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Category Archives: SEPA

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Keystone XL Pipeline EIS: Implications for the Pacific Northwest

Posted in Clean Energy, Climate Change, Emerging Policy, Energy Policy, NEPA, SEPA

My partner Diane Meyers posted recently on the approval of the Keystone XL EIS, and that led me to thinking about the implications of this document with respect to the Pacific Northwest. The Keystone XL EIS may be an important precedent for energy projects in the Pacific Northwest, notably the efforts to export coal from… Continue Reading

Why Don’t the New SEPA Rules the Department of Ecology Recently Issued for Comment Include Amendments to the GMA/SEPA Integration Rules?

Posted in SEPA

The 2012 Legislature directed the Department of Ecology (DOE) to update the SEPA rules, to increase the exemptions from SEPA analysis, and to modernize the exemptions, recognizing the extensive changes in the substantive regulations that have occurred since the rules were last amended. 2012 S.S.B. 6406. The Legislature gave DOE until December 31, 2012 to… Continue Reading

Washington Sea Grant Releases Final Report to the Washington State Legislature on Geoduck Aquaculture Research

Posted in Emerging Policy, Project Permitting, SEPA, Shellfish Industry, Water Quality

Last week, Washington Sea Grant (“WSG”), the research institution based at the University of Washington tasked with funding marine research and coordinating outreach and education related to sustainable use of marine resources, released its final report to the state legislature regarding research conducted on geoduck aquaculture and impacts to the environment. For those of you… Continue Reading

Recent Developments in Acoustic Telemetry Studies of Salmonid Migration–Geeky Science Stuff Friday

Posted in Emerging Policy, Endangered/Threatened Species, Geeky Science Stuff, Project Permitting, SEPA

I’ve read a couple fascinating studies applying acoustic telemetry to salmonid migration here in the Pacific Northwest, and thought those would be good to share for a Friday morning link dump: First, and filed under geeky science stuff, ecologists from the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have published a paper detailing their work… Continue Reading

The Intersection of Science, Facts, and Advocacy in the Age of “Truthiness”

Posted in Climate Change, Emerging Policy, Energy Policy, NEPA, Project Permitting, SEPA, Truthiness

One of my pet peeves as a scientist and a lawyer is the distortion of scientific data or facts in advocating policy positions or making legal arguments. Stephen Colbert did a piece a while ago on “truthiness”-which he defines as something that “feels” right. Although the references to current events are now dated, this bit… Continue Reading

The Coal Export Fight: Negative Implications for Future Dam Removal?

Posted in Climate Change, Emerging Policy, Endangered/Threatened Species, Energy Policy, NEPA, Project Permitting, SEPA, Uncategorized

This weekend, Lynda Mapes at the Seattle Times wrote an interesting article on the drop of barge traffic along the Lower Snake River, and how a shift from barge to rail as the means of shipping wheat from Idaho to foreign markets may take away one of the primary obstacles to the removal of four… Continue Reading

Coal Fight Update: Washington State’s Unprecedented Expansion of the Scope of Environmental Review

Posted in Climate Change, Emerging Policy, Energy Policy, NEPA, SEPA, Sustainability, Uncategorized

The plot thickens in the coal terminal fight. In my last update on this issue, I covered the Corps’ decision to not consider issues such as rail traffic, coal mining, and shipping outside of U.S. territory, in the Corps’ review of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal under the National Environmental Policy Act, because the Corps… Continue Reading

Coal Exports from Washington: NEPA/SEPA Scoping Begins for the Millennium Coal Export Terminal

Posted in Climate Change, Emerging Policy, NEPA, Project Permitting, SEPA, Uncategorized

On Tuesday, the Washington Department of Ecology announced an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to jointly oversee the preparation of an environmental impact statement (“EIS”) for Millenium Coal’s proposal to develop a coal export terminal at the site of a former aluminum smelter in Longview, Washington. This MOU comes on the heels… Continue Reading