Jamestown S’Klallam propose a commercial aquaculture operation at Point Hudson

The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe is proposing a commercial aquaculture operation at Point Hudson. The Tribe is asking the port to allow them to put in a FLUPSY, a device to create an upwelling of water to help young oyster spat.

The meeting with the Port Commissioners to discuss this proposal is online on WEDS. SEPT 23rd at 5:30 PM.

Zoom instructions and agenda are here: https://portofpt.com/event/regular-business-meeting-2-2020-04-22-2020-09-23/

While on the surface this seems benign, it has raised a number of issues that Karen Sullivan, who has a boat in Point Hudson, researched. The following information comes from a letter she wrote the Port Commissioners. The questions are quite intersesting in that they raise issues that many of us might not think to raise. One example is the Wooden Boat Show. Here’s all of the letter. Draw your own conclusions. Zoom in on Wedsnesday if you have comments. Will likely be earlier on the agenda. It’s the first major order of business after the introductory issues.


To:  Port of Port Townsend 

From:  Karen Sullivan and James Heumann, Port tenants 

Date:  September 21, 2020 

Subject: Concerns about proposed commercial aquaculture operations in Point  Hudson Marina 

We are writing to express our concerns about the proposal to establish oyster  aquaculture operations at the Point Hudson Marina. It was surprising to see this potentially controversial item listed so ambiguously on the Port’s agenda for the  September 23 meeting: “Jamestown S’Klallam presentation: FLUPSY and upland use  at Point Hudson.” 

How many of the Port’s constituents would know that a FLUPSY is a Floating  Upweller System, and how many would recognize it as an in-water aquaculture  project? Use of a cute, innocuous-sounding acronym with reference only to upland activity requires readers to know what a FLUPSY is, downplays its potential impacts,  and fails to acknowledge potential public interest. Without public scrutiny, project approval would fail standards of fairness, impartiality, and prevention of conflicts of  interest. The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe said it is working with the Port; now the  Port needs to work with the public.  

Our concerns include environmental, financial, social, procedural and legal  compliance issues. We believe these and other questions and concerns must be fully  answered before the Port can approve such a project. 

1. Size and impact of floats/barges: Currently, an oyster spat-raising operation by  the project proponent exists at the John Wayne Marina. These “floats,” which are  also called barges, are not “small” as is claimed in news accounts. A Google Earth  screen capture shows their placement and size at that marina. They are much larger  than any of the surrounding boats. 

2. Noise/smell: The paddlewheel in the right photo above is the mechanism for  producing upwelling in these barges. We are concerned about levels of noise and/or  smells from operations in close quarters with marina tenants. 

3. Wooden Boat Festival: Point Hudson is a small and very popular harbor  destination, not to mention the home of the Wooden Boat Festival, so the impact of  one or more FLUPSYs on available slip space as well as on the Wooden Boat Festival is likely to be disproportionately large. It also raises more questions: 

Would these barges remain in place during the Wooden Boat Festival? 

If so, how would matters of public safety and liability be handled with the  large crowds we get at the festival? 

What would be the financial and/or other impacts to the festival of lost  berthing space? Have festival organizers been consulted? 

4. Marina/tenant concerns:  

What is the cost-benefit of reducing slip space for boats whose owners  patronize local businesses, for the sake of a commercial tenant whose  operations do not benefit and may even harm the local community?  

What hazard and liability assessments have been done for scenarios in which  a storm breaches the weakened Point Hudson jetty and large waves enter the  marina? What protections are proposed or in place for potential damages? Could the Port be sued for damages by the project operators? 

How often is the spat harvested? It is our understanding that large semi trucks are needed in order to deliver the oyster seed and to transport the  harvested product. What disruptions can be expected to the marina’s docks  and/or parking or walking access? Where does the Port propose to park  these trucks in a marina already squeezed for space?  

It’s our understanding that the tanks are brightly lighted 24/7. How could  this not impact marina tenants and Northwest Maritime Center activities? Residents of Quilcene Bay have complained about glaring night lights from an  oyster operation that have driven herons and eagles from their roosting  trees.  

5. Spat or adult oysters? Another concern is the wording in the Peninsula Daily  News article, “When the oysters are mature enough, they will be relocated to  another facility.” That facility is not named. But because the article also states the  oysters would be sold in the proposed Point Hudson commercial store and bar, it  means they could be raising the oysters here and not relocating them. We are  concerned about the possibility of commercial feed being used if the latter scenario is accurate. Ecosystem effects of raising oysters to maturity, including using  commercial feed in such an enclosed space as Point Hudson harbor, would be far  more impactful. 

6. Consultation with agencies: With the slip-filling size of these semi-permanent  barges comes additional shading of the seabed, something that for dock  construction triggers permits. Being semi-permanent as opposed to the smaller  transient vessels, barge-sized shading impacts to the seabed would be more like  those of docks. Permits generate consultation with state or federal agencies.  Consultation with either one triggers a public process such as an Environmental  Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement under State or Federal  environmental policy laws. Federal funding also triggers this, and according to the  Tribe’s 2017 Report to Tribal Citizens, federal funding was used to purchase FLUPSYs. In cases where the federal nexus is present, the Bureau of Indian Affairs is  obligated to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement or an Environmental  Assessment. A public process with adequate comment periods would be proper and  necessary. 

