Sound Status Update – June 2019

Upcoming Tacoma Port Commission Debate

Citizens for a Healthy Bay and the League of Women Voters of Tacoma-Pierce County invite you to our Tacoma Port Commission Debate on July 24 at the University of Puget Sound Rotunda. All six candidates running for the two open port commission seats will be attendance, discussing the most pertinent economic and environmental issues related to the Port of Tacoma.

Few decision-making bodies have more potential to influence the health of our waters and ability to impact the climate crisis than the Port of Tacoma Commission, so we need to be informed about the candidates who are running for this commission.

Position 3 candidates: Frank Boykin, Justin Camarata, Deanna Keller
Position 5 candidates: Kristin Ang, Dave Bryant, Shelly Schlumpf

Doors will open at 5:00 PM. The debate will begin at 5:30 PM. Admission is free.

Event page for more details: Port Commission Debate Event Page

Environmental Justice Girls Camp

Back by popular demand, our Environmental Justice Camps for Girls kicked off in June and July! Co-hosted with the Tacoma Urban League, the camp gives teen girls an understanding of environmental justice from educational activities like tide pooling, a microplastics lab, beach cleanups, a talk about equity by neighborhood in Tacoma, and a bay patrol of Commencement Bay. It was a pleasure getting to know these bright young ladies, and we can’t wait until our next camp in August!

Check out the latest blog post to see what the program is all about and for pictures of the July Camp! Environmental Justice Camp-July.

Manke Lumber Settlement

Manke Lumber, located in the Hylebos Waterway in Commencement Bay, recently settled with the EPA for a number of water quality violations. In addition to paying a $320,000 penalty, Manke must build a stormwater treatment system, hire an environmental manager, and invest in a restoration project in Mason County. The proposed restoration project site, which is owned by Manke, will have no effect on the health of Commencement Bay.

Citizens for a Healthy Bay is demanding that Manke be held more accountable by the EPA for their substantial water quality violations, which includes leaking high pH wastewater from their lumber yards, as well as leaks of wastewater polluted with heavy metals, oil residue, and wood waste. This sort of polluted wastewater is extremely detrimental to salmon health and can destroy salmon spawning grounds. CHB is requesting that the restoration project be moved to the Hylebos Watershed, where the project would help create badly needed salmon habitat in the same ecosystem Manke polluted.

Concern Over Seaport Sound Oil & Distribution Expansion

SeaPort Sound (formerly Targa Sound Terminal) is an oil storage and distribution facility in the Tacoma Tideflats. They recently submitted a request to DOUBLE the number of oil-by-rail stations at their Taylor Way location.

While the company has repeatedly stated this project will not increase the volume of oil they are currently permitted to process – we are concerned this expansion project will double the amount of oil they can receive under their existing permit, therefore allowing them to reach their MAXIMUM oil-processing limit. We asked SeaPort Sound, the City of Tacoma, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, the Department of Ecology, and Tacoma Rail to confirm how much oil moves through this facility on a daily basis but have yet to receive an answer.

This is a prime example of why the Interim Regulations – the City of Tacoma’s temporary ban on new fossil fuel facilities – need to include existing facilities. If the City has recognized the danger of new fossil fuel companies coming to town, certainly they can see the danger of an oil company already in Tacoma doubling the amount of oil that comes through Tacoma’s railways on a daily basis.

That’s why we asked the City’s Planning Department in our comment letter to stop even more fossil fuels from entering Tacoma. We’ll continue to keep you updated on the proposed expansion as more information on the proposal comes out.

Can Puget Sound Count on You?

For almost 30 years, Citizens for a Healthy Bay has worked to take action and bring people together to achieve a clean and healthy Commencement Bay that benefits both our community and the surrounding ecosystem that calls Puget Sound home. Your donation is an essential part of helping that work continue. Thank you!

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