Friday, January 12, 2018

1/12 WA water rights, Site C dam, chlorpyrifos kills, sea rise, WA coast drilling, Interior moves, barred owl kills, ocean acid plan, Andeavor permit appeal, Trump's energy plan

Panther amanita (George Chernilevsky/Flickr)
Panther amanita Amanita pantherina
Found spring and fall, or throughout te winter in mild seasons, on the ground, conifer or mixed forests, often under Douglas fir trees, especially abundant in the Puget Sound area. The panther amanita is so named because of the panther-like spots on the cap. In the Pacific Northwest it has caused more cases of poisoning than any other mushroom. Its characteristics should be carefully memorized in order that it may be avoided. Remember: white warts on a brown or tan cap, white gills, and a distinct close-fitting cap at the base of the stem-- these are danger signals. (The New Savory Wild Mushroom)

Salish Sea Communications blog: Martin Would Go. You In?
Deport the Dreamers. Kick the Salvadoran refugees out. Raid Motel 6 and 7-11s for undocumented immigrants. Cut medical funding for poor children. Cut medical subsidies for poor people. Build The Wall and hire 100,000 more ICE agents. Give big tax breaks to corporations, banks, oil companies and the super-rich. Remove financial safeguards. Open up Alaska wilderness and coasts for oil drilling. Deregulate to make profiteering easier. Reverse gay and lesbian rights. Bust pot users. And, oh yeah, remember that the ‘genius’ has a bigger nuke button than ‘rocket man’... Had enough? Don’t say you can’t believe it’s happening— because it is. Don’t say it will all work out somehow— because it won’t. Don’t say you just can’t deal with all this shit—because there is more, a lot more, to come. All in the name of Making America Great Again….

Water rights bill clears first legislative hurdle
A bill to resolve a protracted dispute over water rights policy cleared a state Senate panel on a unanimous vote Thursday. The legislation is in response to the 2016 Supreme Court Hirst decision making counties responsible for ensuring there is an adequate supply of water before allowing drilling of new wells for homes and residential tracts. As a result of the decision, some rural area property owners have found themselves unable to drill wells or facing the potential threat of not being able to drill in the future. With Senate Bill 6091, property owners will be able to drill new wells. The fee for connection will be $500, down from $1,500 in the original bill. Communities will be given three years to craft management plans for water resource inventory areas identified in the legislation. Jerry Cornfield reports. (Everett Herald)

Half of British Columbians say Site C completion is right choice
More than half of B.C. residents think Premier John Horgan and his government made the right call to finish the dam project. In a new Angus Reid Institute survey, 52 per cent of respondents agree that the NDP government was right to proceed with the Site C project after reviewing the mega dam that was started under Christy Clark’s Liberal government. Just 26 per cent said it was the wrong decision, while 23 per cent said they were unsure. The controversial project had been a major campaign issue leading up to last year’s provincial election, with Horgan promising to send the project to a review if the B.C. NDP was elected. Stephanie Ip reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Government Scientists Say A Controversial Pesticide Is Killing Endangered Salmon
The federal government’s top fisheries experts say that three widely used pesticides — including the controversial insecticide chlorpyrifos — are jeopardizing the survival of many species of salmon, as well as orcas that feed on those salmon. It’s a fresh attack on a chemical that the Environmental Protection Agency was ready to take off the market a year ago — until the Trump administration changed course. Chlorpyrifos is widely used by farmers to protect crops like strawberries, broccoli and citrus fruit from insect pests. In recent years, though, scientists have found evidence that exposure to chlorpyrifos residues can harm the developing brains of small children, even in the womb. Dan Charles reports. (NPR)

Sea levels will rise, and maps show which Seattle neighborhoods are in danger
Jack Block Park seems like an unlikely leisure spot, tucked among railroad tracks and Port of Seattle cranes. But it also provides a panoramic view of West Seattle, downtown and Harbor Island. In maps created by Seattle Public Utilities, parts of Jack Block Park in West Seattle are colored red. Those are the areas that meteorologist and mapmaker James Rufo-Hill said could someday be underwater as sea levels rise due to climate change. Climate change warms the oceans, causing water to expand, and melting ice adds to the volume. “The most likely amount of sea level rise we’ll see is about two feet —  24 inches —  by the end of the century,” Rufo-Hill said. Amy Radil reports. (KUOW)

Climate Countdown
300+ people from around the state, including tribal members, descended on the State Capital in Olympia this week to instigate a campaign called “Climate Countdown”. They say time is running out to pass groundbreaking climate legislation and are demanding the legislature take meaningful action in the 2018 session. Martha Baskin reports. (PRX)

