Monday, July 24, 2017

7/24 Tom Jay salmon, Seattle sewer, BC LNG, BC Hydro, WA green budget, forest fish, dam debate, loonie rise

Tom Jay's salmon
Tom Jay: "Salmon are the sea-bright silver shuttles that weave us all together."
Tom Jay's monumental salmon was dedicated at LaConner's Waterfront Park along the Swinomish Slough. You can slide down the salmon after walking up a ramp through a shape of a salmon. According to artist Tony Angell, Tom had been working on this piece for over a year and many others had helped him from time to time.  "I think this is a remarkable metaphor as Tom's works so evocatively suggest, for the entire community came together around the project and the profound and lasting meaning of its statement" said Tony. And, as Tom said, "Salmon are the sea-bright silver shuttles that weave us all together."

Troubled West Point Treatment Plant has problems with staff turnover, training
It’s not a new complaint at the West Point Treatment Plant — the cost of living is too high for operators to live near the Magnolia facility and the commute is a bear. The result is employees transfer elsewhere, leaving the largest and most complex treatment plant in the Pacific Northwest in the hands of less experienced and less trained crews. A recent report by AECOM, a contractor hired by King County to determine causes and contributing factors to the Feb. 9 catastrophic flood at West Point, found the facility had the highest turnover of employees among the three county plants and a lack of consistent training. The Seattle Times discovered these are long-standing problems the county has failed to solve. Christine Willmsen reports. (Seattle Times)

BC NDP to press on with LNG support; Green allies remain opposed
British Columbia's new NDP government will continue support for the development of a liquefied natural gas sector, despite its past criticisms of the former Liberal government's aggressive pursuit of the industry. Jen Holmwood, a spokeswoman for the NDP, said in a statement last week a more detailed outline of the new government's view on LNG will be upcoming, but she said the NDP will conditionally support the industry. The Liberals campaigned in the last two elections on an LNG sector becoming a major boon for the province, creating jobs and revenues…. But Adam Olsen, one of three BC Green Party members of the legislature who have committed to support the NDP as government, said the Greens remain opposed to LNG development. Ian Bailey reports. (Globe and Mail)

Not too late for LNG projects: B.C. LNG Alliance responds to criticism
The National Energy Board has described Canada as a "late entrant" to the liquefied natural gas industry in a recent report, sparking debate about when—if ever—was the right time to push forward with LNG projects. A little over four years ago, the B.C. Liberal government under Christy Clark promised the LNG industry would bring billions to the province by the year 2020. Now, there is a new government, no new plants under construction and LNG prices, in the words of the NEB, are "historically low." But David Keane, the president of the B.C. LNG Alliance, told CBC's Early Edition guest host Stephen Quinn he thinks it's entirely feasible to have a significant LGN industry going forward. Clare Hennig reports. (CBC)

BC Hydro CEO Jessica McDonald fired
The BC Hydro board of directors has fired CEO Jessica McDonald as the new NDP government continues to make changes after being sworn into office earlier this week. On Thursday, Kenneth Peterson was appointed chair of the BC Hydro board, replacing former Liberal adviser Brad Bennett. "[Peterson] was given the direction to assess any changes that needed to be made and he clearly did that job," said Energy Minister Michelle Mungall. Karin Larson reports. (CBC)

Washington Lawmakers Leave Enviros Feeling Shorted
Washington’s legislative session, the longest in state history, did not deliver the money environmentalists wanted for toxic cleanup, oil transportation safety, or natural resources. Going into the session, the Environmental Priorities Coalition — made up of more than twenty Washington environmental groups — had placed a priority on getting the state to spend more on environmental protection.  EilĂ­s O'Neill and Courtney Flatt report. (KUOW/EarthFix)

Forest battle continues over defining the upper bounds of fish habitat
A long-running battle over how to manage potential fish habitat on commercial forestland could be coming to a head — although it isn’t clear if the solution will satisfy either forestland owners or environmentalists. To be clear, there is not much argument about streamside buffers where salmon, trout and other fish are readily found, thanks to state and federal rules stemming from the landmark Forests and Fish Report. Buffers are designed to save trees that serve the needs of fish — including insects for food, shade for cool water and eventually down trees that form pools for resting as well as hiding places and spawning areas. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Red cloud: Environmental experts fear for fish as wildfires drive more fire retardant drops
With more than 700 wildfires burning through British Columbia's forests since this spring, environmental experts fear the rising use of chemical fire retardants may put wild fish at risk. The red plumes of the ammonia compound are a critical tool in aerial fire fighting, and it's expected to be needed more in coming decades if climate change causes more wildfires, according to B.C.'s Wildfire Management Branch. The B.C. Wildfire Service says air tankers have already dropped eight million litres of retardant. That's a lot, considering the yearly average in the province is 9.4 million litres over the course of the entire wildfire season. And B.C. pilots say sometimes it's accidentally dropped into streams and lakes. Yvette Brend reports. (CBC)

Debating Dams: What's The Best Way To Protect Salmon?
What’s the best way to ensure the return of salmon and steelhead to something like their historic numbers in the Columbia and Snake rivers? It’s been a hotly debated question for more than 20 years. And it’s getting a renewed look with a controversial option on the table: Removing the four lower Snake River dams. Last year, Federal District Court Judge Michael Simon rejected the government’s latest plan to protect threatened and endangered fish. The plan guides dam operations along the Columbia and Snake rivers. This was the fifth time it had been rejected. Simon wrote in his decision that the system “cries out for a new approach.” He told the federal government it needed to study the effects of removing or altering the Snake River dams. Courtney Flatt and MacGregor Campbell reports. (NWPR/EarthFix)

Canadian dollar taking aim at 80 cents US for first time in 2 years
The Canadian dollar is flirting with 80 cents US, a level it hasn't touched since the summer of 2015. The Canadian dollar finished last week just below the threshold, settling at 79.76 cents US when stock markets closed on Friday. Since bottoming out at the start of May, the loonie has gained almost 10 per cent, buoyed by a series of strong data points about the Canadian economy including a strong job market, booming retail sales and factories ramping up production. Peter Evans reports. (CBC)

They’ve fought an asphalt plant for decades. Now, they have to battle county government.
Howard Glastetter and his Nisqually Valley neighbors waged war against Lakeside Industries’ proposal to use recycled asphalt at its plant on Durgin Road when the company applied to open it in 1999. Over the years, there have been lawsuits, appeals and negotiations. Now, Thurston County commissioners have asked for a review of a policy that prohibits the use of recycled asphalt by asphalt plants the area. It’s one of the projects for the Comprehensive Plan amendments for 2017-18. Lisa Pemberton reports. (Olympian)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  249 AM PDT Mon Jul 24 2017  
 Light wind becoming NE 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 6 ft at 8 seconds.
 W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming SW to 10 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft subsiding to 1 ft or less. W swell  6 ft at 8 seconds.

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  1. GREAT, another reason to go to la Conner! Thanks Mike!