Tuesday, October 11, 2016

10/11 Storms, Oso settled, quake, green Bryant, Tacoma LNG, oil train safety, export rules, marsh garden

Belated Hurrah For World Octopus Day, October 8
Octopuses are worthy of appreciation for a number of reasons. First of all, they are one of earth’s great survivors. Indeed, despite their relatively short life span, octopus fossils date back more than 300 million years, meaning that they pre-date even dinosaurs. They are also highly intelligent, with around 500 million neurons located in their brains and arms, allowing them to bypass their instincts, learn lessons and solve problems. (Days of the Year)

Powerful October storms expected to pound B.C. South Coast this week
A series of powerful storms is expected to pound B.C.'s South Coast this week, including Metro Vancouver and Victoria, with heavy rains and strong winds expected to arrive Wednesday night and continue through Sunday.... Rainfall on the west and inland areas of Vancouver Island may exceed 200 mm, while rain in inner coastal regions could top 100 mm, Environment Canada warns. Winds over exposed coastal areas may exceed 80 km/hr. (CBC) See also: Typhoon remnants powering storm heading to NW: What to expect  Morgan Palmer reports. (KIRO)

Day after state settles, timber company agrees to pay $10M in Oso landslide suit
The survivors and families of the 43 people killed in the 2014 Oso landslide have reached settlements totaling $60 million with the state and the timber company that was logging atop the mountain despite its long history of instability. Monday’s $10 million settlement with Grandy Lake Forest Associates came just hours after the state of Washington announced it would pay $50 million to settle the case. Opening statements in the trial, which was expected to last more than three months, were to begin Monday in King County Superior Court. Mike Carter reports. (Seattle Times) See also: State settles Oso mudslide lawsuit for $50 million   Hours before the start of a civil trial to determine whether anyone should be held responsible for the carnage caused by the Oso mudslide, lawyers for those harmed announced they’ve reached a $50 million settlement to dismiss their claims against the state of Washington. The settlement was announced Sunday afternoon in a press release from attorneys for the plaintiffs. Scott North, Noah Haglund and Eric Stevick report. (Everett Herald)

Why the risk of the 'Big One' in B.C. is heightened every 14 months
Roughly every 14 months, for about a two week period, seismologist Alison Bird won't park underground. That's because she knows the chances are higher of a big earthquake striking. Almost like clockwork, thousands of tiny tremors rumble unfelt across the Pacific Northwest indicating a 'slow-slip' event is taking place.   Bird, an earthquake seismologist for the Geological Survey of Canada, says it's something scientists discovered at the office in Victoria when they noticed an unusual pattern on seismograms. "Every 14 months or so there's a sudden reversal of movement [of Vancouver island] for a couple of weeks," she said Johanna Wagstaffe reports. (CBC)

Activists dispute Bryant’s claim that he’s an environmentalist
The Republican candidate for governor sees himself as a conservationist in the mold of Teddy Roosevelt; critics say his record suggests otherwise. Lewis Kamb reports. (Seattle Times)

What experts say about PSE’s secret LNG plant studies
The siting and fire safety studies commissioned by Puget Sound Energy’s proposed liquified natural gas plant on the Tacoma Tideflats were thorough evaluations of the common risks associated with such plant, according to industry experts asked to review the work by The News Tribune. The studies contemplated broken pipes, leaks and other accidental spills of LNG involving potential failure of every pipe larger than two inches. The studies say such leaks would be contained on the site. The documents spend far less time considering the effects of an unlikely but catastrophic failure of the plant’s massive LNG storage tank, according to the two engineering experts who reviewed them. That situation is analyzed only as a breakage of its inner tank or as a top-burning fire that firefighters would have to watch burn itself out. Derrick Nunnally reports. (Tacoma News Tribune) See also: Federal rules bar release of Tacoma LNG documents? Not so, feds say  Derrick Nunnally reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Vancouver [WA] Oil Terminal Project Makes Big Bet On Oil Train Safety
The company behind the oil-by-rail terminal proposed for the Port of Vancouver announced new safety measures Friday. It hopes they will quell fears about the project. Oil company Tesoro says it wants to prove to the community and regulators that it takes safety concerns seriously. The Vancouver Energy terminal project is offering to operate far below maximum capacity for two years. General Manager Jared Larrabee said they would only increase the amount of oil they ship if the terminal – and rail cars and shipping tankers transporting the oil - operate without a public safety or environmental incident. Jes Burns reports. (OPB/EarthFix)

Whatcom County to hold town hall on Cherry Point export rules Thursday
The Whatcom County Planning Commission will hold a town hall Thursday, Oct. 13, on changes that would impact fossil fuel exports at Cherry Point. The 6:30 p.m. meeting in the County Council Chambers at 311 Grand Ave. will include a town hall and State Environmental Policy Act public hearing on the proposed amendments to the county’s Comprehensive Plan. In July, Whatcom County Council directed the commission to study amendments to the Cherry Point portion of the land use planning document and give the council a recommendation by mid-January 2017. Samantha Wohlfeil reports. (Bellingham Herald)

To solve water pollution, Seattle turns to an old solution
The marshy gardens between the sidewalks and curbs in South Lake Union look like a landscaper’s attempt to bring some greenery back into an otherwise gray, urban area. You could walk right past, hardly giving it a moment’s thought. But in fact, the project is the biggest piece of Seattle’s effort to cut back on one of the most pernicious clashes between the Emerald City and its natural surroundings: the the stormwater runoff that pours into Puget Sound, dumping loads of toxic chemicals nasty enough to kill salmon and other aquatic life. Samantha Larson reports. (Crosscut)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  331 AM PDT TUE OCT 11 2016  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 3 PM PDT THIS AFTERNOON
 
TODAY
 E WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 3 TO  4 FT AT 14 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
 SE WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 3  FT AT 13 SECONDS.

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