Tuesday, December 5, 2017

12/5 Trans Mountain, Longviw coal, Utah monuments, Papahānaumokuākea, BC king tide, fast-track water

[PHOTO: Laurie MacBride]
A Strange, Soggy Beauty
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "After a mild, wet and windy November, we’re promised a stretch of cool, calm and sunny days this week – a reward to soggy west coasters for our patience, perhaps. But before I break out my long johns and sunglasses, I’m taking a moment to celebrate the strange beauty that all that rain brought to our garden… and forest floor… (See Laurie's pix)

Kinder Morgan, Burnaby clash in NEB hearing over Trans Mountain project
Kinder Morgan Canada and Burnaby, B.C., clashed in a National Energy Board’s hearing room Monday over the fate of local permitting for the controversial Trans Mountain expansion project. The company (TSX:KML) argued at the NEB’s Calgary headquarters that local political opposition to the $7.4-billion pipeline project has tainted permitting in the city and the process is now delayed, requiring the NEB to step in and override local bylaws to maintain the federal government’s wishes that the project go ahead…. The company has been frustrated at the lack of firm timelines, guidance and structure in the local process as it tries to secure permits for actions like tree removal and fence installation ahead of construction of oil storage and loading facilities in the city, [Trans Mountain lawyer Maureen Killoran] said. Killoran said strong and vocal opposition by Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan to the project has created an atmosphere of opposition, even if the mayor has not specifically interfered in the process…. Burnaby, however, said there’s been no unreasonable or illegitimate delay, no intention from city officials to do so, and that it is the company that is to blame for the slow pace of permitting. Ian Bikis reports. (Canadian Press)

Longview Coal Terminal Developer Filing Appeals, Lawsuit To Keep Project Alive
The company that wants to build a coal export terminal in Longview, Washington, is keeping lawyers busy this week on multiple fronts. In recent months, the Millennium Bulk Terminals project has suffered repeated setbacks, mainly in the form of permit denials. The company is fighting back in court. The latest filings include a public records lawsuit against the Washington State Department of Ecology. The lawsuit alleges the agency failed to turn over documents from technical experts that Ecology relied on to make critical findings about the proposed coal terminal. Millennium said it needs the documents so its own experts can try to duplicate or disprove points of analysis.  A spokesman for the state agency said it's delivering the requested files in installments because the developer requested so much material. Tom Banse reports. (NW News Network)

Citing 'federal overreach,' Trump scales back 2 national monuments in Utah
President Donald Trump signed a proclamation Monday to scale back two sprawling national monuments in Utah, pledging to “reverse federal overreach and restore the rights of this land to your citizens.” Trump made his plans official during a speech at the state Capitol, where he was cheered by the state’s Republican leaders who lobbied him to undo protections they contend are overly broad and close off the area to energy development and other access. Environmental and tribal groups plan to sue to preserve monuments they say are vital to protect important archaeological and cultural resources, especially the Bears Ears National Monument, a more than 1.3 million-acre (2,030-square-mile) site in southeastern Utah that features thousands of Native American artifacts, including ancient cliff dwellings and petroglyphs. (Associated Press)

The Last Wild Place
The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands is one of the most remote places on Earth. Now, it’s threatened by climate change, pollution and politics. A special project report by Nathan Eagle and Alana Eagle. (Honolulu Civil Beat)

Lower Mainland may 'dodge the bullet' for potential king tide flooding
The king tides will return to the Lower Mainland from Dec. 5-9, but Metro Vancouver might escape serious flooding, if the forecast is correct. After a record breaking wet November, the sun is expected to shine for the rest of the week which could limit damaging flooding. Stephen Sheppard, a professor in forestry in the University of British Columbia's Department of Forest Resources Management, has spent a lot of time looking into how sea level rise will affect Delta and other low-lying communities. Christine Coulter reports. (CBC)

State water project could get boost from Congress
A pair of Washington lawmakers are trying to fast-track the construction of new dams and reservoirs. Their bill would also push forward a long-sought water project in central Washington. U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., wants to give a leg up to water projects in across the West. Newhouse said drought is a real threat to the region — and the area’s not getting any help from the federal government…. Newhouse and Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., are proposing legislation that would streamline the review process for water projects, including additional surface water storage, infrastructure and recycling…. Not everyone on the subcommittee expressed support for this type of speed. Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., said the bill “attempts to undermine our nation’s bedrock environmental laws.” Cassandra Profita reports. (EarthFix)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  900 PM PST Mon Dec 4 2017  
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH
 LATE TUESDAY NIGHT  
TUE
 E wind 10 to 20 kt rising to 15 to 25 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 to 4 ft. W swell 9 ft at 14 seconds.   

TUE NIGHT  E wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 7 ft  at 14 seconds.

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