7. EIS or EA required: Given the wide array of concerns along with the federal  nexus mentioned above, it would appear that this project cannot be said to have no  significant or cumulative impact on the quality of the human environment;  therefore, it would require an Environmental Impact Statement or Environmental  Assessment under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). 

8. Discharge of waste into water: Washing the tanks after spat is harvested would  discharge waste materials into marina waters. This is a “discharge into waters of the  United States,” meaning that whether or not it falls into the category of point- or  nonpoint source pollution, it would trigger the need for a permit and monitoring  under the Clean Water Act.  

9. Historic Preservation conflict: In February 2020, the Port met with  representatives from the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation to discuss  preservation of the historic Point Hudson Marina and its surrounding buildings. The  purpose of a partnership agreement between the two agencies was to “…work  together to maintain Point Hudson’s historic waterfront character.” How do  commercial aquaculture operations fit into such plans for a seaport city with a  National Historic designation that is world-renowned for its traditional maritime  character? Is it worth it for the Port to make such a radical change in community established purposes for Point Hudson? 

10. National Historic Preservation Act issues: In keeping with the  aforementioned concern, there should be a formal consultation under authority of  the National Historic Preservation Act. 

11. Leased building purpose: What is the nature of the proposed leased building  operations beyond an “oyster bar,” and would it include any processing operations and/or storage of equipment, live product, chemicals, hazardous materials, or would  it house non-food-bar related activities? We are concerned that if chemicals are to  be stored on premises and were spilled, that potential environmental non compliance issues could shut down neighboring business such as Sea Marine. 

12. Partners with Cooke Aquaculture: The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe is in  business partnership with Cooke Aquaculture, whose operations have been  problematic to the environment and the subject of state shutdowns and litigation.  We are concerned about the possibility of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe running or  expanding its aquaculture operations at Point Hudson in concert with a company  whose stewardship for the environment has been questionable. 

13. Oyster aquaculture not harmless: The negative effects of oyster aquaculture,  including the raising of seed or spat, are well known. Oyster spat operations pull  nutrients from the water including nitrogen; nutrient removal can have a  detrimental effect on eelgrass beds. Port Townsend uses buoy markers to  discourage anchoring in its eelgrass beds. We are concerned about harm to these  ecologically important eelgrass beds. 

14. Paying bills on time? Conversations with the marina manager at John Wayne  reveal that the Tribe has sometimes delayed payment for moorage as much as six or  more months. This seems like a high risk for little benefit.  

Thank you for your attention to these matters. We write because we care about  maintaining the traditional maritime values of Point Hudson and the health of our  marine environment. We cannot see how the proposed project would be compatible with either. 

Sincerely, 

Karen Sullivan and Jim Heumann

Friends of Fort Worden launches ‘Nix the Nox!’ campaign

Friends of Fort Worden State Park is launching a “Nix the Nox!” fundraising campaign to raise $25,000 for restoring natural habitat and increasing safety for park visitors.

“Our focus for the funds will be controlling noxious invasive plant species,” said Janine Anderson, a member of the Friends board who prefers to promote native Northwest plants. “We’re giving special emphasis to poison hemlock.”

Poison hemlock is highly toxic to the touch and can be fatal if ingested, Anderson said. It has spread widely in the past five to 10 years, and its presence in the most-visited parts of the park is a significant health hazard.

“You can see it along many trails and in hillside campsites and beach areas,” she said.

Donations to the Friends Challenge Grant will be combined with $5,000 from an anonymous donor. The funds will support efforts of volunteers, two AmeriCorps positions already funded by the Friends, and professional services for noxious weed control.

To make a tax-deductible donation, people can visit the Friends website at fwfriends.org. If you have questions, send an email to contact@fwfriends.org.

“Our Nix the Nox campaign is our largest multiyear commitment to restoring the natural habitat of the park,” Anderson said. “Donations will help keep Fort Worden one of Washington’s magical treasures.

The project is contingent on our success in raising the needed funds and final board approval of the funding, she said.

Friends of Fort Worden is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that strives to preserve and enhance the state park as a recreational, historical, educational, and natural resource. It works closely with park management and 14 other partner organizations in the park to provide help where and when we can.

“The Friends bring so much support to Fort Worden,” said Park Manager Brian Hageman. “They contribute to great park improvements that enhance the experience of our park patrons.”

EVENT: Beyond Waste Action Group 9/10

Beyond Waste Action Group – Local 20/20 – Tues  September 10th
The Beyond Waste Action Groupmeets the second Tuesday of each month at either 10:30 a.m.-12:00 or 7pm-8:30pm, depending on the month.  The group looks at a number of issues including food-waste composting, plastics reduction and recycling, reduction of garbage on an individual and community level, and various other waste-related topics that spontaneously come up during the meeting.  Newcomers are always welcome. Email Lisafor info on monthly agenda and meeting time and venue. Location: Uptown PT.
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Location:  contact Lisa.

Check out Kai Tai Prairie Preserve!

