Wednesday, September 28, 2016

9/28 Green crab, BC LNG, dirty air, climate change rule, BC garbage, BC fish farms, oil trains

European green crab (OPB/EarthFix)
Scientists Try Trapping To Halt Puget Sound's European Crab Invasion
The detection of Puget Sound's first  invasive green crab prompts scientists to mount a counter attack. Now a second crab has been discovered about 30 miles away in Padilla Bay. Katie Campbell reports. (OPB/EarthFix)

Federal government approves liquefied natural gas project on B.C. coast with 190 conditions
The federal government has conditionally approved the Pacific NorthWest liquefied natural gas project in British Columbia with 190 legally binding conditions.  Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said the approval decision was taken following extensive studies on the project's environmental impact, science and after consultations with First Nations.  Flanked by Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr, B.C. Premier Christy Clark and Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc, McKenna said the investment was worth $11 billion and would be one of Canada's largest resource development projects…. Those 190 conditions cover everything from wetland management, the quality of freshwater fish and fish habitat, marine fish and mammals, migratory birds, human health, concerns over cultural heritage sites and long-term environmental monitoring. (CBC) See also: Timeline of proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG project in British Columbia  (Canadian Press) And also: Gas field workers push for LNG while Indigenous protesters vow to stop it   Betsy Trumpener reports. (CBC)

Gas utilities go to court against state's new clean-air rule
The state's biggest natural gas utilities are filing legal challenges against a recent Department of Ecology rule that requires large industrial emitters of greenhouse gases to reduce their carbon emissions. The new rule is a study in gradualism.  Large greenhouse gas polluters must cut their carbon emissions by an average of 1.7 percent annually. The rule was promulgated after Republicans in the Washington Legislature blocked a fee on big polluters, proposed by Gov. Jay Inslee late in 2014.  The rule applies to about 25 major emitters, including the state's five oil refineries, Puget Sound Energy gas facilities in Sumas, Longview and Goldendale, and other large emitters, including the Grays Harbor Energy Center in Elma. Joel Connelly reports. (SeattlePI.Com)

The Obamacare of climate change? States get day in court on EPA plan 
A panel of federal judges on Tuesday heard arguments in court for and against the Obama administration’s plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions by a third by 2030. More than two dozen states sued the Environmental Protection Agency to stop the Clean Power Plan, one of the Obama White House’s signature policies to address climate change. Those states argue that the EPA overstepped its bounds with the rule and that it would drive up electricity costs, lead to energy shortages and cause economic devastation in communities that produce fossil fuels. The 18 states that support the EPA reply that the agency did act within its power and that even before the rule takes effect, the market is already moving in the direction of reduced emissions. Curtis Tate reports. (McClatchy)

40 tonnes of garbage pulled off Vancouver Island beaches
A barge loaded with roughly 40 tonnes of garbage pulled from Vancouver Island beaches arrived in Delta Monday night. Now, volunteers have the Herculean task of sorting through the debris to figure out what can be recycled, what can be re-purposed and what will have to go straight into the dump. The garbage was collected by hundreds of volunteers from eight groups this year, including the District of Ucluelet, the Nuuchahnulth Tribal Council, Parks Canada and the Surfrider Foundation. Rafferty Baker reports. (CBC)

Marine Harvest Canada sues Alexandra Morton for trespassing on fish farms
Aquaculture company Marine Harvest Canada has filed a lawsuit against activist and independent biologist Alexandra Morton for allegedly trespassing on three of their salmon farms on the B.C. coast last month. Morton spent the summer visiting salmon farms — uninvited — aboard the R/V Martin Sheen owned by the group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, looking for a controversial virus prevalent in salmon farms. In the lawsuit, Marine Harvest alleges she and others trespassed on their Glacier Falls, Midsummer Island and Sonora Island operations without permission and intentionally tampered with the equipment. At two facilities, they're accused of violating biosecurity procedures. Lisa Johnson reports. (CBC)
   
Free ‘Science on the Sound’ series offers range of topics at Highline’s MaST Center
Community members can hear from local, regional and national experts during free monthly presentations at Highline College’s Marine Science and Technology (MaST) Center. The ‘Science on the Sound’ series focuses on topics of interest within the Puget Sound region. Each 45-minute presentation will begin at Noon and is open to the public. (Waterland Blog)

County Panel Approves Rail Expansion In Columbia Gorge Despite Oil-Train Controversy
A county planning commission has given its approval to a rail expansion in the same stretch of the Columbia River Gorge where a Union Pacific oil train derailed and burst into flames. The derailment in June resulted in an oil spill that contaminated groundwater. It also galvanized opposition to increased oil train traffic in the Northwest. The Wasco County Planning commission voted Monday to approve the rail expansion through the city of Mosier. That’s after a motion to deny the application failed to draw support from a majority on the panel. The railroad wants to increase the number of trains carrying oil and other freight through the gorge.
David Steves reports. (OPB/EarthFix)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  218 AM PDT WED SEP 28 2016  

TODAY
 W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING NW IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND  WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
 W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT  AT 7 SECONDS.

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