Tuesday, January 9, 2018

1/9 Imidacloprid, Ericksen no EPA, green lege agenda, salmon scan, Sanchi tanker, WA utility tax cuts

Burrowing shrimp (Protect Our Shorelines)
Ecology completes shrimp pesticide review, expects permit decision soon
The multimillion-dollar Willapa Bay oyster industry is getting closer to finally getting a decision on its use of a controversial pest-control chemical after the state released a final environmental review on the pesticide Friday. The state Department of Ecology study found that using imidacloprid to control the burrowing shrimp has “little known direct risk” on the health of humans, fish, birds and marine mammals. However, it might have other negative impacts on the ecosystem at the base on the food chain. The agency said it will announce a decision on the industry’s application to use imidacloprid in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor “in about a month,” a press release states. Jackson Hogan reports. (Longview Daily News)

Sen. Doug Ericksen staying in Olympia, won’t join Trump administration
State Sen. Doug Ericksen said Monday he will not join the Environmental Protection Agency, contradicting a federal official who said the Ferndale Republican had been appointed to the agency. An executive assistant for Chris Hladick, the regional administrator for the Pacific Northwest and Alaska Region told the Bellingham Herald on Friday that Ericksen was to be the senior adviser to the Region 10 administrator in Seattle. On Monday, Ericksen said that information was incorrect…. Ericksen largely declined to give details about whether he was offered the job and specifically turned it down. But he said he has had “job offers over the past year” from the Trump administration he decided not to take. Ericksen said he plans to run for reelection to the state Senate in 2018. Walker Orenstein reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Environmental Concerns Top Of Mind As Lawmakers Reconvene In Olympia
As the state legislative session begins Monday, climate activists are out in full force in Olympia. They’re urging lawmakers to take bold steps to slow global warming. Climate action is one of four legislative priorities for 2018 put forth by a statewide coalition of environmental groups. Each year, the Washington Conservation Voters and the Washington Environmental Council put out legislative priorities based on the input of more than 20 organizations working statewide…. Also on their list is finding a sustainable solution to the water management crisis known as the Hirst Decision, which held up the capital budget last year. And there are two specific bills they want passed. The first is the Healthy Food Packaging Act, which would ban toxic non-stick chemicals used in everything from microwave popcorn bags to pizza boxes and muffin wrappers.  Finally, a new Oil Spill Prevention Act would extend the barrel tax on oil to pipelines and raise it by 2 cents to protect the state from evolving risks in oil transportation.  Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Rapid Scan for Salmon Sickness
Until now, a pathologist seeking to determine a salmon’s cause of death might scrutinize a set of tissue samples under a microscope or culture a bacterial or viral sample over several days to isolate the cause of the disease. All of that is changing fast at the federal Pacific Biological Station (PBS) in Nanaimo, British Columbia, where researchers have created a novel, game-changing shortcut that sleuths out systemic infectious diseases—even before the fish is obviously sick. “It’s really going to be powerful,” says Kristi Miller, who heads the salmon genetics section at PBS. Using little more than a tiny tissue sample from a salmon’s gill, researchers can identify the presence of unique biological markers that reveal not only if a fish is suffering from an infectious disease, but whether it harbors a disease agent that is not yet obvious. A new technique lets scientists spot disease-carrying fish, even before they’re visibly sick. Larry Pynn reports. (Hakai Magazine)

Sanchi oil tanker: 'No big spill' off China coast
No large oil spill has been detected so far from a tanker that has been burning since Saturday evening off the coast of China, Chinese officials say. The Sanchi is still alight and bad weather - with waves of up to 4m (13ft) - is hampering the rescue work. The vessel collided with a cargo ship about 260km (160 miles) off the coast of Shanghai. (BBC)

Washington state regulators: Pass corporate tax cuts on to customers of investor-owned utilities 
Customers of Puget Sound Energy (PSE), Northwest Natural Gas and other regulated private utilities operating in Washington could see rate reductions due to corporate tax cuts passed last month by Congress. In a directive released Monday, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission asked all utilities to report the tax savings expected by the new law that lowered corporate rates from 35 percent to 21 percent. Dave Danner, the state commission’s chair, said that “utilities are on notice that we expect customers will reap the benefits.”  Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  243 AM PST Tue Jan 9 2018  
TODAY
 W wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 9 ft  at 14 seconds. A slight chance of showers.
TONIGHT  W wind 10 to 20 kt easing to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft subsiding to 1 ft or less after midnight. W  swell 8 ft at 14 seconds. A chance of showers in the evening then  a chance of rain after midnight.

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