State marine debris hotline going offline at the end of the year

SEATTLE (AP) – State officials say they’re suspending a hotline set up for reporting marine debris because it hasn’t been getting calls.

The hotline was set up so beach-goers and others could report potentially dangerous or tsunami-related marine debris that turned up on Washington’s shorelines.

Officials plan to take the hotline 1-855-WACOAST offline at 5 p.m. Dec. 31.

State official Terry Egan says the state hasn’t had a major marine incident in nearly a year and the overall amount of debris found on beaches has also decreased.

People can still report hazardous marine debris such as gas cans and oil drums to another hotline, 1-800-OILS-911.

Those who find non-hazardous marine debris that is suspected from the 2011 Japan tsunami can email DisasterDebris@noaa.gov.

Wash. pulls permits for 2 oil train terminals

HOQUIAM (AP) – Officials are rejecting permits for two major oil-train terminals in Southwest Washington after deciding the projects should face more environmental scrutiny.

The state Shorelines Hearings Board issued a letter Wednesday saying it plans to invalidate the permits for Westway Terminal Co. and Imperium Terminal Services, which want to build oil shipping terminals at the Port of Grays Harbor that could store up to 1.5 million barrels of crude from North Dakota and Alberta. The city of Hoquiam issued the permits last spring, after determining in conjunction with the state Ecology Department that the proposals posed minimal threat to the environment.

Groups including the Quinalt Indian Nation and the Sierra Club appealed. They argued that city and state officials failed to consider the cumulative environmental impacts of having the two terminals running along with a third terminal planned nearby. The board agreed.

The board also says the effects of increased train and vessel traffic need to be considered, as does the damage that could be posed by an oil spill.

Great Shakeout Earthquake Drill in October

Washington State officials hope to register more than 1 million state participants on the exercise website which officially opened this week at http://www.shakeout.org/washington/.
Part of Washington’s preparation for the multi-state coordinated drill in October will be a statewide Drop, Cover & Hold Earthquake Drill at 9:45 a.m. on April 25. The drill will be initiated through the Emergency Alert System using the required monthly test for state broadcasters.

For more information about the Great Shakeout, please contact:
John Schelling, WEMD earthquake, tsunami and volcano program manager, 253-512-7084 or john.schelling@mil.wa.gov
Rosanne Garrand, WEMD public education program coordinator, 253-512-7419 or at rosanne.garrand@mil.wa.gov
Rob Harper, WEMD public information officer, rob.harper@mil.wa.gov

Aberdeen Council Says NO to I-1033

The initiative seeks to limit growth in state, county and city revenues deposited into expense funds, based on annual growth in inflation and population.
State officials report that I-1033 is expected to reduce general fund revenues by approximately 5.9 billion by the year 2015. Revenues that support public safety, and infrastructure would also be reduced by an estimated 694 million for counties, and 2.1 billion for cities in that time.
Supporters of the initiative say it will decrease property taxes, control levies, and limit valuation increases.

Hoquiam City Council Votes to NOT Support I-1033

Everett told the council that the firefighter’s union has voted to not support the initiative as well. Everett stated his personal opinion "this is a rigid one size fits all formula that imposes the same standard on every city and county in the state of Washington, regardless of size, infrasttructure, tax base, what have you… it’s a poorly written initiative."

The initiative seeks to limit growth in state, county and city revenues deposited into expense funds, based on annual growth in inflation and population. State officials report that I-1033 is expected to reduce general fund revenues by approximately 5.9 billion by the year 2015. Revenues that support public safety, and infrastructure would also be reduced by an estimated 694 million for counties, and 2.1 billion for cities in that time.

Supporters of the initiative say it will decrease property taxes, control levies, and limit valuation increases.