Thursday, September 12, 2019

9/12 Vine maple, Trump's clean water, BC pipe, ALL IN climate, electric ferry, Marblemount mine, Asian hornets

Vine maple [Dana Bressette]
Vine Maple Acer circinatum
“Vine” Maple, although not really a vine, has very slender, often sprawling, branches. These branches often root to produce new trees, creating dense thickets underneath the shade of taller conifers.  It is a small, usually multi-stemmed tree or shrub.  Circinatum refers to the “rounded,” regularly lobed leaves. (Dana Bressette/Native Plants PNW)

Trump Administration to Finalize Rollback of Clean Water Protections
The Trump administration on Thursday is expected to complete the legal repeal of a major Obama-era clean water regulation, which had placed limits on polluting chemicals that could be used near streams, wetlands and water bodies. The rollback of the 2015 measure, known as the Waters of the United States rule, has been widely expected since the early days of the Trump administration, when President Trump signed an executive order directing federal agencies to begin the work of repealing and replacing it. Weakening the Obama-era water rule had been a central campaign pledge for Mr. Trump, who characterized it as a federal land-grab that impinged on the rights of farmers, rural landowners and real estate developers to use their property as they see fit. Coral Davenport reports. (NY Times) See also: Administration finalizes repeal of 2015 water rule Trump called ‘destructive and horrible’  Thursday’s move will revert the nation to 1986 water pollution rule governing wetlands and small streams. Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis report. (Washington Post)

B.C. landowners dig in heels over Trans Mountain pipeline construction
....Trans Mountain Corp. has not signed agreements with 33 per cent of landowners, no part of the detailed route has been approved, about half of the necessary permits are outstanding and it must meet dozens of conditions with the Canada Energy Regulator, formerly the National Energy Board. Further, it faces resistance in southwest B.C., where landowners are digging in their heels, Indigenous groups are filing legal challenges and protesters are planning to ramp up activity. The federal Liberal government bought the pipeline for $4.5 billion last year. The parliamentary budget officer has said that if the expansion is not complete by the end of 2021, it would be fair to conclude the government overpaid for the asset. The government now says the expanded pipeline will be operational by mid-2022. Laura Kane reports. (Canadian Press)

ALL IN for Climate Action Week
What is Bellingham's ALL IN for Climate Action Week?​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ALL IN for Climate Action Week is a celebration of all the knowledge, progress and resources our community has to offer when looking for solutions to address global climate change at the local level. The week is scheduled to align with the United Nations (UN) Climate Action Summit and Climate Week NYC, September 23-29, 2019. Click here for a list of events. See also: COP26: Glasgow to host UN climate change summit in 2020 Up to 30,000 delegates are expected to attend the event at Glasgow's Scottish Events Campus (SEC) at the end of next year. (BBC)

Washington state officially launches first new construction in effort to electrify ferries 
Washington’s ferry system runs on diesel fuel that causes more air pollution than anything else the state transportation department operates. That’s changing as the state Department of Transportation works to convert two of its Jumbo Mark 2 ferries to hybrid-electric propulsion. And now it has officially launched the first new construction of a hybrid ferry, amid much fanfare...The Legislature has so far authorized funding for only one new hybrid electric ferry, but transportation officials say they have up to five more in the pipeline. The cost will be roughly the same as for a traditional diesel Olympic Class vessel: $160 million dollars.  Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Marblemount mine project called off
The company seeking to establish a rock mine in the Marblemount area has called off the project. In a Sept. 6 letter to Skagit County Planning and Development Services, Kiewit Infrastructure Co. said it is withdrawing its applications for permits to establish a 79-acre mine to supply large rock for jetty stabilization at the mouth of the Columbia River. Kiewit’s withdrawal of permit applications follows a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Aug. 30 decision to hire J.E. McAmis, Inc., of Chico, California, to supply the jetty rock for its project planned for 2019-2023. The withdrawal comes before Skagit County completed its evaluation of the project under the state Environmental Policy Act, or SEPA, including a review of hundreds of public comments and deciding whether to require an environmental impact statement, or EIS, to review potential impacts of the project. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Honeybee-eating invasive hornets found in B.C. But they're still asleep — for now
An invasive species of hornets known to feed on honeybees has been found in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Tthree dead Asian giant hornets have been identified, marking the first time they've ever been seen on Vancouver Island. Asian giant hornets — the largest of all hornets — are currently dormant and aren't expected to make an appearance until spring, giving the Ministry of Agriculture time to develop surveillance and trapping equipment to help local beekeepers. Joel Ballard reports.

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  206 AM PDT Thu Sep 12 2019   
 SE wind to 10 kt becoming NE 5 to 15 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 2 ft or less. SW swell 4 ft at 17 seconds  building to W 6 ft at 11 seconds in the afternoon. Showers likely  in the morning then showers in the afternoon. 
 S wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  8 ft at 12 seconds. Showers likely.

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