Sound Status Update – March 2019

A lot has happened in Tacoma since our last newsletter. We held one of our most successful fundraisers ever at the Foss Waterway Seaport on April 13 (we’re still crunching numbers and will let everyone know exactly how successful it was soon!). However, we were disappointed when the final draft of the greenhouse gas analysis of the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility that came out March 29th stated the LNG facility would reduce greenhouse gases by a mere 2%, when in it would actually increase greenhouse gas emissions.

Looking forward to the future, we have a great hands-on opportunity for everyone who wants to participate in the clean up of Commencement Bay. Join us at our shoreline beach cleanup on Saturday, May 18th and RSVP to the event on Facebook.

We Need a Second Review of the LNG Plant in Tacoma

The final draft of the greenhouse gas analysis of the Puget Sound Energy (PSE) LNG facility was released on March 29th. The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) doubled down on their original findings, and chose to continue using outdated science and model inputs that don’t accurately reflect the real challenges and consequences of climate change.

Even when using their outdated science and flawed analysis, PSCAA concluded there will only be 2% less greenhouse gases in the air if we switch to LNG. When we ran the numbers using up-to-date, relevant model inputs, we found that the LNG project would actually increase greenhouse gas emissions by 30%! That’s the equivalent of an extra 145,000 more cars on the road, every year! Additionally, PSCAA’s own calculations show that there is no decrease in small particle pollution close to shore if we switch to LNG.

After completing the final draft of the greenhouse gas analysis, PSCAA will finish their review of PSE’s construction permit, and will either approve, modify, or deny the permit. There is currently no defined schedule for this review process, but once PSCAA has made their decision, there will be another opportunity for public review and comment, so stay tuned.

**In the meantime, we still need the City to analyze significant operational changes that have been made since this project was greenlighted 4 years ago. Please reach out to City Council, and demand that we get a thorough review of all the environmental and public health risks from LNG in Tacoma. All it takes is 30 seconds of your time to have a real impact; we’ve already put together a letter that you can easily submit!

Submit your letter here:

Our Vision. Our Future

My name is Holly, and I’m a CHB intern studying at the University of Puget Sound. At times, it’s hard to believe how much natural beauty surrounds us here in Tacoma. As someone who wasn’t around when plants like the Asarco Smelter were operating, it’s sometimes hard to imagine this place looking much different that it does now. But the reality is that the Commencement Bay and Tacoma we know today is the product of a lot of people putting in a lot of hard work over the past 20 or so years. Our community has slowly but surely made Tacoma cleaner, healthier, and an overall better place to live.

“No Katy, we don’t get in the water here.”

Citizens for a Healthy Bay volunteer and Tacoma local, Katy still remembers her father’s words from when she was a child. Her childhood experience with Tacoma’s waters, a “look but don’t touch” relationship, is one that many share. And it’s the perfect starting point to measure how far we’ve come in restoring and protecting our waters and communities, and also why it’s imperative that we continue to tackle the environmental challenges we face today.

Read the rest of my post about Tacoma’s vision for its future, and the obstacles we still need to overcome here:

Shoreline Beach Cleanup on May 18

Join us Saturday, May 18th at the CHB Shoreline Beach Cleanup at Tahoma Salt Marsh, a fun opportunity to help keep Commencement Bay clean! Bring gloves and a bucket. We’ll provide anything else you might need. Park at Jack Hyde Park; we’ll be cleaning up their beach too!

If you’re interested in participating or want more information, RSVP to the Facebook event:

You can also sign up by emailing Kenny Coble at

What We Don’t Talk About with Climate Change – The Devastating Changes Gen X and Younger Will See in Our Lives

A note from Melissa Malott, Executive Director

A few weeks ago, I was at a Friday happy hour with friends, and we started talking about climate issues and which generation of people would be the first to feel devastating impacts of climate change. By “devastating,” we meant life-altering economic or agricultural collapse, permanent drought, etc.

Over and over, we hear we must keep global warming below a 2-degree Celsius increase. That’s because a 2 degree increase in global temperature would be really bad. But, we are currently headed towards a 4-degree Celsius increase in global temperature by sometime between the 2060’s and 2080’s. That’s a timeline in which many of us aim to live that long. For children, that will be during the prime of their lives.

A planet that’s 4 degrees warmer is a very different place than we live today. Scientists don’t know if human beings could have evolved into the way we are today on a planet that was 4 degrees warmer. But I’d rather not put the details in this newsletter because it’s better reading them from someone who has spent time researching and writing about it. So, check out “The Uninhabitable Earth” by David Wallace-Wells to better understand how serious and destructive climate change is and will be, and to understand why here at CHB we’re so passionate about our work to flight climate change.

I bring this up because I view it as part of CHB’s job to share important information with our community and constituents. It’s easy, working on a cause, to forget that the news, research, and work we live and breathe everyday doesn’t always make it to the general public. But that means that it is our responsibility to bring that information to the rest of the community, especially when it comes to something as alarming and overwhelming as climate change.

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