Wednesday, May 2, 2018

5/2 Perch, Boeing's PCBs, saving orcas, BC pipe, orca voices, car exhaust, Pruitt's EPA, Navy water

Pile perch [D Ross Robertson/WDFW]
Pile Perch Rhacochilus vacca
Pile perch are caught by recreational harvesters within Puget Sound and embayments along the outer coast. They range from Wrangell, southeastern Alaska to Guadalupe Island, off north-central Baja California, Mexico. They reach up to 10 years of age and adults are found along rocky shores, often around kelp, pilings and underwater structures, in water depths up to 46 m (150 ft). (WDFW)

Boeing discharge to Duwamish River violates PCB standards
Two Seattle environmental groups are planning to sue Boeing over the aerospace giant’s failure to stop discharging toxic PCBs into the Duwamish River. Meantime, the Washington Department of Ecology has ordered Boeing to clean up stormwater discharge to the Duwamish and sediments in catch basins at its Military Delivery Center (MDC), located at 10002 East Marginal Way S., in Tukwila, just east of the turning basin on the Duwamish River. The facility discharges industrial stormwater there to the Duwamish under Washington’s Industrial Stormwater General Permit. Ecology administers the permit. Sediments in some of the catch basins, as well as discharge from some parts of the facility over the past five years, have exceeded state water-quality standards for PCBs by thousands of times the legal limit, according to the company’s monitoring reports, filed with Ecology. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Governor’s task force on saving orcas meets for first time
"We don't have a lot of time," Gov.  Jay Inslee said Tuesday to the first meeting of his task force on saving Southern Resident killer whales. The group formed earlier this spring met for the first time on Tuesday, though it's been 13 years since the federal government first listed the animals as endangered. The task force is made up of 33 members from a wide range of backgrounds, all having a big stake in saving our resident orcas. "I think there's a myth that this is an impossible task," Inslee said to the group assembled at a community center in Lacey. He said Washington's booming economy and population growth might have some thinking saving the resident orcas from extinction isn't something that can be done. He stressed to the task force members that he thinks they can and will find a way to save the marine mammal.  But getting there, for the task force with just one mission of "save our whales," could be challenging. "Everybody is coming from different angles," said task force member Ken Balcomb, who has run the Center for Whale Research based in Friday Harbor, Wash.,   for decades. Balcomb said this is good start, but could be a hard finish. "We've got all the science we need," Balcomb said. "Now we need to make political decisions that are tough." Tim Joyce reports. (KCPQ)

18 workers laid off from Kinder Morgan worksite after pipeline spending cuts
At least 18 people have lost their jobs at the Trans Mountain pipeline work sites in B.C., three weeks after Kinder Morgan stopped non-essential spending on the expansion project. Ledcor said affected staff were informed of their "reassignment" on Monday.... It did not specify how many people lost their jobs, but a representative from the union of some of the workers confirmed at least 18 of its members were affected. (CBC)

LISTEN: Orcas vocalizing in Puget Sound
Puget Sound Express whale watching captured footage of transient orcas vocalizing in Puget
A whale watching tour found a chatty group of transient orcas near Hood Canal. Puget Sound Express encountered the T65A orca pod, including a newborn calf. The transient killer whales are typically quiet during a hunt, but researchers were able to clearly detect their vocalizing through a hydrophone. Naturalist Renee Beitzel recorded the footage while gulls circled overheard for leftovers. Jennifer King reports. (KING)

California Sues Trump Administration Over Car Emissions Rules
A coalition led by California sued the Trump administration over car emissions rules on Tuesday, escalating a revolt against a proposed rollback of fuel economy standards that threatens to split the country’s auto market. In a lawsuit filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, California and its coalition — 17 other states and the District of Columbia — called the Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to weaken auto emissions rules unlawful and accused the agency of failing to follow its own regulations and of violating the Clean Air Act. Hiroko Tabuchi reports. (NY Times)

Two Top Aides to Scott Pruitt Quit the E.P.A. Unexpectedly
Two top aides to Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency chief who is facing an array of investigations related to his spending and management practices, have resigned amid widening scrutiny of their roles at the agency. The departures include Pasquale Perrotta, who served as Mr. Pruitt’s chief of security and was the architect of the costly and unusual team of bodyguards and other protective measures provided to Mr. Pruitt — measures that critics have called unnecessary. Also departing was Albert Kelly, a longtime friend of Mr. Pruitt’s and a former banker until receiving a lifetime ban from the finance industry last year following a banking violation. At the E.P.A. Mr. Kelly ran the agency’s Superfund program, which oversees the cleanup of hazardous waste sites. Coral Davenport reports. (NY Times) See also: 'On Fire For God's Work': How Scott Pruitt's Faith Drives His Politics  Tom Dreisbach and Joe Wertz report. (NPR)

Navy providing some residents with water due to contamination
Whidbey Island Naval Air Station is providing some residents near Ault Field with bottled water after water contamination was confirmed in three wells. In a statement released in April, the base said the Navy is working with residents, community leaders and government agencies to address water contamination from firefighting foam previously used during training exercises at the base. In February, NAS Whidbey mailed notices to residents in the area who may be affected by water contamination. The Navy has to obtain permission from residents to sample drinking water and groundwater wells in the area. As of April 20, 17 drinking water wells and 13 groundwater wells have been tested this year. Three of those drinking water wells contained levels of chemicals from the firefighting foam that were above federal standards. NAS Whidbey spokesman Mike Welding said that brings the number of wells known to be affected by the chemicals to 13. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  200 AM PDT Wed May 2 2018   
 S wind to 10 kt becoming NW 10 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 ft or less building to 1 to 3 ft in the  afternoon. W swell 5 ft at 11 seconds. 
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 10 seconds.

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