Inslee seeks meeting with interior secretary to try to shield Washington waters from drilling 
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke this week removed Florida’s coastal waters from a draft plan for oil and gas drilling. Now Gov. Jay Inslee wants the same consideration for Washington’s offshore waters. In a letter sent Thursday to Zinke, Gov. Jay Inslee requested his own meeting with Zinke to make a case for protecting Washington’s waters from oil and gas exploration. “I believe that every state should be granted a similar opportunity to protect its marine and coastal water,’’ he wrote. He noted that Washington, like Florida, has a strong coastal tourism and recreation economy that could be harmed by an oil spill, and that he previously requested Washington not be included in new lease sales. Zinke last week released a sweeping plan to open nearly all waters off the nation’s coastlines to oil and gas drilling, including a new lease sale off Oregon and Washington proposed for 2021. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

Interior plans to move thousands of workers in the biggest reorganization in its history
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke launched an unprecedented effort Wednesday to undertake the largest reorganization in the department’s 168-year history, moving to shift tens of thousands of workers to new locations and change the way the federal government manages more than 500 million acres of land and water across the country. The proposal would divide the United States into 13 regions and centralize authority for different parts of Interior within those boundaries. The regions would be defined by watersheds and geographic basins, rather than individual states and the current boundaries that now guide Interior’s operations. This new structure would be accompanied by a dramatic shift in location of the headquarters of major bureaus within Interior, such as the Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Reclamation…. The department has 70,000 employees…. Former interior secretary Sally Jewell was one of several people with knowledge of the department who expressed doubt that such a sweeping reorganization can work.  Juliet Eilperin and Darryl Fears report. (Washington Post)

Killing barred owls to see impact on spotted owl approved
A federal appeals court in San Francisco has upheld a plan by wildlife officials to kill one type of owl to study its effect on another type of owl. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Wednesday that the experiment by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service didn’t violate a federal law aimed at protecting migratory birds. The court says that law doesn’t prevent killing one species to advance the scientific understanding of another. The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by advocacy groups Friends of Animals and Predator Defense challenging the agency’s plan to kill barred owls to assess their effect on the threatened northern spotted owl. (KXRO)

State updates plans to combat ocean acidification
The state’s Marine Resources Advisory Council has released an update to the state’s 2012 strategy to tackle ocean acidification — reporting progress made, new focus areas and a renewed commitment to tackle the issue through a number of research, education and climate mitigation and adaptation solutions. Marine Resources Advisory Council officials said they saw a need to re-evaluate the 2012 Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification’s report, resulting in this 2017 addendum. The addendum is a companion report meant to expand on the 2012 work. The advisory council is made up of gubernatorial appointees representing science, public policy, tribes, shellfish growers, agencies and nonprofit groups…. The latest report highlighs new research that justifies more concerted efforts to combat ocean acidification. (South Beach Bulletin)

Appeal hearing set for refinery permit
A public appeals hearing on a permit for a proposed oil refinery project has been set for Feb. 27 with the Skagit County Board of Commissioners. The hearing will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. at the commissioners hearing room, 1800 Continental Place in Mount Vernon. The Andeavor Anacortes Refinery at March Point (formerly Tesoro) has proposed upgrading and building new equipment at its facility in order to extract the chemical compound xylene during the oil refining process for shipment overseas and reduce sulfur emissions from its fuel products…. In December, a coalition of environmental groups appealed Skagit County Hearing Examiner Wick Dufford's approval of a shoreline substantial development permit for the project and his determination that the EIS for the project was sufficient. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

As Trump's fossil-fuel 'energy dominance' plan founders, a crucial solar energy decision nears
During his first year in office, President Trump has guided the nation’s energy course directly into the headwinds of market instability, civic opposition, unstable finance and environmental risk in order to fortify the domestic coal and oil industries. But this week, the administration’s plan to achieve what it termed “American energy dominance” has foundered amid obstacles of law, economy, technology and political miscalculation. Keith Schneider reports. (LA Times)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  249 AM PST Fri Jan 12 2018  
 E wind 15 to 25 kt becoming SW 5 to 15 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 2 ft or less. W  swell 9 ft at 12 seconds. Showers likely in the morning then a  chance of showers in the afternoon.
TONIGHT  SE wind to 10 kt becoming E 10 to 20 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 ft or less building to 1 to 3 ft after  midnight. W swell 8 ft at 14 seconds. Rain.
 E wind to 10 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 8 ft at 15 seconds. A chance of rain.
 SE wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 15 to 25 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft building to 2 to 4 ft. W swell 8  ft at 13 seconds.
 SE wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 9 ft at  16 seconds.

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