From Jerry Gorsline:

20190331_112124The Spring bloom sequence has begun at the Port Townsend Kah Tai Prairie Preserve with the appearance of Spring Gold and Blue Eyed Grass (photo). Here’ the story of how this little botanical gem came to be preserved:

In the mid-1980s amateur botanists with the Olympic Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society noticed some unusual plants located in a couple of acres within the Spring Valley Golf Course, known today as the Port Townsend Municipal Golf Course.

Experts subsequently identified the area as a relic of the native prairie that once filled the Kah Tai Valley, also known as SPRING VALLEY. Located between the STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA and Port Townsend Bay, the valley once consisted of open prairies and estuaries. In the view of James McCurdy, native son of Port Townsend pioneers, the valley was a botanical delight: “Myriads of wild flowers transformed the valley floor into a many-hued carpet.”

Early development had quickly transformed most of this landscape; however, due to benign neglect this one small area within the golf course, “disguised,” as the Port Townsend Leader wrote, “as a ‘rough’ and thought of as little more than a bad place to lose your golf ball.” The site became the focus of conservation efforts and, when expanded facilities were proposed for the golf course, the Olympic Peninsula Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society intervened, proposing in November 1986 that their organization be given a management role “with regard to the rare native plants that exist at the Spring Valley Golf Course.”

At first, claims made by Native Plant Society members that the site should be protected were perceived as a threat by golfers, and its claimants dismissed by the presiding Port Townsend mayor as mere “posy lovers.” However, when the City Park Board passed a motion to recommend the City Council accept the proposal submitted by the Native Plant Society, the Kah Tai Preserve was formally designated by the City in 1987.

Since that time, this remnant 1.4 acre prairie has been the focus of preservation and restoration by members of the Native Plant Society. Over 90 different species have since been identified, 27 of which represent “prairie indicator species” (indicating environmental conditions suitable for a community of related species), and the importance of this prairie remnant has been recognized by the Washington Natural Heritage Program. In addition, conservation efforts have not degraded the golf experience and, with the Preserve available for public viewing, has enhanced the site for the community as a whole.

With years of work from dedicated volunteers, the prairie is a stunning sight in the spring, starting with the early blooming grass widows (Olsynium douglasii) and progressing seasonally to the fields of brilliant blue camas (Camassia quamash).  The blue palette of the camas is mixed with white, yellow, and pink from the buttercup (Ranunculus occidentalis), Pomo celery (Lomatium utriculatum), old man’s whiskers (Geum triflorum), and death camas (Zygadenus venenosus).  The heat of summer brings out the yellow and purple of dwarf goldenrod (Solidago spathulata) and showy fleabane (Erigeron speciosus).

Regular work parties have focused on stabilizing prairie plant communities and diligently battling ever-present weeds. Although the native rose and snowberry shrubs are thriving at the prairie, the goal is to promote herbaceous prairie species.  To this end the prairie has been mowed regularly in the fall and selectively burned in 2000 and in 2008 with help from the Nature Conservancy, the City of Port Townsend, and the Port Townsend Fire Department. The following growing season after burning yielded the immediate reward of a spectacular bloom. Other prairie preservation projects include seed collecting from the site and growing plants in the nursery for re-introduction to disturbed areas of the prairie. 

Research projects at the Kah Tai Prairie Preserve include the planting of golden paintbrush (Castilleja levisecta) in 2004. Seeds from this plant, which is on the federally endangered plant species list, were collected from the last 11 known sites. Kah Tai Prairie is the nearest location with a similar habitat to these remaining wild populations. The surviving golden paintbrush are monitored annually to determine the success rate, with findings recorded in the database of Natural Heritage Program. In addition, the Preserve was one of the sites selected for a research project to determine the genetic distribution of camas by indigenous people, for whom camas was an important food source.

Many college and school groups have visited the Preserve as part of ongoing restoration and educational programs.

http://www.wnps.org/olympic/projects/kahTaiPrairie/

Kailin, Doyle honored with Eleanor Stopps environmental award – PDN

A 99 year old doctor from Sequim who was pivotal in stopping both a nuclear plant that was planned for the Miller Peninsula (just west of Cape George) as well as the planned Northern Tier pipeline that was planned to run through the waters off Protection Island, was honored with the Eleanor Stopps annual environmental award. Along with Dr. Eloise Kailin, young Sara Doyle was also a co-recipient, the first time the award was given to two people, and the youngest person to receive it. Doyle has been the Stewardship coordinator for the North Olympic Salmon Coalition. Eleanor Stopps was the woman who worked tirelessly for over a decade to turn Protection Island into a National Wildlife Refuge in 1982.

