Sound Status Update – September 2018
Hey everyone,

As the weather gets colder, the environmental action in Tacoma is heating up. October is possibly the busiest month of 2018, and what happens will determine the impact of the pause on fossil fuels in Tacoma, the LNG facility, the future of the Tideflats, and the Ruston Way waterfront. With four very important comment opportunities related to the Tideflats Subarea Plan and the proposed LNG facility) and we need as much support and engagement as we can get to ensure a healthy and vibrant future for Tacoma.

We’re looking for volunteers to help out our important storm drain marking project, and if you haven’t heard about our new cocktail party happening in November, be sure to check out all the details below. Also, our good news update is last (but not least), so be sure to scroll all the way down if you need a positive pick-me-up.

Subarea Plan for the Tacoma Tideflats

The City of Tacoma will soon be kicking off a multi-year subarea planning process for the Tacoma Tideflats. This subarea planning process is an opportunity to have a community conversation where we create land-use regulations for the Tacoma Tideflats that reflect our collective vision for the economy and the environment; a future where we have moved away from new fossil fuel development.

However, the Tideflats Subarea Plan could take three to five years to create, during which our community is vulnerable to new fossil fuel proposals. We need to act now to stop new or expanded fossil fuel facilities from coming to our town.

Last November, Tacoma’s City Council approved temporary ‘interim regulations’ to protect us while we create this long-term subarea plan. The interim regulations put a pause on bringing new fossil fuel projects to Tacoma, but now they must be renewed every six months. With this upcoming renewal, we have an opportunity on October 23 to suggest the interim regulations also pause any expansions of our port’s existing fossil fuel businesses.

This is where we need your help. One of the easiest and most impactful ways to get involved in this process is to go to our website and join our Arising Issues Email List, where we will be emailing out all the information you need to write letters and give public comment at key city council meetings, to advocate for green manufacturing and clean energy jobs in Tacoma, and to join our team fighting for a fossil fuel-free, healthy, vibrant Tacoma.

Join us and Stand for Our Sound

Citizens for a Healthy Bay is thrilled to announce our new fall fundraiser, Stand for Our Sound, which will take place at the brand new Pacific Seas Aquarium at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium on November 15!

Stand for Our Sound
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Pacific Seas Aquarium
5400 N Pearl St | Tacoma, WA
Doors open at 6:00 | Program at 7:00

The fundraiser will be a cocktail party with a fun night of local food, drinks, great company, and an inspiring program, all while experiencing the brand new Pacific Seas Aquarium at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

Individual tickets start at $75

Buy Tickets

Make your mark – storm drain marking volunteers needed!

Did you know that water flowing from storm drains often empties directly into our rivers, lakes, and Puget Sound? This water isn’t treated and carries with it pollution from the streets and cities. If you have a couple free hours between now and October 21, help keep Tacoma’s waters clean by volunteering to glue storm drain markers to curbs with the “No Dumping, Drains to Puget Sound” message.

You can work on your own or team up with some people; it’s a great project for scout troops, coworkers, environmentalism clubs, or just your group of friends. We’ll provide all the storm drain markers and other supplies you’ll need (including a map of the neighborhood you’ll be marking in).

You can pick your time to volunteer, anytime over the next month. The project is easy to learn, a fun way to explore Tacoma, and it really does makes a huge difference. For more info. email Kenny Coble ( and he’ll send you details and help make all the arrangements.

Tacoma Roots Summit

Tacoma Roots Banner-Logo

Our friends at Tacoma Roots are hosting another summit at Evergreen Tacoma on Tuesday, October 23! We’ve loved their last two summits, which prioritize environmental justice and tackling environmental issues that disproportionately impact communities of color in Pierce County. Their next event will discuss affordable housing as an environmental issue. We’re proud to support the work of Tacoma Roots and encourage everyone to attend their next event. Find it on Facebook here.

OxyChem cleanup – quick update

Not up to date with the Occidental Chemical cleanup site? Click here to get up to speed!

Earlier this month, we met with employees from Occidental Chemical Corporation (Oxy) to get an update on the Occidental Chemical cleanup site and discuss potential cleanup options. The WA Department of Ecology (Ecology) and Oxy are nearing agreement on how the Oxy site will be cleaned up, and Ecology anticipates the Agreed Order (AO) to be signed by the end of October. The AO is a legal document that requires Oxy to perform some early-stage containment of the pollution, begin an on-the-ground monitoring program, and submit a draft Cleanup Action Plan.

Ecology and Citizens for a Healthy Bay are co-hosting an open house for everyone in the community to learn how cleanup will look moving forward and about the history of the site on Wednesday November 28th from 4:30 – 7:00 p.m. at the Tacoma Public Library.

Occidental Chemical Cleanup Open House
@ the Tacoma Public Library
Wednesday, November 28, 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Action Alert signup

Looking to stay on top of local environmental issues and get more involved in opportunities to push for a cleaner, healthier Tacoma and South Puget Sound? Subscribe to our Action Alert email list! We provide important updates and alerts on everything from public comment opportunities and hearings to proposed changes to laws and protections that need your support.

There’s never been a better time to get more involved in your community and fight for a cleaner future. Don’t miss a thing by subscribing to our Action Alert email list. Subscribe today.

Here’s a list of upcoming action opportunities we’ll be emailing about in the month of October:

  • Oct. 23 5:00 p.m.: Interim Regulation Public Hearing at City Council: hearing on the proposed 6-month extension of and any modifications to the current interim regulations (public comment opportunity). Stay in touch about this opportunity through Facebook >> click here
  • Oct. 30, 5:00 p.m.: First reading of Interim Regulations Ordinance at City Hall (last chance to comment on interim regulations)
  • Oct. 30: LNG SEIS Public Hearing, time and location TBD, we anticipate one early afternoon and one evening hearing (public comment opportunity).

Good news! Shellfish harvest restrictions lifted, due in part to the Puget Sound NDZ.

We try to include the positives when we can since it’s so easy to get caught up in the seemingly endless to-do list that is environmental work and forget about the victories and feel good moments. Last year, CHB advocated for the implementation of a No Discharge Zone in Puget Sound. A No Discharge Zone an area of water where boats may not release sewage, treated or not. In addition to other factors, the No Discharge Zone has helped improve water quality and sewer management enough to lift restrictions on nearly 700 acres of shellfish beds, including 43 acres in Pierce County.

Lifting these restrictions is a victory not just for shellfish growers and consumers, but also for people that like to recreate in the water. Efforts like these are essential to helping improve the quality of our water and the ecosystems that rely on it.

Article: Improved boat sewage management leads to shellfish area upgrades

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