Thursday, May 11, 2017

5/11 Monuments, glass sponges, Tesoro, methane, Kinder Morgan, Rayonier cleanup, Tideflats, Whidbey water, Takaya

Hanford Reach, Washington [National Geographic]
Incredible Pictures of 27 National Monuments Under Threat
The public is invited to comment as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke tours monuments Utah politicians want abolished or shrunk. Laura Parker reports. (National Geographic)

National monuments: Trump may target San Juan Islands, some fear
With only 1,000 acres, the San Juan Islands National Monument in Washington state’s northwestern tip may be too tiny to even matter to President Donald Trump. It’s a speck compared to the 27 big monuments that the White House targeted for a federal review on Friday, with only one on the list smaller than 100,000 acres. Yet backers of the San Juan Islands monument, a tourism magnet in the Salish Sea, hardly feel safe. They fear that Trump could soon use an executive order he signed on April 26 to try to overturn designations of smaller federally protected sites, too. Rob Hotakainen reports. (McClatchy)

Rare glass sponge reefs on B.C. Coast to star in live streamed expedition
People around the world can catch a glimpse of the rare glass sponge reefs found in the B.C. waters over the next week or so. A team of scientists will be live streaming research conducted deep underwater in Hecate Strait. The kind of glass sponge found in B.C. was thought to have died off 40 million years ago until fragile living reefs were discovered near Haida Gwaii in 1987. Megan Thomas reports. (CBC)

Thousands of comments received for Tesoro draft EIS
Skagit County Planning and Development Services received about 7,800 comments on its environmental review of the Tesoro Anacortes Refinery’s proposed clean products upgrade project. The March Point refinery proposes upgrading existing equipment and building new equipment to reduce some types of emissions and to extract xylene for shipment overseas. Xylene is a chemical compound created during the oil refining process. It can be used to manufacture plastic and polyester materials. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

In Win for Environmentalists, Senate Keeps an Obama-Era Climate Change Rule
In a surprising victory for President Barack Obama’s environmental legacy, the Senate voted on Wednesday to uphold an Obama-era climate change regulation to control the release of methane from oil and gas wells on public land. Senators voted 51 to 49 to block consideration of a resolution to repeal the 2016 Interior Department rule to curb emissions of methane, a powerful planet-warming greenhouse gas. Senators John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Susan Collins of Maine, all Republicans who have expressed concern about climate change and backed legislation to tackle the issue, broke with their party to join Democrats and defeat the resolution. Coral Davenport reports. (NY Times)

Kinder Morgan Files Trans Mountain IPO, Drops Partnership
Kinder Morgan Inc. is seeking to raise about C$1.75 billion ($1.28 billion) in an initial public offering of assets including the Trans Mountain pipeline system in Canada, scrapping plans for a minority stake sale to potential partners such as ArcLight Capital Partners. The pipeline operator plans to offer the shares in Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. at C$19 to C$22 apiece and list in Toronto, according to a regulatory filing Wednesday. The company expects to issue 79.5 million to 92.1 million shares to help finance Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion Project, valuing the company at about C$7.07 billion based on the mid-point of the range and 345 million shares outstanding. Scott Deveau reports. (Bloomberg) See also: Judge won't allow climate change argument in pipeline break-in retrial  Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Slow cleanup nets much frustration at Rayonier mill
Residents are irritated by the ongoing, two-decades-old environmental cleanup at the former 75.6 acre Rayonier pulp mill site and the adjacent waters of Port Angeles Harbor, they told state Department of Ecology officials. The officials hosted an open-house presentation Tuesday at the Elwha Klallam Heritage Center on environmental cleanup-restoration sites in Port Angeles…. Rebecca Lawson, a southwest region manager for Ecology, predicted Wednesday that cleanup of Rayonier property and that section of Port Angeles Harbor that Rayonier polluted and is responsible for cleaning up will be completed by 2026 — a year short of 30 years after the mill closed. Paul Gottlieb reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Tacoma City Council approves consolidating planning efforts into Tideflats subarea plan and funds $500,000 for planning process
The Tacoma Tideflats is on its way to getting a subarea plan — an in-depth planning road map that will take years to develop and include input from the city, the Port of Tacoma and the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. The Tacoma City Council voted Tuesday night to consolidate several planning requests into the subarea plan. They included a proposal to create a buffer zone between heavy industry east of the Hylebos Waterway and Northeast Tacoma homes, and a request by Councilman Ryan Mello to review heavy industrial uses at the port. Candice Ruud reports. (News Tribune of Tacoma)

Whidbey locals ask: Is the drinking water safe?
Wearing gloves that barely fit, Garry Stone slipped two small, square-shaped bottles, one after the other, under a stream of water from his well. After packing the bottles on ice, the Whidbey Island resident took them to join samples from 40 other households also collecting their own water for testing. They all want to know what, exactly, is in their drinking water. Lizz Giordano reports. (Crosscut)

Takaya and the Salish Sea
Where the land and the Salish Sea meet, one of the south Island’s most notorious animals stands watch over what are regarded as some of the most biologically diverse and important waters in the world. Takaya, also known as the Discovery Island Wolf, has been inhabiting the Discovery/Chatham Islands – just off the shores of Oak Bay – for the last five years or so. Not only is he an anomaly in his choice to remain a lone wolf, but also in his choice of habitat – a rocky shoreline rather than the forested habitat of choice for many B.C. wolves. (BCLocal News)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  255 AM PDT THU MAY 11 2017  

TODAY
 W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT  AT 11 SECONDS. SHOWERS.
TONIGHT  W WIND 5 TO 15 KT BECOMING SE AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND  WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 11 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY.

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