Read more on the story at the Peninsula Daily News

Kailin, Doyle honored with Eleanor Stopps environmental award

 

Port Townsend Marine Science Center offers admission by donation to Natural History Exhibit

Pilot program will run through March 25

 

PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. – The Port Townsend Marine Science Center announced today it is offering “admission by donation” to the Natural History Exhibit through March 25. The exhibit, which features “Learning From Orcas: The Story of Hope,” is open Friday through Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m., with last admission at 4 p.m.
“We would all like to see more visitors in the Natural History Exhibit, especially this time of year,” said PTMSC Executive Director Janine Boire. “Because we want to serve people from all walks of life, our admission pricing is already low, but even this can be a barrier for some visitors to Fort Worden State Park and from our community.
“We are hoping that this test period between now and the end of March will provide information about how we can best serve our community and visitors alike,” Boire said.
The “pay-as-you-wish” policy has, in recent years, been tested by museums across the county. A 2010 study reported in Science magazine measured the success of selling some souvenir photographs at a fixed price and others for whatever buyers were willing to pay. Researchers found that the greatest revenue came when consumers were informed that a percentage of what they paid went to a charitable cause.
“When visiting the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, we hope our
guests will support our many programs and contribute to our cause —
inspiring conservation of the Salish Sea — by offering a donation
instead of paying admission,” Boire said.
The PTMSC provides place-based, people powered, hands-on learning for all ages, including youth camps, exhibits of marine flora and fauna, educational and historical displays, citizen science programs and community-based lecture series.
The Natural History Exhibit will implement the admission-by-donation policy immediately.
The Marine Exhibit, located on the pier, is closed during the winter and is not affected by the admission-by-donation policy at this time.
“Once we have a couple of months of data to review and compare to past years, we will decide how best to proceed with our admissions policy for our public exhibits starting in the spring,” Boire said.
To view year-round exhibit hours, visit https://ptmsc.org/left-menu/visit-us.
About the Port Townsend Marine Science Center 
Founded in 1982, the Port Townsend Marine Science Center is a non-profit 501c3 educational organization whose mission is to inspire conservation of the Salish Sea. The PTMSC provides place-based, people powered, hands-on learning for all ages including youth camps, exhibits of marine flora and fauna, educational and historical displays, citizen science programs and community-based lecture series. Located at Fort Worden State Park, Port Townsend, Wash., the PTMSC offers two public exhibits: the Marine Exhibit and the Natural History Exhibit. For more information, including public hours, visit www.ptmsc.org.

Job Opening in PT

From Amy Leitman:
I am looking to hire someone to help fill some of my shoes here at Marine Surveys & Assessments. The position that I need to fill here in PT needs to have some experience working with agencies and/or clients and have worked through project conflicts. Biology background  required.  I am mostly looking for someone to pick up some of my responsibilities…
1. project management
2. RFP/RFQ Grant applications
3. Client/Agency interactions
4. Misc critical area site visits
5. Misc ESA and Critical Area report writing
I need someone who will not shirk from conflict and is happy to work in a dynamic and fluid work environment with lots of perks, team work, and interesting ecological puzzles.
Obviously, I would need someone to live near PT and/or at least come in 3 days a week.
Lots more information available. I would ideally like to see:
1. A cover letter
2. A resume
3. A short sample of writing
Call or email for more information as I look for my cinderell/a.
Thanks so much for passing the word around to qualified folks.
Amy Leitman
marine.surveys.inc@gmail.com

P/T JOB OPENING: Program Assistant Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee

A part time position available for someone with program coordination.

mrc-program-assistant-descript_1-26-2017_page_1mrc-program-assistant-descript_1-26-2017_page_2

Environmental Films at the Port Townsend Film Festival

Check the listings but there are a wide range of interesting environmental films showing this weekend.

  • Call of the Ice
  • Learning to See: The World of Insects
  • Seed: The Untold Story
  • Voyagers without A Trace
  • The Cherokee Word for Water -*highly recommended*
  • Kickass Katie Lee
  • The Important Places
  • Pronghorn Revival
  • Selah: Water from Stone
  • The Super Salmon
  • Elk River
  • Property
  • 26 Years and Counting

Photo of the Day: Stalked Tunicate

Another beauty by photographer Bruce Kerwin from under Point Hudson Jetty.DSC_7202 Stalked Tunicate and Hard Gnarled Clump Sponge? - Point HudsonWhite glove leather colonial tunicate overgrowing a bladder clam with the incurrent and excurrent siphons showing (identification by Andy Lamb) – Point Hudson at Port Townsend, Washington

Photo of the day – Decorated Warbonnet

Here’s another from Bruce Kirwin’s great collection of sea-life at Point Hudson, in Port Townsend. This jetty is slated for demolition and rebuilding in 2016, due to age and condition. The dive community is hoping to work with the Port to mitigate the consequences to underwater creatures such as this.

DSC_7283 - Barge Point Hudson - Decorated Warbonnet

Decorated Warbonnet in the barge at Point Hudson

Oil spill Community Preparedness and Response Workshop held in PT

Good turnout for today’s oil spill response workshop in Port Townsend. Lots of great information, and the ability to chat with representatives of the Coast Guard, and the Oil Spill Team Section, gave a good understanding of what are the processes, and what gaps exist in our ability to handle a spill, large or small, here in the area.

20131109-113719.jpgRobin DuPre from the NW Straits Foundation, sponsors of the workshops.

Why to vote no on the Jefferson County Charter Proposal

Yesterday, I received the following email from a long time friend and environmental activist, Fayette Krause. I am enclosing it with my thoughts, many of which mirror Fayette’s. Fayette’s letter spurred me to finish writing down my thoughts on the proposed Charter County proposals, as the county Democrats are going to hold an endorsement meeting on Sept 17th. I believe the Charter proponents are well intentioned, but ultimately proposing a fundamental change to the County structure that will not benefit the County, and in fact, may bring more problems. Here’s why.

