Sound Status Update — September & October 2017

By Melissa Malott, Executive Director

Hey folks,

For this Sound Status Update, we’re combining September and October into a single update since things got a little crazy with how many things were happening all at once. We’ve made mountains of progress in our efforts to stop new fossil fuel growth in the Tacoma Tideflats, hired a new bay patrol manager, and held our second annual Breakfast for the Bay!

The continued push for a pause on fossil fuels

We’ve made so much progress in our efforts to stop fossil fuel growth in Tacoma’s Tideflats, but we’re not done and we can’t stop now. The Tacoma Planning Commission recently recommended a balanced and fair pause on new fossil fuels after months of admirable research and community input. Their recommendation would be a safe, common-sense step to protect our economy, environment and public health while we work out a long-term solution. Now the City Council needs to take the advice of their own experts and pass these thoughtful recommendations. So many other communities have already protected themselves with similar action, and we can’t allow Tacoma to be left behind. Despite this, big fossil fuel interests have ramped up their efforts and are pushing back with misinformation meant to divide us and distract from the real issues at hand. We must stay strong and zoned in on our goal. It’s time to double our efforts and focus on the City Council for the final push! Read more about our work on fossil fuels.

Superlon Plastics Cleanup

Cleanup at one of the most polluted sites in the Tideflats, Superlon Plastics, is moving forward. The soil and water at the Superlon site are heavily contaminated from historic industrial activities, including pesticide manufacturing, wood treatment, and chemical and fuel storage. The current step in the cleanup process only focuses on a portion of the site. While CHB is glad to see cleanup work progressing, we are disappointed with the cleanup levels proposed for the Superlon site – cleanup levels determine the amounts of contaminants allowed to remain at the site after cleanup. We do not believe the currently planned levels are adequate and are working with the State Department of Ecology to secure more protective cleanup levels for the future health of our environment and community.

Sam Kulla joins as Citizens for a Healthy Bay’s new Bay Patrol Manager

Bay Patrol is our cornerstone program at Citizens for a Healthy Bay, and as we continue to protect our local waters and engage the community in our work, we are thrilled to add Sam to our team. His passion and enthusiasm for clean water is clear, and he’ll be a major asset to Citizens for a Healthy Bay. Learn more about Sam.

Breakfast recap

Earlier this month, we had our 2nd annual Breakfast for the Bay Community Breakfast & Fundraiser. It was a blast! We heard from Kevin Rochlin, former EPA Project Manager, about how far Commencement Bay has come since the 1980s, and from Steve Devlin of WestRock about how they go above and beyond to be an environmentally sound business and how this has become an important mission to WestRock.

To everyone who came and supported Citizens for a Healthy Bay at our breakfast: Thank you. You make a difference. Your support is critical to the future of our waters, and you make our work possible. I’d also like to give a big shout out to our event sponsors, The City of Tacoma Environmental Services and Schnitzer Steel. Because of everyone’s support, we raised a net of $8,130 for our waters, which will help us fund our work to push for the best possible cleanups for contaminated sites like Occidental Chemical and Superlon Plastics, and drive for policy that changes Commencement Bay and south Puget Sound for the better.

That’s it for this month’s update, but drop me a line to let me know what you think of our new monthly update series!

In partnership,

Melissa Malott

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