Wednesday, June 8, 2016

6/8 Bird fight, oil train, salmon season, orca protection, Vic sewer, treaty talks, Site C, rising tide

Goose vs. Eagle (Lisa Bell/Facebook/CBC)
If you like to watch: Canada goose and American bald eagle battle it out for the pride of their nations
Want to see an American bald eagle fight a Canada goose? We thought so. Lauren O'Neil reports. (CBC)

Industry Experts Question Railroad Explanation For Mosier Derailment
Railroad industry experts are questioning the early explanation from Union Pacific for why its oil train crashed in Mosier, Ore. Union Pacific said the preliminary indications from its investigation are “the failure of a fastener that connects the rail to the railroad tie,” according Justin Jacobs, a railroad spokesman. The 96-car Union Pacific train was carrying Bakken crude oil to a refinery in Tacoma, Wash., when it had an “undesired emergency application” of its brakes. Sixteen tanker cars derailed in Mosier, resulting in a fire and an estimated 42,000 gallons of spilled oil. Multiple railroad industry experts have said they find it unlikely a fastener failure could cause a derailment of that size.  Tony Schick reports. (OPB/EarthFix) See also: No Crude, But Hazardous Materials Still Moving Through Mosier  Tony Schick reports. (OPB/EarthFix)

How the Columbia River Gorge was saved
Long before last week's oil train explosion, residents — and Republican lawmakers — fought to protect this iconic landscape. Floyd McKay reports. (Crosscut)

Official word on Puget Sound salmon seasons likely by June 24 or sooner
Now that the state and tribes have come to an agreement on the salmon fishing seasons, many are waiting with baited breath on when an official announcement will be made so anglers can begin fishing. Both the state and tribes settled on a package that was received by NOAA Fisheries for consultation on June 3. Now word has come out that NOAA Fisheries is shooting for a target completion date of June 24, according to Michael Milstein, the public affairs officer for NOAA Fisheries. Mark Yuasa reports. (Seattle Times)

West Coast salmon, steelhead reviews result in no status change
Five-year reviews for 17 evolutionary significant units of Pacific salmon, 10 distinct population segments of steelhead and the southern distinct population segment of eulachon were completed recently as required by the Endangered Species Act, according to a press release from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration last week. (Anacortes American)

Groups Petition for Better Orca Habitat Protections
On Monday, a coalition of conservation groups sent more than 105,000 signatures to the National Marine Fisheries Service asking the agency to speed up a plan to expand habitat protections for killer whales. The Southern Resident orca spend their summers in protected waters near Puget Sound in Washington state, but in winter they roam down the Oregon and California coasts as far south as Monterey…. The groups want the feds to declare 9,000 miles of coastal waters as critical habitat as soon as possible, not in 2017 or 2018 as planned. Suzanne Potter reports. (Public News Service)

Atwell sparks ruckus by making own sewage moves for Clover Point
Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell is being accused of attempting an end run around a provincially appointed sewage board and lobbying for a private company’s proposal to build a sewage-treatment plant at Victoria’s Clover Point. In what Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps called a “disrespectful” action, Atwell met with the Fairfield Gonzales Community Association board on Monday, seeking space to make a presentation about sewage treatment. During the meeting, Atwell proposed bringing in John Knappett as part of that presentation. In January, Knappett suggested building an underground sewage-treatment plant at Clover Point. Capital Regional District technical staff recommended against it, saying the site was too tight for the proposed technology. Bill Cleverley reports. (Times Colonist)

New plan to expedite treaty talks between First Nations, government
Fifteen months after the B.C. government made a high-stakes play to force reform at the provincial treaty negotiating table, the federal government and First Nations have agreed to a plan that aims to expedite the process. The pact, which will still require months of refinement, aims to produce a quicker and less costly resolution of the province’s long-standing conflicts over indigenous rights and title. Negotiations between the three parties began more than a year ago, prompted by the province’s abrupt decision to withdraw support for a new chief treaty commissioner. It was a signal that British Columbia would not support the status quo, but the tactic angered both the federal government and First Nations, and has left the treaty commission on uncertain footing in the interim. Justine Hunter reports. (Globe and Mail)

Site C construction violating environmental regulations, B.C. Hydro warned
The federal government has issued a warning to B.C. Hydro for not monitoring air quality at its Site C hydroelectric project site near Fort St John. In a letter dated May 26, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency noted that during an April inspection air quality data was not being collected. In particular, the letter says, information was not being collected on total suspended particulates, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide. Andrew Kurjata reports. (CBC)

Surging high tides? Get used to it 
Where were you on March 10, 2016? If you were anywhere near the Olympic Peninsula coast – or the San Juans, or Puget Sound, or the Strait of Georgia – you witnessed the future, according to regional scientists. You saw a high "king tide" combined with a storm-fueled seawater surge, driven even higher by relentless southeast winds that pushed waves 3 feet higher than any high tide event in decades. Bulwarks were blasted, seawalls were breached, docks were destroyed, homes were at risk. Low-lying areas – such as most of downtown Port Townsend – had some risk of flooding. At a day-long meeting of Sea Level Rise experts, local government officials, business leaders and environmental activists held June 3 at the Northwest Maritime Center, the primary message was clear and simple: Get used to it. Scott Wilson reports. (Pt Townsend Leader)

Now, your tug weather--
 WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  300 AM PDT WED JUN 8 2016  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM PDT THIS MORNING
 THROUGH THIS EVENING  

TODAY
 W WIND TO 10 KT...RISING TO 15 TO 25 KT IN THE AFTERNOON.  WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 2 TO 4 FT IN THE AFTERNOON. W  SWELL 4 FT AT 7 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
 W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING 5 TO 15 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT.  WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 8 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF  SHOWERS.

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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 at salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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