I plan to vote “No” on the Charter for the following reasons. These are somewhat different and re-prioritized from Fayette’s.

1. This does not fix the root causes. It goes after the symptoms.

1A. Is the root cause of putting forward a Charter County a disconnect between the majority of voters and the elected officials? Jefferson County already has the highest percentage voter turnout in the State. We have elected both conservatives and progressives over the last couple of decades. The problem does not seem to be voter apathy to issues, or some kind of disconnect between the electorate and the County officials. Our county allows citizens to vote out incumbents and choose a candidate that more closely allies with our ideas/ideals. For progressives, the current County Commission has generally been very responsive, and was elected as a reaction to a previous more conservative group of Commissioners who approved such ill-conceived developments as the Pit To Pier project, which was ultimately was brought down by economics, and changes at a State level. On another issue, our current Commissioners spent a large amount of time to research and discuss the Shoreline Master Program and Critical Areas Ordinance for example. I don’t think that any of the progressives now supporting the Charter would argue that our elected officials’ stance on those were wrong. They have supported protection of special places, such as Dabob Bay. They have fought net-pens in our county, offering options to their deployment that the State refused to accept. They have supported numerous other progressive measures.

If the root cause is a lack of enough commissioners to guarantee more representation, the Charter does not necessarily accomplish that. Adding more Commissioners does not mean that things will be more representative. San Juan County voted in a Charter County, with 6 commissioners and found that it was too expensive and didn’t guarantee any better representation of the citizens, so they returned to 3 after great expense to the county.

1B. Is the root cause a lack of a initiative process to stop state mandated issues like net-pens?

The charter and initiative process, on a county basis, will not likely stop net-pens. I have heard it stated by the Charter County advocates that we can create an initiative to ban net-pens. I don’t see any legal basis for a local initiative to succeed at that. The root cause for the requirement for net pens is at the State level, not county. State DOE holds the authority to allow net pens on aquatic lands, and allows the counties to help write the rules to those lands, both for getting local input and saving the state money. DOE and the State reserve the right to undo any proposals, like these that they see fit. The only way I see to implement a ban on net pens in the State waters, is to implement a state wide initiative, and I believe that the charter advocates that want a net pen ban should take that route, rather than overhaul our county rules to achieve a goal that likely will do nothing to solve the problem.

2. I have no guarantee that the Freeholders that get elected are going to craft a better governance document!
The freeholder election has numerous very conservative candidates running for Freeholder positions. Should a majority of these candidates win, there is no telling where they may take the Charter. The law of unintended consequences looks to be very likely to happen if we don’t elect the slate that we want.

3. This is going to cost the county more money, not less.
We currently can’t afford to take care of our county parks, yet well meaning people want the county to spend money on the Charter. Even with a minor amount of change we will pay to implement that change.
Initiative challenges will cost us more money. This is not a revenue neutral proposal. (see below).

4. The Initiative process does not guarantee beneficial results.

While originally well intentioned, Tim Eyman’s manipulation of the initiative process has shown us that just because you create and vote to approve one, it will not necessarily get you the outcomes you expect. Much of our State Ferry rate increases that we have lived under here in Jefferson County, and affect us the most, were begun in the wake of Eyman’s I-695 initiative and it’s outcome on State highway revenues. (while it was declared unconstitutional it’s goals were implemented by elected officials afraid of opposing Eyman).

There is a belief that County initiatives supersede State and Federal law. I have seen nothing that makes me believe that, and would like to see backers support that contention. I see an outcome where local initiatives are challenged by the very corporations that you want to keep out, and cost the county money to challenge in court.

Standard variety initiatives will be challenged by those who lose, which has been the case with Eyman’s initiatives at the State level. Out of Eyman’s 19 initiatives and one referendum 12 failed or were voted out and 5 have been ruled unconstitutional! Many have been ruled unconstitutional after costly legal challenges. The cost to the State in challenges has never had a dollar figure placed on it. We in this small county cannot afford to spend money on court challenges like this, when we can’t even fund our existing county needs.

5. This idea has not had an appropriate amount of time for debating the issue.

For all these reasons, I hope that friends who are members of the Jefferson County Democrats can attend and vote no in this upcoming meeting. The meeting takes place at 7PM on Sept 17th. I hope all of you will vote no on Charter County at the upcoming election.

Al B. – Editor

From: Fayette Krause
Date: Sat, Sep 7, 2013 at 5:38 PM
Subject: Where are you?
To: “Undisclosed-Recipient:;”@userservices.net

Regarding the proposed Charter? I am contacting some Demos that I know re the special endorsement mtg on Sept. 17 at the Community Ctr in P.T. I plan to vote “No” on the Charter for several reasons:

1. The Freeholder election has numerous very conservative candidates running for the Freeholder positions. Should a majority of these candidates win, there is no telling where they may take the Charter.

2. The Charter idea is rushed and will lack a reasonable time frame for debate. Further, it is complicated and difficult to distill to a few soundbites — something we should avoid anyway.

3. Our state has seen where the Initiative has taken us recently. Originally this idea was a highly progressive instrument, designed to circumvent corporate-controlled state legislatures. It can still be used this way by progressives, but the Tim Eyman’s of Washington have also learned how to use this legislation effectively, to the detriment of state government.

