Thursday, September 5, 2019

9/5 Knotweed, BC pipe appeals, Fraser slide, Canuck the Crow, Trump bulbs, Claskanie ethanol, Erich Hoyt, West Point sewage, Trump's energy swamp, Trump's wall

Japanese knotweed [Jennifer Andreas]
Japanese knotweed Polygonum cuspidatum
Japanese knotweed is a perennial species with spreading rhizomes and numerous reddish-brown, freely branched stems. Plants can reach 4 to 8 feet in height and is often shrubby. It is a very aggressive escaped ornamental that is capable of forming dense stands, crowding out all other vegetation and degrading wildlife habitat. It can also create a fire hazard in the dormant season. It is difficult to control once established. (WA Noxious Weed Control Board)

Federal Court allows six of 12 Trans Mountain pipeline project appeals
The Federal Court of Appeal has allowed six challenges of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion focusing on Indigenous consultation to proceed, while dismissing several claims centred on environmental concerns. The decision calls for narrowly focused, expedited court proceedings that will only examine the quality of the federal government’s consultation with Indigenous communities between August 2018 and June 2019. “Many of the Indigenous and First Nation applicants now allege that the poor quality and hurried nature of this further consultation rendered it inadequate,” says Justice David Stratas in a decision released Wednesday. Laura Kane reports. (Canadian Press) See also: Winners and losers react to federal court decision on Trans Mountain expansion appeal  Karin Larsen reports. (CBC)

Salmon swimming freely through Fraser River landslide site, officials say
Large numbers of sockeye and chinook salmon have started to swim freely through a section of the Fraser River that had been blocked by a landslide, officials announced Wednesday. The incident management team said they have ceased helicopter transfers of fish after observing many of them negotiating the obstacles created by the landslide, north of Lillooet, B.C., unaided. Decreasing water levels and rock scaling work are believed to have helped make a path for the salmon to continue migrating upstream. Officials said they will now start monitoring pink salmon — which do not have the same size or swimming speed as other salmon species — to see if they will also be able to get past the slide. (CBC)

$10K reward offered for safe return of Canuck the Crow
A $10,000 reward is now being offered for the safe return of Vancouver's most famous bird, Canuck the Crow. Shawn Bergman — who describes himself as Canuck's best friend — posted notice of the reward on Facebook. According to Bergman, Canuck has been missing since Aug. 30. Bergman said Canuck's mate Cassiar has been calling out for him with no response. Karin Larsen reports. (CBC)

Trump Administration Is Rolling Back Rules Requiring More Energy-Efficient Bulbs
The Trump administration announced new rules on Wednesday to roll back requirements for energy-saving light bulbs, a move that could contribute to the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. The Energy Department’s filing in the Federal Register will prevent new efficiency standards from going into effect on Jan. 1 under a law passed in 2007...The gradual shift toward more efficient light bulbs is one of the largely unsung success stories in the fight to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. “U.S. household energy consumption is down 6 percent since 2010, and this is due in part to the increase in the use of energy-efficient lighting, said Lucas Davis, a professor in the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. John Schwartz reports. (NY Times)

Clatskanie, Oregon, Ethanol Facility A Step Closer To Shipping Oil Along Columbia River
An ethanol facility in Clatskanie is one step closer to receiving approval to use equipment from its renewable fuel operation to transport crude oil. Last week, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued an air pollution permit to Global Partners, which has also applied to renew a permit that will transport oil train shipments along the Columbia River through Columbia County and the Portland-Vancouver metro area. Environmental advocates are asking state regulators to not renew the permit as fear of transporting crude oil will increase pollution impacts along the river. Monica Samayoa reports. (OPB)

Erich Hoyt returns for Orca Tour 2019
Erich Hoyt, author of the expanded, new edition of Orca: The Whale Called Killer, returns for a series of lectures hosted by The Whale Museum in West Seattle (9/19), Friday Harbor, WA (9/24), and Saturna B.C. (9/28). Erich is co-chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force and is policy lead for the Healthy Seas program of the U.K.-based Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC). Erich co-directs a 10-year project to map the habitats for 130 species of marine mammals across the world’s oceans. For event details, go to The Whale Trail events.

King County to evaluate power supply at treatment plant after July spill
Around 1:00 am on July 19, an unusual summer storm led to a power outage in Seattle. At the West Point Treatment Plant, which has backup electricity, King County officials say the power level dipped for less than a second, just long enough for an emergency bypass to open to keep the plant from flooding. Over 27 minutes, 3 million gallons of untreated sewage and stormwater spilled into Puget Sound. "We are very sorry, and we very much regret the fact that that happened," Wastewater Treatment Division Director Mark Isaacson told the King County Regional Water Quality Committee on Wednesday. Isaacson said a consultant will look at how steady and reliable the power is coming into the plant...The county sent a letter to Seattle City Light identifying 104 power failures at the plant between 2001 and 2017. Graham Johnson reports. (KIRO)

Top Interior official who pushed to expand drilling in Alaska to join oil company there
Last summer, Scott Pruitt left his job heading the Environmental Protection Agency and within a few months had started consulting for coal magnate Joseph W. Craft III. Three weeks after leaving the Interior Department, energy counselor Vincent DeVito joined Cox Oil Offshore, which operates in the Gulf of Mexico, as its executive vice president and general counsel. Now, Joe Balash — who oversaw oil and gas drilling on federal lands before resigning from Interior on Friday — is joining a foreign oil company that is expanding operations on Alaska’s North Slope. Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson report. (Washington Post)

Pentagon diverts $3.6bn in funds for southern border wall
US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper has granted $3.6bn (£3bn) in Pentagon funding to be redirected to help build a US-Mexico border wall. The money will fund 175 miles (280km) of construction and will force 127 military projects to be put on hold, he told lawmakers in a letter on Tuesday. Building a border wall was a major campaign pledge of President Trump but it has faced significant opposition. (BBC) See also: Pentagon takes $89 million from Navy pier project at Bangor to help fund border wall  Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  246 AM PDT Thu Sep 5 2019   
 E wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 5 ft  at 12 seconds. 
 W wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 4 ft  at 11 seconds.

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