Wednesday, May 3, 2017

5/3 Coal levy, EPA budget, no KM campaign, more green crabs, lidar maps, rural wells, 'Salmonscam'

Storm Islands [Laurie MacBride]
Look But Don’t Linger
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "We’ve passed close by the Storm Islands a couple of times on our way to and from BC’s Central Coast. They lie mid-channel about 20 km northeast of Vancouver Island – right about where the massive and open waters of Queen Charlotte Sound meet the only marginally less open waters of Queen Charlotte Strait. The islands are well named, since they’re exposed to heavy swell coming in from the Pacific Ocean, even on relatively “calm” days like the one shown here…"

B.C. Liberals threaten thermal coal levy in retaliation for U.S. softwood dispute
B.C. Liberal Leader Christy Clark is pledging to put a carbon levy on thermal coal shipments, including from the U.S., if the federal government doesn't agree to ban thermal coal shipments as retaliation for new U.S. softwood lumber tariffs. Last week, Clark asked Ottawa to ban the shipments. Today, she said if the federal government doesn't act, a re-elected B.C. Liberal government would. "Now is the right time ... to send a strong message to the Trump administration and U.S. lumber barons that we will not back down," Clark said. "The levy would make thermal coal shipped through British Columbia utterly uncompetitive in the global market." Lisa Johnson reports. (CBC)

EPA, Clean Energy Spared Trump's Ax in $1.1 Trillion Budget Deal
Environmental programs marked for death or deep cuts by President Donald Trump got a reprieve in the government funding deal revealed early Monday by congressional leaders -- at least for now. The Environmental Protection Agency, targeted for $247 million in cuts for this year’s funding, instead escaped with a budget trimmed by $81 million -- or 1 percent -- and no staff reductions. Research divisions within the Department of Energy received increases despite calls by Trump to slash or eliminate them. For example, its advanced research program, which would have been cut in half under Trump’s 2017 spending plan, instead will get a $15 million increase in funding this year. Ari Natter and Jennifer A Dlouhy report. (Bloomberg)

B.C. First Nation begins social media campaign against Kinder Morgan expansion
A British Columbia First Nation hopes selfies and social media will add clout to its battle against the planned expansion of an oil pipeline. The Tsleil-Waututh Nation has erected a billboard near downtown Vancouver that proclaims "I'm Another Voter Against the Pipeline." It invites supporters to take a selfie in front of the board and post it online as voters in British Columbia get ready to head to the polls on May 9. (Canadian Press)

Search resumes for invasive green crabs in area waters
Volunteers are back to search Skagit County’s shorelines throughout the summer for invasive European green crabs. One green crab was found Saturday in the mudflats of north Padilla Bay, said Emily Grason, Washington Sea Grant crab team coordinator. That crab is believed to be the same age as those recovered from the bay in September, and therefore part of the same group that arrived in area waters in 2016. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

New Map Shows the World Hidden Beneath Your Feet
Puget Sound is grooved like an old record. That’s one of the Earth’s secrets that can be found on a new interactive map produced by the state. Using lidar technology, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources has mapped a good third of the state revealing the smallest of details hidden beneath trees, buildings and other obstructions.  Craig Sailor reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

State Senate passes bill (again) aimed at solving controversy over rural wells
For the second time this year, the Senate approved a bill Tuesday aimed at reversing a state Supreme Court decision against Whatcom County that has kept hundreds of rural homeowners statewide from using or digging new water wells. Why now? Legislators began a 30-day special session April 24 and, due to procedural rules, bills that passed one chamber but not the other during the regular 105-day session must be re-approved when lawmakers reconvene in overtime. Among those was Senate Bill 5239, billed as a fix to decision that has confounded politicians and rural homeowners alike in Whatcom and other counties. Jim Donaldson reports. (Bellingham Herald)

30 years after 'Salmonscam': Remembering a leader in the fishing-rights struggle
Three decades after the “Salmonscam” trial, David Sohappy Sr. is remembered for his role in the fight over tribal treaty fishing rights. Alan Berner reports. (Seattle Times)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  258 AM PDT WED MAY 3 2017  

TODAY
 E WIND TO 10 KT BECOMING NE IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES  1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 11 SECONDS. RAIN IN THE MORNING  THEN RAIN LIKELY IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
 NE WIND TO 10 KT IN THE EVENING BECOMING LIGHT. WIND  WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 13 SECONDS. A SLIGHT CHANCE  OF SHOWERS IN THE EVENING.
--
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