4. What’s broken here? If there is a problem with county governance, we can vote out the incumbents and choose a candidate that more closely allies with our ideas/ideals. For progressives, the current County Commission has generally been very responsive, opposing ill-conceived developments, supporting protection for special places like Dabob Bay, fighting net-pens in the Straits and Hood Canal, and generally supporting other progressive measures.

5. There is a dollar cost to the County, for running the election, and an unknown and unpredictable cost should our current system be changed by adopting a Charter. The price tag could be relatively low, but any change is likely to require some additional costs.

These are only a few of the reasons that I am uncomfortable with the Charter idea, despite the fact that a number of progressive and very well-meaning people support it. While commending them for their work in raising the issue, I cannot support the Charter idea.

The endorsement vote will be taken at the 7:00 mtg on Sept. 17. Only members of the JeffCo Demo Party can vote, and the requirement for either a negative or positive endorsement is 2/3 of the voters, plus one. Consequently, it is important to have a large and informed turn-out.

I hope you can attend.

Fayette

Washington State Legislature Approves Ultrafine Particle Study for Jefferson and Clallam Counties

This is extremely good news to a start on finding out what kinds of pollution we are breathing and if the new biomass plants are actually doing something that needs cleaning up. That is, if they are built, which seems not a sure thing at this point in time, due to economics, not environmental concerns, unfortunately.

___________________________________________

The Olympic Clean Air Agency and the University of Washington propose to jointly study air quality in Jefferson and Clallam Counties. This project will evaluate possible air quality changes associated with new biomass co-generation facilities in Port Townsend and Port Angeles and changes in ultra-fine particle concentrations associated with both facilities. The project will support state of the art measurements of ultra-fine particles and will respond directly to concerns of the two communities around health effects and industrial development.

Background

Concerns regarding greenhouse gas emissions and climate change have encouraged the development of biomass fueled power stations, i.e. biomass cogeneration plants. The biomass fuel varies for each region and can include sugar-cane stalk, corn and rice straw, and palm and woody debris to name a few. This form of power generation is controversial within the “green” community. Proponents claim that burning biomass contributes a net zero addition to atmospheric carbon dioxide compared to fossil fuel combustion [Taylor, 2010]. The carbon released during biomass combustion will be re-used in plant material for the next cycle of energy generation, while fossil fuels represent carbon that has been stored for millennia. Since new co-generation plants are required to use Best Available Control Technology (BACT) to prevent degradation of air quality, supporters further argue that burning biomatter in the plant is cleaner than slash burning outdoors and actually helps improve air quality. Furthermore, industry has been burning biomass waste for years without converting it to usable power, and therefore claim a net gain in power produced vs. carbon released [Taylor, 2010]. The US Department of Energy recognizes biomass co-generation plants as a renewable energy source and has awarded grants to finance their design and operation. (http://www.srs.gov/general/news/releases/nr12_doe-biomass-startup.pdf)

Opponents of biomass fueled co-generation are primarily concerned about subsequent environmental damage and the cleanliness of the technology. They claim that burning biomass will endanger forest land by increasing logging operations and argue that slash should be left to decompose on the forest floor. The primary concern regarding biomass fueled power centers on the release of harmful toxins and fine particulate that can negatively impact the health of residents living near the co-generation plants. Specifically, activists are concerned about ultrafine particles –diameters less than 100 nm – that are not detected by standard air monitoring instruments [Keywooda et al., 1999] and to which recent research ascribes significant health impacts [Keywooda et al., 1999; Morawska et al., 2004].

Recently two new biomass cogeneration plants were approved for installation on the Olympic Peninsula, one at Nippon Paper Industries in Port Angeles and the other at Port Townsend Paper Company in Port Townsend. Both mills have been burning woody biomass as waste for several decades. Construction of these co-generation plants requires installation of emission control technology predicted to decrease the total PM2.5 emitted, despite increasing the mass of fuel burned by a factor of three. PM2.5 is the mass concentration of atmospheric particles with diameters less than 2.5 microns. Other gaseous emissions such as Volatile Organic Compounds and NOx will roughly increase by 35 and 18 tons per year respectively. Despite these pollution controls, and maybe because of them, there is concern that although PM2.5 will decrease, the number of ultrafine particles, which may be more hazardous to respiratory and cardio health, will increase. Research has shown that when PM2.5 decreases, co-emitted gases like SO2 and NOx have less surface area on which to condense and are thus more likely to homogeneously nucleate ultrafine particles downwind of the emission site [Weber et al., 1997]. Despite these concerns, there is very little data that show the impact of biomass cogeneration plants on local and regional air quality, including PM2.5 and ultrafine particulate.

