As sewage still spills, no timeline for fix to treatment plant’s Katrina-scale damage – Seattle Times

This is an incredibly bad situation. We are going to be dumping the entire sewage of Seattle into Puget Sound with only screening of primary solids for months.  I chalk this up as a Global Warming event, as the massive rains that  created this event, are consistent with the projections of increasing storm intensity in global warming scenarios.

It’s going to be a long road back to recovery for the crippled West Point wastewater-treatment plant in Seattle. A workhorse of the regional wastewater-treatment system, the plant is estimated to have sustained at least $25 million in damage in a flood Feb. 9 and cannot presently function properly. Recovery of the plant remains in very early stages. Damage had never occurred at the plant at such a scale. It has taken Hurricane Sandy or Katrina-scale damage to produce similar wreckage elsewhere in the country. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/as-sewage-still-spills-no-timeline-for-fix-to-treatment-plants-katrina-scale-damage/

Ecology solicits comments on net pen guidelines – PT Leader

Worth monitoring. Will not include members of NGOs on the core panel.Only Dept. of Ecology employees. We will be keeping a close eye on their output. The project will take over a year to complete.

When the state Department of Ecology kicked off the new year by soliciting early input on a net pen management project, it reawakened concerns among fish conservationists. Project coordinator Cedar Bouta sent out an email Jan. 4 inviting public input. The email explained that the departments of Ecology, Agriculture and Fish & Wildlife are replacing the state’s 30-year-old management recommendations for commercial marine finfish aquaculture, or net pens, in collaboration with the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science…. According to Bouta, the project’s goal is to update the state’s guidance for the industry and coastal managers – including state and local government regulators – and provide them with the most current scientific data and methods…. Comments due by March 4. Kirk Boxleitner reports. (Port Townsend Leader)

http://www.ptleader.com/news/ecology-solicits-comments-on-net-pen-guidelines/article_2d3c880e-fe0a-11e6-a68a-03e87de5c947.html

Trump Aims To ‘Eliminate’ Clean Water Rule-Earthfix

The battle over protecting clean water is on.

The Trump administration is moving to roll back an environmental rule intended to define which small bodies of water are subject to federal authority under the Clean Water Act. President Trump signed documents Tuesday directing the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to review the Obama administration’s “Waters of the United States” rule. In doing so, Trump said he is “paving the way for the elimination” of the rule. He asked for the reviewers to assess its consistency with “promoting economic growth” and “minimizing regulatory uncertainty,” among other factors.  Merrit Kennedy and Susan Phillips reports. (NPR)

http://knkx.org/post/trump-aims-eliminate-clean-water-rule

See also: Environmentalists: Trump’s Clean Water Rollback Will Harm Northwest Streams http://www.opb.org/news/article/environmentalists-clean-water-rollback-will-harm-northwest-streams/  Courtney Flatt reports. (WNPR/EarthFix)

Some salmon forecasts like Puget Sound coho show an upswing from last year – Seattle Times

A small bit of good news.

State Fish and Wildlife unveiled salmon forecasts to a packed house in Olympia on Tuesday, and as usual there are some highlights mixed in with lowlights as the first steps are taken in this lengthy process of setting fishing seasons. The good news is a Puget Sound forecast of 559,045 coho (267,745 wild and 291,301 hatchery) is a drastic increase from last year’s dismal forecast of 255,403 (87,359 and 168,585) that led to one of the most contentious disagreements between state and tribal fishery managers on how to carve out fisheries. Mark Yuasa reports. (Seattle Times)

http://www.seattletimes.com/sports/some-salmon-forecasts-like-puget-sound-coho-show-an-upswing-from-last-year/

See also: Far fewer pink salmon are expected to return to the South Sound this year http://www.thenewstribune.com/outdoors/hunting-fishing/article135528528.html Jeffrey Mayor reports. (News Tribune Tacoma)

Black Hawk flights scour ocean for illegal crabbing – KING

A good use for the military.

KING 5 flew with the U.S. Coast Guard and Oregon State Police to monitor for illegal Dungeness crab fishery, which is one of the most popular and dangerous fisheries in the Pacific Northwest. There are boundaries over the Pacific Ocean that the naked eye can’t see, but they mark where crabbing is not allowed. Radar shows the Coast Guard pilots and fishermen where crabbing is not allowed. Alison Morrow reports. (KING)

http://www.king5.com/tech/science/environment/black-hawk-flights-scour-ocean-for-illegal-crabbing-1/415761896

Dead or alive? How green bills are faring in Olympia in wake of Trump – Investigate West

Update from Olympia.

An abruptly canceled meeting, a moonlighting state senator and the nascent Trump administration all had something to do with killing several high-profile attempts to protect the environment and promote clean energy before the Washington Legislature could even reach the halfway mark in its 2017 session.  Among the measures considered dead as of this week are a push to regulate toxics in children’s electronics, a measure to provide more charging stations for electric vehicles and steps to propel forward the state’s transition to cleaner energy sources. All died because they failed to make it out of a committee by the end of last week. But many major issues still are on the table, including oil transportation safety, toxic lead exposure in kids, and the debate over whether thousands people who want to build rural homes should be allowed to do so if sinking water wells to serve those homes will hurt nearby streams and the creatures that live in them. Adiel Kaplan reports. (Investigate West)

http://invw.org/2017/02/24/green-bills-update/

INPUT NEEDED: State Ecology Netpen Guidelines being updated – March 4 deadline

New commercial fish farm (net pen) management tools being are developed by the Department of Ecology:

Provide your input on project scoping by March 4

Washington’s 30-year old management guidelines for commercial, marine fish farms (net pens) are getting an overhaul. (This is not about whether net pens are to be allowed or not, it’s about updating best practices management of the pens).

Ecology has partnered with the state departments of Fish & Wildlife and Agriculture, and the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science to write new management recommendations useful for the industry and coastal managers – including state and local government regulators.

The project is designed to provide up-to-date information on this use and better understand the concern of citizens. Results will help ensure any new facilities are sited and operated consistent with current science and modern management practices. It is not designed to determine whether or not future net pens will be allowed (See Frequently Asked Questions).

The planning team is just getting started, and they want your input

The multi-year project is just getting underway and you are invited to provide input on early decisions made by the project team. Two documents are available for review and comment.

  1. A summary of draft scoping decisions that describes early decisions made by the team regarding:
  • Geographic and topical scope
  • Scientific and technical review
  • Outreach and opportunities for interested parties to influence the outcome

 

  1. A writing outline that will guide the project team through fact-finding and identification of suitable safeguards and management practices. The team is especially interested in feedback on topics you would like to see addressed in the final document.

 

View and download these documents on the project website.

Comments accepted now through March 4.

 

Submit input to:

Ms. Cedar Bouta

Shorelands and Environmental Assistance Program

WA Dept. of Ecology

P.O. Box 47600

Lacey, WA 98504-7600.

Email: Cedar.Bouta@ecy.wa.gov

 

Visit the project webpage to learn more.

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