Thursday, December 8, 2016

12/8 'SnotBot,' suing EPA, Scott Pruitt, KM oil pipe, Growler noise, building moratorium

'SnotBot' (Ocean Alliance)
How High Schoolers’ Hacks Fixed a Whale Snot-Collecting Drone
The Ipswich Tigers high school robotics team rises to Ocean Alliance's challenge to collect DNA from whale snot-- the stuff that comes out from a whale's blowhole. Enter "SnotBot." John R. Platt reports. (Hakai Magazine)

Groups sue feds to force Washington to protect Puget Sound
An environmental group is suing the federal government to force Washington state to do more to protect Puget Sound from polluted runoff from roads, farms, logging and boats. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, seeks to force the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to cut funding to the state for failing to protect coastal water quality. A similar lawsuit by the same group - Portland, Oregon-based Northwest Environmental Advocates - resulted in the agencies cutting $1.2 million in grant funding to Oregon this year. The group says the agencies first told Washington in 1998 that it was failing to control such pollution, but there's no evidence Washington has done any better, and the feds have not cut off funding in response as the law requires. The EPA declined to comment. (Associated Press)

Trump to pick Oklahoma Attorney General Pruitt as head of EPA, source confirms to CNBC
President-elect Donald Trump will nominate Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to serve as head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a source familiar with the decision confirmed to CNBC on Wednesday. Pruitt has been a fierce critic of the EPA, and has been tied to the oil and gas industry, which aligns with Trump's signaling of an interest in loosening energy regulations. "Environmental protection, what they do is a disgrace; every week they come out with new regulations," Trump said during a television interview earlier this year. Everett Rosenfeld reports. (CNBC)

Sen. Cantwell fears Puget Sound could be hurt by expansion of Canadian pipeline 
 Washington state Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell on Wednesday asked President Barack Obama to work with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to make sure that an expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline does not hurt the Pacific Northwest. Rob Hotakainen reports. (McClatchy) See also: Could increased tanker traffic tank Vancouver's tourism industry?   Roshini Nair reports. (CBC) And also: Pacific Northwest tribes plan action against B.C. oil pipeline  Alison Morrow reports. (KING)

Navy says jet increase would mean noise more often for Port Townsend
Whichever alternative the Navy chooses for adding EA-18G Growler jets and training flights to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Port Townsend residents will hear jets more often, Navy officials said. Navy officials on Monday afternoon conducted an open house at Fort Worden on its draft environmental impact study (EIS) on adding 35 or 36 Growlers to the Whidbey Island air station and increasing training flights. The plan would increase the number of personnel and training flights taking place on Whidbey Island starting as soon as 2017. A few hundred people attended, many concerned about the increased noise on the North Olympic Peninsula. Cydney McFarland reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Whatcom Council curbs rural building that relies on exempt wells for 3 more months
The County Council is continuing to curb new developments that rely on exempt wells in much of Whatcom County for the next three months, despite pleas from angry property owners. County officials have said they needed more time to find solutions – and to come into compliance – after the state Supreme Court ruled the county failed to protect water resources as required by the Growth Management Act. The court said the county must make sure, before approving a new permit, that there was enough water in streams for fish and those holding senior water rights. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  304 AM PST THU DEC 8 2016  

GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING
 
TODAY
 E WIND 25 TO 35 KT. COMBINED SEAS 5 TO 8 FT WITH A  DOMINANT PERIOD OF 13 SECONDS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF RAIN.
TONIGHT
 E WIND 25 TO 35 KT...EASING LATE. COMBINED SEAS 5 TO 8  FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 11 SECONDS. RAIN MIXED WITH SNOW AT  TIMES.

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