Thursday, January 20, 2011

Puget Sound water quality deteriorates with heavy rains

the latest news on Puget Sound water quality:

"Not that many would chose to swim this time of year, but the Washington Department of Ecology (DOE) cautions against it...."

Seattle Times: "Runoff turns Elliott Bay into murky stew"


KPLU News: "Stormwater runoff: A flood of crud" by Liam Moriarty

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

TALKING TRASH - January 27th

From electronics to groceries to holiday gifts, excess packaging is not just annoying—it hurts your wallet AND the environment. What can we do about it? Come hear from a panel of local innovators working to curb packaging waste and then share your own experience and ideas for policies on waste reduction in Seattle.

This will be the first in a series of discussions co-sponsored by Pacific Science Center and Seattle City Council that gather community input on different aspects of the City Council’s priority issue of carbon neutrality.

Educational activities provided by Pacific Science Center’s Science On Wheels for children ages 5 and up whose caregivers attend the forum. Registration required for kids’ activities. Light dinner and refreshments provided for forum attendees.

When: Thursday, January 27, 6 – 8:30 p.m.
Info fair at 6 p.m., forum begins at 6:30 p.m.

Where: NewHolly Gathering Hall,
NewHolly Campus Family Building,
7054 32nd Avenue South, Seattle

How to register: This event is FREE but space is limited. Reserve your spot by registering today at or (206)443-2896.

Request interpretation: or (206) 684-8800

Featured speakers: Manager of corporate sustainability, Costco
Dominic Muren, Lecturer in Industrial Design, University of Washington
Small local business representative

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Systemic Failures in Risk Management by BP, Halliburton, and Transocean

"The immediate causes of the Macondo well blowout can be traced to a series of identifiable mistakes made by BP, Halliburton, and Transocean that reveal such systematic failures in risk management that they place in doubt the safety culture of the entire industry." - excerpt from the new report by the bipartisan National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Spill and Offshore Drilling. Read the just-released report.

Preparing For A Large Oil Spill In Washington State:

A coalition of stakeholder groups comprised of local elected officials, shellfish growers, fishermen, recreation, conservation, and tourism interests, are working to advance policy changes focused on strengthening Washington State's oil spill preparedness, prevention and response program to make sure we have enough spill equipment and personnel ready to respond to a major spill in our waters. In addition, the campaign seeks to fully fund the state's oil spill program which is currently woefully underfunded.

Several policy changes are needed to ensure that Washington is well prepared for a major spill, including:

Improve funding for the Department’s Oil Spill Program, which is currently running a multi-million dollar deficit.

Strengthen requirements for stockpiling appropriate spills response equipment in Washington to ensure that we have equipment on hand to respond in rough seas, fast currents, darkness and fog, and other challenging environments. Ensure that we are ready for a large spill in Puget Sound and the Pacific coast.

Expand spill response “drill” program to test assumptions made in our spill response plans and to better train responders.

Train, equip, and drill commercial fishermen for oils spill response to increase the region’s response capacities.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Water... in the news and a priority for Washington

"Stormwater is a top legislative priority for Washington environmental groups, and the emphasis is reflected in the 2011 Clean Water Jobs Act they will promote in Olympia this session. Mo McBroom, policy director for the Washington Environmental Council, articulates the need for investments in infrastructure to deal with stormwater runoff. A bonus is substantial job creation.”

See full column
Basic Survival: water supply and quality
Lance Dickie / Seattle Times editorial columnist

If you're interested in policy, don't miss:
Environmental Priorities Coalition Legislative Workshop
When: Saturday, January 8th, 9:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Where: Seattle Pacific University, Gwinn Room
Cost: $20 with lunch, $10 without lunch, and $10 for students with lunch
Who: You and hundreds of other people who also care about the environment