Wednesday, November 1, 2017

11/1 State of the Sound, tangled whales, Site C, Anacortes xylene permit, Saanich bylaw nixed

Rough piddock [Robert Gorman]
Rough Piddock Zirfaea pilbryi
The Rough Piddock is a clam able to drill through rock. Look along the beach for clay or stone riddled with holes, and you may find the home of this unusual creature. Rough Piddocks have shells up to 6 inches long, one half smooth and the other rough with ridges and points. A fleshy foot extending from the rough end sticks to rock like a sucker. Once in place, muscles in the piddock's foot and body slowly turn the rough shell against the clay or rock and grind away. Thirty slight turns take an hour and rotate the piddock a full circle. Then the creature changes direction and grinds the other way. Slowly, the piddock burrows in. Rough Piddocks can live 8 years. They start burrowing right away and enlarge their burrow's diameter as they grow, effectively trapping themselves inside their rocky home. (Friends of Skagit Beaches)

Orca Concerns Take Center Stage In 2017 'State Of The Sound' Report
The state agency charged with leading the restoration of Puget Sound says it cannot meet its inaugural goal of recovering the ecosystem by 2020. That’s one of the takeaways from the Puget Sound Partnership’s 2017 “State of the Sound” report, which comes out Wednesday. The reports are issued every two years. Ten years into its mission, the agency says some progress has been made, especially on projects that respond directly to investment such as restoration of floodplains and estuaries. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)  See also: Little Progress Made Towards A Puget Sound "Fishable, Swimmable, Diggable," Says Partnership After 10 Years  (Salish Sea Communications)

Entangled: Making The Sea Safer For Whales
More than 30 times this year, the federal government has received reports of whales tangled in fishing gear along the West Coast. Sometimes the whales manage to wriggle free. Other times you see heart-rending pictures on the news or a rescue mission. The culprit often involves Dungeness crab pot lines. Now Oregon crabbers are working with marine scientists to make the seas safer for whales and to avoid a black mark on their brand. Tom Banse reports. (NW News Network)

Independent report sets stage for Site C dam to be killed or carry on 
An independent report exploring the economics of the $8.8-billion Site C dam is expected Nov. 1, setting the stage for B.C.'s NDP government to either kill or move forward on the controversial energy project by year's end. It will look specifically at how each scenario would affect the energy bills of British Columbians and the ability of the province to provide power to its residents. The report was a key election promise from the B.C. NDP and will affect the fate of thousands of workers employed in constructing the dam, as well as ranchers and First Nations whose land is impacted by the project. The B.C. Utilities Commission (BCUC) review will outline the anticipated costs of continuing construction of the dam in northeast B.C., suspending construction or ending the project altogether. Andrew Kurjata reports. (CBC) See also: B.C. premier says Site C could end up in Supreme Court over Indigenous rights  (Canadian Press)

Public Comment Period for Anacortes Petrochemical Project Closes November 1 
Northwest petrochemical projects have hit stumbling blocks across the region, but a big one on the north Puget Sound is still moving forward, and time is running out to stop it. Andeavor (formerly Tesoro) plans to expand its Anacortes oil refinery to add a petrochemical production facility to serve export markets. It’s a project that could pose serious risks for the Salish Sea, but the public has a limited opportunity to weigh in with written comments—from right now until November 1 at 4:30 pm. A lesser-known liquid petrochemical, xylene, is the principal chemical precursor in the production of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is used for making plastic bottles, polyester fibers, food packaging, paint, rubber, solvents, and other products. It is created from a partially refined crude oil product called reformate that is often produced from light oil, such as Bakken shale oil, which yields particularly high levels of petroleum naphtha. The Anacortes facility would be capable of producing 15,000 barrels of xylene per day for export, primarily to Asia, representing roughly a 9 percent increase in total US xylene production. Eric de Place reports. (Sightline)

In 5-4 vote, Saanich tosses environmental permit bylaw
A controversial environmental bylaw that has divided Saanich residents will be scrapped, with a 5-4 vote by councillors capping a tense public hearing on Saturday. The Environmental Development Permit Area bylaw, passed in 2012 with the goal of protecting sensitive ecosystems on 2,200 single-family properties, was loathed by some residents, who said the complicated bureaucratic system arbitrarily restricts what they can do with their land. Others argued that the decision to classify certain areas as environmentally sensitive was based on a flawed and outdated mapping system rather than scientific evidence…. The decision still has to be ratified at an upcoming council meeting. Katie DeRosa reports. (Times Colonist)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PDT Wed Nov 1 2017  
 NW wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 5 to 15 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 2 ft or less in the  afternoon. W swell 8 ft at 9 seconds. A slight chance of rain.
 W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  8 ft at 14 seconds. A chance of rain.

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