The train derailed about 6:40 a.m. near the Rhode Island Avenue Metro station and one of the cars leaked sodium hydroxide, which is used to produce various household products including paper, soap and detergents, CSX spokeswoman Kristin Seay said. Sodium hydroxide, also known as corrosive lye, is a chemical that can irritate and burn the skin and eyes. (Associated Press)

Drones over Puget Sound orcas: Legal or illegal?
People come to the San Juans to get up close and personal with the whales, but how close is too close? "We looked up and there was a drone about 20 to 30 yards above the water, directly above a pod of whales," said Sgt. Russ Mullins of the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife. That case involves Mercer Island photographer Douglas Shih, and his drone, last year. Eric Wilkinson reports. (KING)

Statewide schools water screening still sits on shelf
A state Board of Health requirement to monitor the drinking water of every public school in the state for lead has been in limbo since 2009 because of the Legislature. A sentence inserted into the proposed budget that year — and repeated in every budget since — says that state health agencies “shall not implement any new or amended rules pertaining to primary and secondary school facilities” without the Legislature’s specific funding. When that budget became law, the line blocked a slate of rules the Board of Health had worked on for nearly five years to modernize health requirements for the more than 2,000 public school buildings in Washington. That included testing the drinking water for lead and copper. Derrick Nunnally reports. (Tacoma News Tribune

First Nation support for Pacific NorthWest LNG growing
Pacific NorthWest LNG, one of the leading liquefied natural gas proposed export projects in British Columbia, is increasingly gaining support from First Nations. The aboriginal support is instrumental for the project — led by Malaysian state-controlled Petronas — as it awaits a final decision from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and, ultimately, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal government. First Nation support is critical because mounting court victories — including a 2014 landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision that granted the Tsilqhot’in title to 1,740 square kilometres of traditional territory in the Interior — have pushed the consultation and accommodation obligations for governments to a higher threshold. A federal government decision on the project — valued at $36 billion for the terminal, pipeline and development to extract gas in northeast B.C. — could come by the summer. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)

EPA under fire for money to ‘anti-farmer’ campaign
A block of text on the homepage for the What’s Upstream? advertising campaign projects a simple message: “Polluters of our waterways should be held accountable for their impacts on our water, our health and our fish.” Video behind the text features a blue tractor rumbling across a farm, before giving way to a scene of swirling, muddy water. Similar messages recently have been splashed across billboards, buses and radio waves in the Puget Sound region, linking farms with water pollution. One example, which ran on buses in Whatcom County, included a photo of livestock standing in a stream and text that read: “Unregulated agriculture is putting our waterways at risk.” One example, which ran on buses in Whatcom County, included a photo of livestock standing in a stream and text that read: “Unregulated agriculture is putting our waterways at risk.” Joseph O'Sullivan reports. (Seattle Times)

Space limited this year for region's stranded seal pups
For more than 30 years, seal pups in need of care have gotten it at Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center on San Juan Island. But this year Wolf Hollow will not be able to accept orphaned, injured or sick seal pups found on area beaches. That will limit where pups can be taken for care and rehabilitation. A grant program from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has helped keep Wolf Hollow’s seal program afloat, but without being able to secure grant funding the past two years, the center has been forced to discontinue the program. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Thousands of crows darken Bothell's sky, attracting scholars
It's turned into more than a must-see murder. At dusk the sky darkens over the University of Washington Bothell as up to 15,000 pitch-black crows descend on the campus. Swooping and cawing, they come from all directions to roost for the night. The mammoth mob might seem ominous to a casual onlooker. But it's roused the curiosity of Bothell educators and students. They're working to better understand crows and their connection to humans. Amy Nile reports. (Everett Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  237 AM PDT MON MAY 2 2016  

TODAY
 SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 7 FT  AT 13 SECONDS.

TONIGHT
 W WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING NW AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES  1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 7 FT AT 13 SECONDS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF  SHOWERS AFTER MIDNIGHT.

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