WestRock Tacoma Steam Limit Expansion Project
December 28th, 2018
Westrock, a pulp and paper mill, proposed a project that would generate more electricity by combusting more methane gas. CHB expressed concerns that this project undermined the intentions of the clean energy market, and requested Ecology to perform a cumulative air emissions analysis for this project, while requiring WestRock to mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions caused by this expansion. Ecology is currently reviewing all the comments received on the WestRock Steam Limit Project, and consulting with the Puyallup Tribe of Indians regarding their concerns over the project. There is currently no established timeline for the
completion of this review or consultation, so the project status remains pending. After this review period, the project permit could be approved, denied, withdrawn, or modified and reissued for public review and comment. Read our comments.
PSE Tacoma LNG Greenhouse Gas Emissions Analysis
November 21st, 2018
The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) issued a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) on October 8, 2018, that evaluated the air pollution impacts of the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Tacoma. We found the information in the SEIS alarming and concluded that the LNG facility poses unacceptable risks to Tacoma. Due to the large volume of public comments received on the SEIS, PSCAA has postponed the release of the Final SEIS to March 29, 2019. The Final SEIS, and any other action taken on the permitting documents, will be subject to public review and comment. Read our letter to PSCAA. Learn more about the proposed LNG facility here. Read our comment letter.
US Oil Ethanol Expansion Project
September 18th, 2018
U.S. Oil proposed to increase ethanol rail deliveries to their refinery by over 3.5 million barrels every year. U.S. Oil is the largest producer of refined petroleum products in the Tideflats. Citizens for a Healthy Bay expressed concerns that this oil would all be exported out of Tacoma and requested that the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) perform a cumulative emissions analysis for this project. PSCAA approved the expansion with no changes. Read more.
Tacoma Coal Gas Plant Begins Cleanup with Agreed Order (AO)
August 31st, 2018
The Tacoma Coal Gas Plant was in operation from 1884-1924, and contaminated the surrounding soil and groundwater with Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene). While generally satisfied with this AO, Citizens for a Healthy Bay identified gaps in the initial monitoring plan, and requested they be addressed. Read our comments.
Trans Mountain Pipeline (TMPL) Emergency Response Plan
August 25th, 2018
Citizens for a Healthy Bay – along with Evergreen Islands, Friends of the Earth, Friends of the San Juans, Greenpeace USA, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, Sierra Club, Stand.earth, Washington Environmental Council, and Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility – submitted a joint comment letter on the Emergency Response Plan for the Puget Sound Spur of the TMPL. We found the plan to be severely lacking in substantive response actions, should there be an oil spill, and Ecology agreed. Once the pipeline operator submitted a more robust plan, Ecology did approve it, however, the expansion of the pipeline in Canada has been suspended indefinitely due to many raising concerns over impacts to environmental and Indigenous resources. Read our comments.
Pierce County Comprehensive Shoreline Master Program Update
July 30th, 2018
CHB, in partnership with Tahoma Audubon Society, Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat, and the Tatoosh Group of the Sierra Club reviewed the Pierce County Comprehensive Shoreline Master Program Update. Several inconsistencies were found, and some of the suggested changes conflict with the Governor’s executive order to protect salmon and orcas, especially in the Nisqually Reach Nature Reserve. The update was reluctantly signed by Pierce County Council, and may be up for review again in 2019 or 2020. Read more.
WestRock Tacoma Wood Chip Screening Project
July 18th, 2018
WestRock, a pulp and paper mill, proposed to update their chip screening system that would boost productivity, but also increase harmful air emissions. Citizens for a Healthy Bay requested that Ecology perform a cumulative air emissions analysis for this project and demonstrate that project activities would not disturb and release nearby contaminated soils. Citing compliance with State air quality regulations, Ecology approved the proposal in August 2018. Read our comments.
US Oil Spill Prevention, Preparedness and Response Plan
May 25th, 2018
Ecology requires oil handling facilities to curate oil spill prevention, preparedness and response plans. These plans serve as the first defense against catastrophic oil spills. U.S. Oil is the largest producer of refined petroleum products in the Tacoma Tideflats. Citizens for a Healthy Bay made Ecology aware of several instances in U.S. Oil’s spill prevention plan that render it incomplete and unprotective. Ecology approved the plan and it will be up for review again in 2021. Read our comments.
