Friday, December 28, 2018

12/28 Holly, BC pipe, Indigenous politics, bitumen pucks. Enbridge refund, melting glaciers, runaway barges, armoring, Growlers

European holly [Wikipedia]
Holly
Ilex, or holly, is a genus of about 480 species of flowering plants in the family Aquifoliaceae, and the only living genus in that family. The species are evergreen or deciduous trees, shrubs, and climbers from tropics to temperate zones worldwide. (Wikipedia)

Managing an aging pipeline is a bit like driving the wrong way down a freeway'
The Trans Mountain pipeline carries tar-sands oil to Washington state from Alberta — and now there’s a change in the response plan should it rupture, leak, or spill. On the way to refineries in Anacortes and Ferndale, the pipeline crosses the Nooksack River as well as many other rivers and creeks that drain into Puget Sound. If tar-sands oil "leaks into or spills into a river, it will sink to the bottom of the river,” said Eric de Place, with the environmental think tank Sightline Institute. “The river, of course, is moving, so it’s moving that product along.” The new spill response plan, which Washington’s Department of Ecology approved on Wednesday, aims to deploy new technology that could theoretically clean up the oil before it sinks. Under the plan, contractors would bring in equipment to locate, contain, and recover the oil. The plan also calls for oil spill drills to test equipment and train staff. Eilis O'Neill reports. (KUOW)

'We'll continue to win': How Indigenous leaders reached new heights in 2018
From a landmark court decision that put the brakes on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, to a Sixties Scoop settlement, to a renaissance in Indigenous languages, it was a fascinating year in Indigenous politics. The stories have shed light on tensions, inequality and resilience in Indigenous communities. Angela Sterrit reports. (CBC)

CN lining up partners to make bitumen pucks that can be shipped in open rail car, float in water
Canadian National Railway Co. says it is planning to build a pilot plant worth up to $50 million next year to create pucks made of oilsands bitumen to transport by rail and ships to customers around the world. CN has been working for years on a technology that mixes and coats the heavy, sticky oil with polymer plastic, creating a pellet-shaped product called CanaPux that can be shipped in an open rail car and will float if spilled into water. (Canadian Press)

Trans Mountain Pipeline Rally draws hundreds of vehicles
Edson had one of the most impressive pro Trans Mountain Pipeline Rallies on Dec. 22. Close to 500 vehicles, including oilfield-related trucks and private vehicles clogged Second and Fourth Avenues between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to show their solidarity for the building of the pipeline and the energy sector in general. Speakers at the rally included Yellowhead MP Jim Eglinski, Yellowhead election hopeful Martin Long, Edson Mayor Kevin Zahara, Yellowhead County Mayor Gerald Soroka and Alberta Party West Yellowhead hopeful Kristie Gomuwka. The current West Yellowhead MLA, NDP’s Eric Rosendahl did not attend. Edward Moore reports. (Edson Leader)

Enbridge gets $14.7M federal refund over Northern Gateway project
Enbridge is getting a $14.7-million refund on fees it paid Canada’s federal energy regulator for a pipeline it won’t build. The Northern Gateway pipeline was supposed to connect Alberta’s oilpatch to a port in Kitimat, B.C., but the plan started to came apart when the federal Liberals banned tankers carrying large amounts of crude oil from British Columbia’s northern coast. Without tankers to serve the port, there would be no point constructing more than 1,100 kilometres of pipeline to send Alberta bitumen to Kitimat. (Canadian Press)

80% of mountain glaciers in Alberta, B.C. and Yukon will disappear within 50 years: report
Climate change is causing glaciers in Alberta, British Columbia and Yukon to retreat faster than at any time in history, threatening to raise water levels and create deserts, scientists say. David Hik, an ecology professor at Simon Fraser University, said the region is one of the hotspots for warming and the magnitude of change in the glaciers is dramatic. "Probably 80 per cent of the mountain glaciers in Alberta and B.C. will disappear in the next 50 years," he said. Hina Alam reports. (Canadian Press)

Runaway barges cause more than $1M in property damage, Vancouver police say
Two heavy barges the size of soccer fields that broke loose of their moorings early Wednesday are believed to have caused at least $1 million in property damage, police say. gt. Jason Robillard of the Vancouver Police Department told reporters at a press conference Thursday the barges were moored in North Vancouver when they came loose just after 5 a.m. and floated across Burrard Inlet toward Coal Harbour. The barges, which were tied together and carrying shipping containers, damaged a seaplane base, a local restaurant and two luxury yachts in the Coal Harbour Marina. (CBC)

The latest numbers on shoreline armoring
Washington state has released the latest statistics for Puget Sound’s shoreline armoring Vital Sign, comparing armoring creation and removal in 2017. Those familiar with the Vital Sign will know that the state’s goal is to finally see by 2020, a net decrease in the length of shoreline armoring throughout Puget Sound. Armoring such as seawalls, bulkheads and other structures has been shown to harm salmon and forage fish. It damages beaches and diminishes the overall health of the shoreline... To date, about 29% of Puget Sound’s shoreline is armored, which translates to more than 700 miles of winding coastline.... The numbers, released by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Puget Sound Partnership, show that removal of armoring has increased steadily since 2005. At the same time, a study of construction permits showed that new armoring was outpaced by removal in 2014, 2016 and 2017, with 2017 being the strongest year on record for this trend. Jeff Rice reports. (Puget Sound Institute)

Federal agency hears comment on Navy jet affect on historic properties
During the past few weeks, Navy Growlers have not been training at Outlying Field on Whidbey Island — and that has been a relief, according to Port Townsend Council member Michelle Sandoval. Sandoval has been involved in jet noise from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island since 2012.... On Dec. 19, Sandoval represented Port Townsend during a regional meeting of the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) in Coupeville on Whidbey Island to discuss local historic treasures affected by the Growlers and the Navy’s plans — which have not been finalized — to add 36 Growlers to operations at Outlying Field (OLF) in Coupeville, which translates into a total of 24,000 takeoffs and landings annually. Over 400 concerned people from Jefferson, Skagit, Clallam and Island counties were on hand to discuss the impact of the jets on the environment and historic properties in the region. The Navy abandoned the Section 106 process at the end of November that provides protection to historic properties. That triggered a review by the ACHP. The ACHP has a 45-day window to review comments and make recommendations to the Secretary of the Navy prior to the publication of the Navy’s Record of Decision on the Growler jet expansion. However, due to the government shutdown, the countdown of days has been stopped and will resume when the shutdown concludes.  Jeannie McMacken reports. (Peninsula Daily News)


Now, your weekend tug weather--West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  200 AM PST Fri Dec 28 2018   
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING
  
TODAY
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt rising to 15 to 25 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 2 ft or less building to 2 to 4 ft in the  afternoon. W swell 9 ft at 14 seconds subsiding to 7 ft at  13 seconds in the afternoon. Rain. 
TONIGHT
 S wind 5 to 15 kt becoming SW 10 to 20 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 8 ft at 13 seconds  building to 10 ft at 19 seconds after midnight. Rain. 
SAT
 SW wind 10 to 20 kt rising to 15 to 25 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 11 ft at 17 seconds.  Rain. 
SAT NIGHT
 W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 1 to 2 ft. W swell  12 ft at 11 seconds. 
SUN
 NW wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 1 to 2 ft. W swell 11 ft at  13 seconds subsiding to 9 ft at 14 seconds in the afternoon.


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