Proposed Study

Port Angeles and Port Townsend are ideal locations to conduct a study focusing on the impacts of biomass fueled cogeneration facilities on air quality downwind of the cogeneration plants. Both towns have similar meteorology and environmental conditions. There are no other large industrial sources or major freeways to obscure ultrafine and fine particulate emissions from the biomass cogeneration plants, although emissions from residential burning in the winter constitute a large fraction of the observed PM2.5 in bothcities. Currently the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA) maintains a permanent air monitoring site for PM2.5 in both Port Angeles and Port Townsend. Data on background concentrations of PM2.5, SO2, NOx, CO, and ozone are also available from Cheeka Peak, an NCore site located west of Port Angeles on the northwestern tip of the peninsula and measuring some of the cleanest air in the country. In addition to the permanent monitors, ORCAA will also install four optical particle counters (OPC) that provide data on the number concentration of particles larger than 0.3 microns at three locations in Port Angeles and at one location in Sequim. The OPCs will operate between January 2013 and December 2013. These monitors will move to Port Townsend in 2014. In both Port Angeles and Port Townsend, one of the OPCs will be collocated with the permanent air monitor, a nephelometer. ORCAA also has two aethalometers that measure black carbon concentration and can be used to differentiate between wood combustion and diesel combustion. One aethalometer will be installed at the permanent monitoring location and the other will be installed along with an OPC at one of the other temporary sites. The existence of these monitoring locations creates an infrastructure that will facilitate a study of ultrafine particles and source types of air pollution in the region.

In addition to ambient monitoring that already occurs in Clallam and Jefferson Counties the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency, in collaboration with the University of Washington, proposes to conduct an additional study to examine the concentration, sources, and lifetimes of ultrafine particulate in Port Angeles and Port Townsend.

The scientific questions to be addressed are:

1) 2) 3)

4) 5) 6) 7)

Experiment

For this project we will establish two master research sites on the Olympic Peninsula. One will be located near residential areas of Port Townsend and the Port Townsend Paper Corp. The second site will be in Port Angeles near to the Nippon Paper Industries facility. At each site we will ideally conduct a series of pre/post-expansion intensive measurements that can complement the existing measurements using nephelometers, optical particle counters, and aethalometers. The Nippon co-generation plant, located in Port Angeles, expects to begin operating in September or October, 2013 and therefore baseline, winter measurements of ultrafine particles before operations commence may not be possible. To work around this issue, meteorology and plume dispersion modeling will allow data to be segregated to times when emissions from Nippon could affect measurements at the site and those times when they would not.

How will air quality respond to the change in emissions from the facility?

What is the distribution of PM2.5 in residential areas of both communities?

Is there evidence of an increase in ultrafine particulate matter from the expanded facilities?

What is the cause of the odors in the Port Townsend area and what can be done about these?

What are the source contributions to fine and ultrafine particulate in these two areas?

How does this change between winter and summer?

Which neighborhoods are most impacted by these facilities? Are the concentrations

reasonably modeled by a Gaussian plume distribution?

How do ultrafine particulate emissions from the facilities change in the winter relative to the summer?

Measurements of PM2.5, number concentration and size distribution of ultrafine particles (diameter < 100 nanometers), particle chemical speciation, and carbon monoxide will be made at both the Port Angeles and the Port Townsend sites. Continuous stack emission measurements at the facilities will complement the ambient measurements to determine their potential influence on the ambient air quality.

A proposed schedule for this work is as follows:
Summer 2013: 6-week experiment prior to facility modifications and expansion
Winter 2013: 6-week experiment prior to facility modifications and expansion (Port Townsend) Summer 2014: 6-week experiment after facility modifications and expansion
Winter 2014: 6-week experiment after facility modifications and expansion

Instruments and measurements that will be made in addition to those already made by ORCAA:

Instrument

What it measures

Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS), TSI 3936

Ultrafine particle size distribution

Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS)

Aerosol chemical composition

Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometer (CIMS)

Aerosol chemical composition

TECO 48CTL

Carbon Monoxide

Dusttrak DRX 8543

Particulate matter

“Heroines of our Green Olympics” Talk – Next Tuesday-PT-7PM

Connie Gallant next Tuesday at 7 PM will present “Heroines of our Green Olympics,” a talk about Rosalie Edge, Polly Dyer and Bonnie Phillips– women who have made great contributions to the conservation of the Olympic Peninsula– and also give an update on current Olympic Peninsula environmental issues.  She will talk at the Port Townsend Community Center; admission is free.

Feb 1–Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Adventuress!

NEXT FRIDAY, Feb. 1: At exactly 12:30 PM in Port Townsend, Sound Experience will recognize the  exact day a century ago that the historic schooner Adventuress “splashed” in E. Boothbay, Maine. You’re invited to come aboard for a "Flash Shanty" to sing the shanty "Paddy Lay Back" [ http://www.soundexp.org/uploads/Paddy%20Lay%20Back%20Lyrics.pdf ] filmed for YouTube– or to post your own singing of the shanty on YouTube. For more, visit Sound Experience, http://soundexp.org

Anne Murphy to Retire from Port Townsend Marine Science Center

Her’s will be big shoes to fill. Here’s her email to supporters:

———————————————————-

The time has come for me to retire from the PTMSC. It has been a difficult decision to make, but I do so in a spirit of celebration, knowing the great things we have accomplished together. It has been a privilege and honor to work with you and the impassioned staff who helped build this place over the last 24 years. Your dedication and commitment has been a tremendous inspiration; it has kept me going.

