Tuesday, April 4, 2017

4/4 Hooker cleanup, Point Grey dump, orcas!, Lk Whatcom, graphene, energy efficiency, KXL $, Pruitt on Fox News

Fish Egg Inlet [Laurie MacBride]
Into the Mystery
Laurie MacBride in Eye On Environment writes: "Fish Egg Inlet reaches eastward from BC’s Inside Passage, extending into the mainland coast and forming part of the Great Bear Rainforest. Fish Egg is more than just your “average inlet”: it’s a huge complex of bays, islands, reefs, channels and tidal lagoons – an intricate labyrinth that wasn’t even charted until the early 1990s. This, despite being just around the corner from Rivers Inlet, a 45-mile long fjord that was first charted 200 years earlier by Captain George Vancouver’s men…." (read more)

Hooker chemical cleanup planning a messy process
For decades, the Hooker Chemical Corp. on the Tacoma Tideflats was a prime economic driver of the city. Chemical innovation meant industrial jobs and city prosperity, especially in an era before strong environmental protection…. Today, what it left has become a topic of fervent debate. The state Department of Ecology is weighing pollution cleanup possibilities that could cost Occidental, which acquired Hooker (and responsibility for its sites) in 1968, hundreds of millions of dollars. Decisions made in the coming months will dictate decades of work. An estimated 1 million pounds of toxic chemicals, dumped by accidents and routine disposal, sit stewing in the soils and groundwater under the land the company still owns. The nonprofit Citizens for a Healthy Bay calls it “by far the worst unaddressed contamination in Commencement Bay.” Derrick Nunnally reports. (News Tribune of Tacoma)

Mysterious site off Vancouver's Point Grey is Canada's largest marine disposal site
Six kilometres due west of Wreck Beach and the University of British Columbia lies a mysterious federal marine disposal site — the largest and oldest in Canada — where vast amounts of dredged and excavated material are dumped each year. “It’s kind of a secret thing, that’s the way I describe it,” says Terry Slack, a veteran gillnetter and public watchdog on local fishing issues who worries about the dump. “Not too many people know it exists.” Officially opened in 1976, the site received about 22.1 million cubic metres of material to 2014, including 2.3 million cubic metres dumped there from 1930 to 1976. The site has a radius of one nautical mile and is situated at a depth of 240 metres. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

ORCAS: Back in Puget Sound today  (West Seattle Blog) Orcas visit Kitsap  Nice whale pix. (Kitsap Sun)

What will it take to get phosphorous pollution out of Lake Whatcom?
Constructing systems that capture and filter runoff flowing into Lake Whatcom isn’t going to be enough to vastly reduce the amount of phosphorous in the lake that serves as the source of drinking water for nearly half of Whatcom County. It’s also going to require other actions such as getting homeowners around the lake to voluntarily switch out their lawns for native plantings, install rain gardens or put in permeable pavement – all designed to reduce the impact of residential development by filtering phosphorous, a long-stand problem because it depletes oxygen and causes seasonal algae blooms in the lake. The lake is the source of drinking water for about 100,000 residents in Whatcom County, including Bellingham. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Graphene-based sieve turns seawater into drinking water
A UK-based team of researchers has created a graphene-based sieve capable of removing salt from seawater. The sought-after development could aid the millions of people without ready access to clean drinking water. The promising graphene oxide sieve could be highly efficient at filtering salts, and will now be tested against existing desalination membranes. Paul Rincon reports. (BBC)

States ready to sue Trump Administration over energy efficiency
Attorneys general from 11 states are taking new action against the Trump Administration over energy efficiency standards. They are working to protect an Obama-administration rule they think is in jeopardy. New efficiency standards for coolers and fans were supposed to go into effect by now. However, the Trump Administration has put them on hold until Sept 30. The attorneys general, led by New York, have announced they intend to sue over that delay. They'll sue if the efficiency rules aren't enforced within 60 days. Paige Browning reports. (KUOW)

Seattle City Council votes to avoid banking with Keystone XL backers
The Seattle City Council voted unanimously Monday to oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline that the Trump administration signed off on last month and to request that the city’s finance department explore how it might avoid contracting with banks backing the $8 billion project. The Trump administration’s move reversed the Obama administration’s rejection of the pipeline, which would carry about 800,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta, Canada, through several American states to the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana. The Keystone XL wouldn’t pass anywhere near Seattle, but anti-pipeline activists in the city and elsewhere say the project would contribute to devastating climate change. Daniel Beekman reports. (Seattle Times)

The left and right agree: Fox News destroyed EPA chief Scott Pruitt over climate change
Any expectation that Scott Pruitt, the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, would be able to cruise through an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” over the weekend was dashed within about 10 seconds of the interview. “Good morning, Chris, how are you?” Pruitt asked host Chris Wallace. That would be the softest question raised in the entire segment. “Good,” Wallace replied quickly. And then, in the same breath, Wallace began grilling Pruitt about an executive order President Trump signed last week to dismantle President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan, which had required states to cut down on overall emissions and sought to limit carbon emissions from power plants. Amy Wang reports. (Washington Post)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  250 AM PDT TUE APR 4 2017  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM THIS EVENING THROUGH LATE
 TONIGHT
TODAY  E WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 4 FT  AT 12 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN THIS AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
 SE WIND 20 TO 30 KT. WIND WAVES 3 TO 5 FT. W SWELL  7 FT AT 11 SECONDS BUILDING TO SW 10 FT AT 11 SECONDS AFTER  MIDNIGHT. RAIN.

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