Model Toxics Control Act (The Cleanup Rule) – Update
April 13th, 2018
In 1989, the Model Toxics Control Act was adopted into law which governs the cleanup of hazardous waste sites in our state. The last update to this rule occurred in 2007, and Ecology is currently in a new phase of updating this rule. CHB advocated for increased public involvement, more notification of cleanup actions, and protection of cleanup funds. The final rule adoption is anticipated for 2023. Read our comments.
Phillips 66 Spill Prevention, Preparedness and Response Plan
March 29th, 2018
Ecology requires oil handling facilities to curate oil spill prevention, preparedness and response plans. These plans serve as the first defense against catastrophic oil spills. In the event of a spill, external notifications are a crucial part of an effective emergency response procedure. Citizens for a Healthy Bay found the public notification requirements of this plan to be inadequate and the plan itself insufficient for ensuring immediate spill response, public safety, or accountability from Phillips 66. Read our comments.
Support for Flame Retardant Standard
March 28th, 2018
Citizens for a Healthy Bay supported a proposal from Ecology that aimed to reduce the amount of harmful flame retardant chemicals from entering the environment. The goal of the proposed project was to make people aware of the harmful effects of flame retardants, and to provide the option and resources to replace old harmful furniture with new furniture without flame retardants. View public comment.
Solid Waste Handling Standards Update
March 13th, 2018
The Washington State Department of Ecology proposed amendments to its Solid Waste Handling Standards, which regulate transport, storage, processing, and disposal of solid waste. Citizens for a Healthy Bay expressed concern that the amended standard language lacked clear direction for facilitating on-site storage of contaminated materials, thereby increasing the risk of contamination in groundwater, soil, sediments and nearby surface water. Citizens for a Healthy Bay made several recommendations to address these concerns. The final rule language was adopted in August 2018. Read our comments.
Leach Creek Joint Aquatic Resources Permit Application
February 16th, 2918
This permit application aimed to improve operational efficiency of the Leach Creek Holding Basin to reduce downstream flooding effects and channel erosion. Citizens for a Healthy Bay expressed concern that the proposed project would reduce the in-stream flow of an already-impaired system, jeopardizing ongoing salmon habitat restoration activities. Read our comments.
Water Quality Permit for Targa Sound Terminal
February 16th, 2018
Targa Sound Terminal began operating in 1967 as a crude oil refinery. It currently operates solely as a bulk storage, blending, and distribution facility for petroleum products. CHB and Puget Soundkeeper Alliance submitted a joint comment letter highlighting our concern that this water quality permit is not protective of the Hylebos Waterway and needs to strengthen its monitoring protocols. While not all our concerns were addressed in Ecology’s response, they did
increase the frequency of which certain pollutants were to be monitored. Read the join comment letter here.
US Oil – McChord Pipeline Oil Spill Contingency Plan
February 15th, 2018
In 2016 Ecology updated the requirements of submitted oil spill contingency plans. An effective oil spill contingency plan can help protect an area from some of the worst consequences of an oil spill. U.S. Oil is the largest producer of refined petroleum products in the Tideflats. Citizens for a Healthy Bay made Ecology aware of several instances in U.S. Oil’s spill contingency plan that render it incomplete and unprotective. Ecology approved the plan and it will be up for review again in 2021. Read more.
Naval Reserve Center Slated for Removal from Hazardous Sites List
February 5th, 2018
The Naval Reserve Center site is a voluntary cleanup site where the soil and groundwater were found to be contaminated by petroleum from fuel storage tanks previously on the property. After treatment, Ecology recommended removing the site from the Hazardous Sites list. Citizens for a Healthy Bay requested Ecology reconsider this motion and continue monitoring soil and groundwater for contamination at the site. Read our comments.
Sound Battery Slated for Removal from Hazardous Sites List
February 5th, 2018
Sound Battery (aka Allied Battery) began manufacturing batteries in the Tacoma Tideflats in the 1940s. Due to these manufacturing practices, the nearby soil and groundwater was contaminated with lead. In recent years, the owners of the site worked with Ecology to remove 1,200 tons of contaminated soil and treat and monitor the groundwater. After numerous soil and groundwater tests, Ecology deemed the cleanup goals met, and proposed removing the site from the statewide Hazardous Sites List. CHB recommended a wait period of 5 years before removing Sound Battery from the Hazardous Sites List, and further groundwater and soil testing within those 5 years. Ecology ultimately moved forward with removing the site from the Hazardous Sites List. Read our comments.