I love the PTMSC and our work. As I said to staff when delivering this news this morning, we are fortunate to have jobs we believe in with a mission that will impact people and the place where we live long after we’re gone. Our work is about learning and sharing information with others so that we can do the hard work together – shifting behaviors toward changes that protect the Salish Sea.

As I look to the future, I think we’re in a good, stable position right now to handle this transition in leadership. After an intense reflection and assessment process over the last 18 months, we made a wise decision to invest in ourselves before taking on an expansion.  We are a stronger organization as a result, with a clear shared focus. Staff is well-rooted in their areas of responsibility and is cultivating relationships that will help PTMSC stay strong.

I’m planning to stay with PTMSC until a replacement has been found. Linda Dacon, our stalwart board chair, has formed a search committee that will oversee recruitment and selection of the new executive director. We will keep you informed as to how you can participate in the process.

Although this is hard news to absorb, we have something to celebrate – a healthy organization and an ED who has earned her release papers!  Please support our staff as this transition unfolds.

With tremendous gratitude,

Anne

Sierra Club Film on Toxic Sludge–Feb 12th in Port Townsend

The WA State Chapter of Sierra Club recently started Sludge Free WA, a working group to end the land spreading of toxic municipal and industrial sewage treatment plant wastes in WA and find safe alternatives for reuse of the waste.  Currently, as across the nation, these toxic sludges are sprayed on forest and farm lands and sold to the general public as compost/fertilizer.  These solids from the treatment facilities are "treated" for very few constituents, but not for pharmaceuticals, personal care products, prions, hospital wastes, and many, many other things that are flushed down the toilet or dumped into the mix by industry.

A film and power point presentation on this subject will be given in the evening in Port Townsend on February 12 at the Recreation Center.

In the meantime, a petition to President Obama on the White House site is up.  The aim is to get 1000 signatures by January 25.  We have over 800, so need more to reach the 1000 goal.  Please follow the steps at the end of this message and sign this important petition.

Lisa  Jackson will be replaced by a new EPA administrator.  This is a golden opportunity for us  to use the We The People Whitehouse Petition Web site to request that Obama work with the new EPA Administrator to ban the land application of sewage sludge.

Here are the sign on directions.

1. Click the URL at the below.

2. Click on Create an Account in green box (next to "sign in")
3. Enter info in blank fields – (email name zip)
4. Enter nonsense words below  – you’ll get a message to wait for an email.

5. Wait a few minutes for the site to send you an email.

6. Open the new email and copy the URL address it provides and paste it into your web browser, hit enter, and you should see the original page you first saw only this time the "Sign the Petition" green box is enabled – just click it and you’re done.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/work-new-epa-administrator-ban-land-application-sewage-sludge-also-called-biosolids/1FKsqX5Z

Whales of Northern Alaska: How are they Faring? 1/7 @ 7PM

The newly formed Natural History Society of the Jefferson Land Trust (JLTNHS) is sponsoring a talk and slide show by veteran wildlife biologist Dave Rugh, on the status of bowhead, gray, and beluga whales in northern Alaskan waters. The presentation will take plance on January 7, at 7:00 pm in the Cotton Building, 607 Water Street, Port Townsend.

clip_image002

Dave Rugh surveying Arctic whales.

Bowheads, gray whales, and belugas are considered to be the most common whales in marine waters surrounding northern Alaska, but just how many are there? Where do these whales feed and where do they migrate? How healthy are their populations, especially in the face of a changing Arctic?

Answering such questions about animals that live underwater in distant, icy seas has proven enormously challenging for scientists. Bowheads can live as long as 150-200 years and are wonderfully adapted for swimming in cold, ice-covered waters. Their huge reserves of fat and long baleen plates, prized by commercial whalers, nearly proved their undoing. Although indigenous people continue to hunt bowheads for subsistence, these whales are recovering from the huge losses of the past. Gray whales—once hunted almost to extinction—spend half the year making one of the lengthiest migrations for any mammal. Their coastal travels between summertime habitat in Alaska and wintering areas near Mexico’s Baja Peninsula (a round-trip distance of 10,000 miles or more) expose them to many threats. The graceful white belugas—nicknamed “sea canaries” for their high-pitched twitters—generally occur near sea ice, so what does a melting Arctic bode for them?

Dave Rugh, who served as researcher with NOAA’s National Marine Mammal Lab for 34 years, has contributed much to the current understanding of Alaska’s bowhead, gray, and beluga whales. In more than a hundred research projects conducted by land, sea, and air from the Arctic to California, Dave documented the distribution and abundances of these whales. Results from his surveys have been critical for assessing the health of their populations, particularly in regard to their status as threatened or endangered. Dave has published hundreds of scientific articles and documents, sharing his knowledge in many presentations to fellow scientists, students, and the general public. His work earned him more than 30 professional awards, including NOAA’s Distinguished Career Award.

This event is free and open to the public, but a $5 donation would be appreciated to help defray the costs.

Port Townsend Paper Mill Fined for Air Quality

As reported in the Port Townsend Leader.

http://ptleader.com/main.asp?SectionID=36&SubSectionID=55&ArticleID=32795

There is no mention of it in the Department’s news releases.

The mill was 20% over it’s legal limit, according to DOE. That’s significant to those breathing these chemicals in the plume.

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