2/13 – Atlantic Salmon Net Pen Bill

This is now dated information. See newer posts.
This morning we learned some important news on the future of Atlantic salmon net pen legislation that requires an immediate action alert from anyone today with capacity.
Two Big Developments:
1. Rep. Blake has apparently announced that he will not be bringing Sen Ranker’s bill– SB6086– up for a vote.  There is still a public hearing scheduled at this time but it looks like the Senate bill making it to the House floor is highly unlikely.
2. As of today HB2957 is on the floor calendar for the House.  This is Rep. Lytton’s phase-out bill that was amended during committee and turned back into a study bill.  House Democrats have been caucusing this morning on the issue and we suspect that there will be a vote on this bill on the floor later today or tomorrow.   
The hope is that Rep. Lytton and Rep. Chapman will be able to strike the study bill amendment and call for a vote on the original phase-out bill language.
NEXT STEPS:
We’re urging anyone who has capacity to send an action alert today asking constituents to call their House Reps in support of a phase-out.  There will be sample language shared this afternoon but for the sake of time the most important factors are to express urgency that the future of this legislation is at risk and we need calls to Reps in support of a phase-out today.
Audubon and a few others from the coalition are going to be working to put together a phone bank for this afternoon that can be accessed remotely.  If your organization has capacity or interest in supporting this effort please respond to this email.

State investigators focus on nets plugged with mussels in Atlantic salmon net-pen failure – Seattle Times

Investigators probing the collapse of an Atlantic salmon farm that sent 160,000 invasive fish into the Salish Sea last summer are examining mussels and other sea life coating the nets as a cause. Photographs obtained by The Seattle Times under a public records request show portions of the nets at Cooke’s farm were so fouled with kelp, algae and especially mussels that the net was no longer visible. Mussels rained down on the dock as the nets were lifted with a crane for disposal, photos show. Heaps of mussels on the dock were so high, they had to be scooped up with a front-end loader. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/state-investigators-focus-on-nets-plugged-with-mussels-in-atlantic-salmon-net-pen-failure/

Industry makes pitch to keep net pens – Spokesman Review

Just as I thought. There appears to be significant backpedaling on wanting to do anything without more “study”. There are only 80 jobs at risk here by banning this outrageously bad industry. One thing they never have studied, is the effect of the antibiotics and other chemicals that they pour into pens and get swept out to sea. NOAA has only looked at the effects to bottom seabeds within 200 ft.

OLYMPIA – Aquaculture companies that raise Atlantic salmon in the Puget Sound made an impassioned plea Thursday to keep their net pens and the jobs they support in Washington waters.

Read the rest of the story at http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2018/jan/18/industry-makes-pitch-to-keep-net-pens/

Looking for Legislative Bills?

Here’s a listing of Pre-filed bills. Ones with both a House and Senate component have the best chance of passage. Sort by various options. Highly useful.

http://app.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/prefiled.aspx?year=2017

 

WA state legislators file “Salish Sea Protection Act”

Washington State Senator Kevin Ranker and others have pre-filed the “Salish Sea Protection Act”.  We will be tracking the progress of this bill as it moves through the legislature.

The Salish Sea Protection package of new legislation, prefiled for the 2018 legislative session, will commit the state to improving oil spill response, strengthening protections of orca whales, banning aquaculture farming of invasive species, and prioritizing contamination cleanup to prevent stormwater runoff and increase affordable housing.

Salish Sea Protection Act

This legislation will fully fund Washington State oil spill prevention and response activities, update our critical, geographical response plans, research tug escorts and rescue tugs for all vessels carrying millions of gallons of oil and significantly increase coordination our with our Canadian neighbors. A second bill will move to establish a new, permanent Emergency Response Tug, as well as requirements for tug escorts for oil tankers, oil barges, and ATBs operating in Puget Sound.

Orca Whale Protection Act

With the Puget Sound resident orca population dropping to its lowest level since 1984, including the deaths of several juvenile whales, immediate action is needed before these whales enter a “death spiral” in which extinction is inevitable. This legislation dramatically increases enforcement of orca whale protection laws – providing for permanent dedicated enforcement vessel, while increasing support for salmon production and restoration and calls for a trans-boundary discussion of orca whale protection and preservation.

Atlantic salmon net pens

The crisis we face due to the escape of hundreds of thousands of invasive Atlantic salmon from the Cooke Aquaculture net pen failure last year is alarming. Subsidizing an industry that is using our public marine waters for profit while eroding our environment and local economies is no longer acceptable. This legislation eliminates all new leases and permits for invasive Atlantic salmon net pens as well as net pens for other nonnative finfish. It also requires strengthening oversight guidelines for existing net pen operations based upon updated scientific information, as the current regulations are more than 25 years old.

MTCA accounts and cleanup program

This legislation increases focus of toxic cleanups of nearshore environments and marine waters. This legislation includes provisions to speed up cleanups of contaminated properties.

Upcoming legislative climate action

Worth noting.

Olympic Climate Action is organizing support for a major new statewide campaign: Climate Countdown. With time fast running out to curtail the climate crisis there can be no excuses from the Washington State Legislature to undertake bold climate action now. It will ask two things of the legislature: ban new fossil fuel infrastructure (by passing Climate Test Legislation) and commit to rapid transition to 100% renewable energy (as has been done in Maryland recently). There is broad excitement for the possibility of significant action on climate in our state, however it is a short legislative session.

The legislature has just sixty days to get this done, the clock is ticking. To launch this campaign, there will be a major mobilization in Olympia on the opening day of the legislature–Monday, January 8. The OCA is filling carpools from the Olympic Peninsula, reserve your spot here. Please carve out this date if you can! For further information email Olympic Climate Action or visit the event facebook page.
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Location: WA State Capitol Building, Olympia, WA 98504

Governor’s Results Washington Initiative – Environment and Puget Sound Recovery

Governor Inslee has as program called “Results Washington” One of it’s goals is to restore Puget Sound. Here’s a very good video on the reporting on September 27, 2017 to the Governor on progress and areas where we need to improve. Worth the watch if you are involved in work to help restore the Sound.

Sustainable Energy/Clean Environment — Welcome and agenda review, Governor’s opening remarks, Alignment of Puget Sound Recovery & Results Washington (protection/recovery of shellfish beds/habitat, pollution prevention from storm water runoff), Strategies and challenges for collective, cross-sector efforts to recover the Puget Sound ecosystem, closing comments.

Watch it here:   https://www.tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2017091075

http://www.results.wa.gov/sites/default/files/G3%20Agenda%202017-09-27%20%28Governor%27s%20Results%20Review%29.pdf

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