Tuesday, September 19, 2017

9/19 Kalama gas, farmed salmon, Trumpeter Cr., monuments, Navy training, Van sewage, BC pipe, big oil, balloon ban, coral threat

Caddisfly adult [Stockphoto/Thinkstock]
Caddisfly
Caddisfly (order Trichoptera), any of a group of mothlike insects that are attracted to lights at night and live near lakes or rivers. Because fish feed on the immature, aquatic stages and trout take flying adults, caddisflies are often used as models for the artificial flies used in fishing…. Caddisflies are widely distributed in freshwater habitats throughout the world…. Approximately 7,000 species of caddisflies are known. (Brittannica)

Ruling Invalidates Key Permits For Kalama Methanol Plant
A Washington state board has invalidated two key permits for a methanol project proposed in Kalama, Washington. In denying the permits, Washington’s Shorelines Hearings Board sided with Columbia Riverkeeper, Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity, three environmental groups that appealed the permits in June. The board ruled that the Port of Kalama and Cowlitz County violated the law by failing to fully evaluate greenhouse gas emissions from what would be the world’s largest gas to methanol plant if it’s built. Molly Solomon reports. (OPB)

Literally lousy: Parasite plagues world salmon industry
Salmon have a lousy problem, and the race to solve it is spanning the globe. A surge of parasitic sea lice is disrupting salmon farms around the world. The tiny lice attach themselves to salmon and feed on them, killing or rendering them unsuitable for dinner tables. Meanwhile, wholesale prices of salmon are way up, as high as 50 percent last year. That means higher consumer prices for everything from salmon fillets and steaks to more expensive lox on bagels. The lice are actually tiny crustaceans that have infested salmon farms in the U.S., Canada, Scotland, Norway and Chile, major suppliers of the high-protein, heart-healthy fish. Scientists and fish farmers are working on new ways to control the pests, which Fish Farmer Magazine stated last year costs the global aquaculture industry about $1 billion annually. Patrick Whittle reports. (Associated Press)

B.C. farmed salmon gets 'good alternative' rating in U.S.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program has upgraded its rating of British Columbia farmed Atlantic salmon from "avoid" to "good alternative," but Canadian seafood sustainability groups still say buying farmed fish is not recommended. The improved U.S. rating comes as part of a routine review of updated scientific research on the Atlantic salmon being raised in pens in B.C. The last assessment by Seafood Watch in 2014 landed the fish in the program's lowest ranking, red, but it's now in the middle category, yellow. Rafferty Baker reports. (CBC)

Project underway to restore flow of Trumpeter Creek
A usually quiet area where tall grasses surround a murky creek just northeast of Mount Vernon was bustling Monday as a group worked to catch fish in nets. The fish were being taken out of Trumpeter Creek as part of a restoration project. Skagit County, the Skagit Land Trust and Ducks Unlimited are working together on the project, which will restore Trumpeter Creek to a flow that will meander through the grassy landscape and eventually be flanked by trees and shrubs. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Leaked Memo Suggests Shrinking Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument
New details about a proposal to shrink the size and loosen protections for Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument are being greeted with anger and dismay by opponents. Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is on the short list of wild lands that President Trump’s administration wants to shrink. New details about the recommendations by President Trump’s interior secretary surfaced Sunday in a memo obtained by The Washington Post. The memo was short on specifics. It suggested the monument’s boundaries, which President Obama had expanded in 2017, should be “revised through the use of appropriate authority … to reduce impacts on private lands and remove O&C Lands to allow sustained yield timber production.” Courtney Flatt reports. (NWPR/EarthFix) See also: Shrink at least 4 national monuments and modify a half-dozen others, Zinke tells Trump Juliet Eilperin reports. (Washington Post)

Group sues over Navy's plans for training in national forest 
A new lawsuit is challenging a decision by the U.S. Forest Service to let the Navy use Olympic National Forest for expanded electronic-warfare training exercises. The Forest Service in late July issued the Navy a special permit that will allow it to drive three mobile electronic transmitters onto roads in the forest and park them at 11 spots, mostly above cliffs or other viewpoints facing west to the ocean. The transmitters would engage in exercises with radar-jamming jet pilots from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, and they would operate about 12 hours per day on up to 250 days per year. A group called Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics sued over the decision in U.S. District Court on Friday. It says the Forest Service failed to consider whether the transmitters could be parked on private land instead, or whether the Navy's use of the land is compatible with the public's enjoyment of the land. Those considerations are required under Olympic National Forest's management plan, the lawsuit said. (Associated Press)

New North Shore sewage treatment plant could produce renewable energy
Metro Vancouver’s board will decide this week whether to spend $17.9 million on a system to capture thermal energy from treated sewage at the new North Shore Waste Water Treatment Plant. Staff have recommended the expenditure, along with an agreement to sell the energy to the the City of North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Energy Corporation, and the regional district’s utilities committee gave it the green light last week. Jennifer Saltman reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Enbridge pipeline project cited for safety, environmental protection issues 
The National Energy Board is ordering a subsidiary of Enbridge Inc. to take measures to improve worker safety and environmental protection after several infractions were spotted during field inspections of a B.C. pipeline expansion project. The agency says it issued three orders to Spectra Energy Transmission concerning construction of its High Pine natural gas pipeline expansion project near Chetwynd, B.C. The NEB says the new pipeline poses no immediate environmental or public safety concerns. (Canadian Press)

FOI hints at petroleum industry influence on B.C. climate policy
Provincial government officials held a series of meetings with oil and gas industry representatives in Calgary at the start of 2016 to talk about B.C.’s climate-action plan, which the Canadian Centre of Policy Alternatives argues constituted undue influence over public policy. Langley MLA Rich Coleman, who was then Minister of Natural Gas Development, characterized the sessions as consultation aimed at hitting greenhouse-gas-reduction targets “while maintaining strong economic growth.” To the CCPA, however, the meetings, which it only found out about through Freedom of Information requests, speak to “regulatory capture” of government by the energy industry, argues Shannon Daub, the centre’s associate director in B.C. Derrick Penner reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Balloon ban motion defeated by Vancouver Park Board
The Vancouver Park Board has deflated a proposal to ban balloons in all city parks.  In a 5-2 vote, commissioners rejected the motion, which had gained national attention since it was introduced last week.  Green Party Park Board Commissioner Stuart Mackinnon, who introduced the motion, said its most important effect would be to let people know the environmental hazards of balloons. Justin McElroy reports. (CBC)

Another Growing Threat To Hawaii's Coral Reefs: Invasive Algae 
Hawaii’s corals appear to have been spared this summer from another mass bleaching, a stress response caused by warmer waters that has ravaged reefs in recent years. But they haven’t been so lucky with another emerging threat. An invasive algae called leather mudweed is rapidly spreading in places where it had been mostly removed and has been found in new areas around Oahu, according to a site survey last month by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources. Nathan Eagle reports. (Civil Beat)

Now, your tug weather--
 West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  242 AM PDT Tue Sep 19 2017  
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR HAZARDOUS SEAS IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS
 AFTERNOON  
TODAY
 Light wind becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves less than 1 ft becoming 2 ft or less in the afternoon. W  swell 12 ft at 14 seconds subsiding to 10 ft at 13 seconds in the  afternoon. Scattered showers.
TONIGHT
 SW wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell  8 ft at 12 seconds. Showers likely in the evening then a chance  of showers after midnight.

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