Wednesday, February 15, 2017

2/15 Oil fund, coal appeal, revived seagulls, Vancouver [WA] oil terminal, ocean beach erosion

Puget Sound Rockfish (NOAA)
Puget Sound Rockfish
The Puget Sound rockfish (Sebastes emphaeus) grows to 7.2 in. (18.3 cm), making it one of the smallest rockfishes. Its coloration is pink-red, orange-brown, or brown when seen underwater. Beneath the lateral line a dusky to dark brown stripe is usually present along the flanks. Green spotting appears above the line. Out of water the stripe and all coloration fades. DNA studies show that this species may be most closely related to the pygmy and harlequin rockfishes. The Latin name emphaeus means "display." (Alaska Fisheries Science Center/NOAA)

Oil spill fund shrinks as tanker traffic grows
State oil spill responders have a shrinking budget to deal with a growing problem. A newly approved British Columbia pipeline project is expected to greatly increase oil tanker and barge traffic in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the north edge of Puget Sound. Yet the state Department of Ecology oil spill response program is facing a $4 million shortfall over the next two years. Bills in the Legislature aim to fill the funding gap with a tax increase on oil shipments and an expansion of the tax to include oil transported through pipelines. The bills were proposed by Sen. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, and co-sponsored by Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island. Rep. Sherry Appleton, D-Poulsbo, is backing companion bills in the House. Tristan Baurick reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Millennium appeals state's denial of coal dock sublease
The coal project in Longview may not be dead yet. Millennium Bulk Terminals and Northwest Alloys are challenging a decision by the state Department of Natural Resources to deny an aquatic lands lease for the project. In a Feb.2 appeal filed in Cowlitz County Superior Court, Millennium and Northwest Alloys (Alcoa) challenged former land Commissioner Peter Goldmark’s assertion that the companies did not provide adequate information about Millennium’s financial standing. They also argued his decision infringes on their property rights. Northwest Alloys owns the old Reynolds Metals plant site where the coal terminal would built. Marissa Luck reports. (Longview Daily News)

Set free: Fish slushies revive sickened Tacoma gulls
Whatever paralyzed and sickened sea gulls at the Port of Tacoma in January wasn’t necessarily fatal. Sixteen of the sea gulls survived the malady — the cause of which still remains a mystery — and were released Tuesday afternoon near the Puyallup River in Tacoma. Craig Sailor reports. (News Tribune Tacoma)

Vancouver [WA] oil terminal seeks support from Tri-Cities
An oil industry executive called on Pasco on Monday to build political support for a $210 million oil-by-rail terminal in Vancouver. Dan Riley, vice president for government relations for Tesoro Refining and Marketing Co., discussed plans to establish the oil terminal during a brief visit Monday, when he spoke to the Pasco Chamber of Commerce. Tesoro, the West Coast’s largest seller of transportation fuels, and its partner, Savage Energy, want to convert an existing dock at the Port of Vancouver into an oil terminal to handle up to 360,000 barrels of crude per day. Wendy Culverwell reports. (Tri-City Herald)

Where did the beach go? El Niño eroded Washington at record levels
Beaches along Washington’s coast eroded at a record pace during the 2015-16 El Niño season. That’s the conclusion of a study released Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications. U.S. Geological Survey scientists and their colleagues say the most recent El Niño climate event was one of the most powerful in the past 145 years. Craig Sailor reports. (News Tribune Tacoma)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  300 AM PST WED FEB 15 2017  

GALE WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM PST THIS MORNING

GALE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH THURSDAY
 MORNING  
TODAY
 S WIND 25 TO 35 KT BECOMING E 15 TO 25 KT IN THE AFTERNOON.  COMBINED SEAS 12 TO 14 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 12 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT
 SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT BECOMING S 25 TO 35 KT BY MIDNIGHT.  COMBINED SEAS 11 TO 13 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 12 SECONDS  BUILDING TO 15 TO 16 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 12 SECONDS. RAIN.

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