On August 27th, 2019, Puget Sound Clean Air Agency held a public hearing for comments on the proposed Liquid Natural Gas facility on the Tacoma tideflats.
The agency is considering approval for the LNG’s construction permit. As two of our local leaders say, this project does not serve the needs of Puget Sound residents.
It’s not too late to stop this project. PSCAA will take comments until September 9th. You can send comment to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Transcribed letter from Ramona Bennett:
My name is Lakshot. I’m known as Ramona Bennett, a Puyallup tribal elder. Marilyn Kimmerling has asked me to be a witness. PSE, Puget Sound Energy, has lots of money and lots of influence. They will soon have more money. They are raising their rates to pay for the LNG facility. The rates have steadily already doubled on some bills. I can’t understand how a company based in Australia can have so much control. They are building without permits. When we go to the State Governor and Environmental Protectors we are told Tacoma has that responsibility. Hundreds of us have us have appeared before the Port Authorities, City Council and Tacoma’s Mayor over and over. I assume PSE has made lots of campaign contributions, but I can’t honestly say whether they are paid off or stupid. We tell them: LNG is dirty. It will foul and heat the water endangering and killing shellfish, salmon, orcas and other precious sea life. It will emit 40 plus tons of air-born contaminants yearly, rivaling Asarco and Simpson for causing death and lowering property values. At least those stinky companies had a workforce. LNG would only have 18 employees. I’m disgusted that we have a jet fuel pipeline that leaked 25,000 gallons into our Mother Earth. Where do they think that jet fuel went? We have an aquifer we rely on for clean water. Local water bills spiked to six hundred dollars to a thousand dollars a month in outlying communities. If we let projects and pipelines like this happen, we all will have to choose between other necessities and clean water. Don’t think that just because we live in a rainforest that clean water is guaranteed. The LNG facility would be 14 stories high and hold 8 million gallons of fracked natural gas right at the mouth of Hylebos Waterway. Any 8 year old can Google or Youtube the LNG fires and explosions that have happened. I’m sure a terrorist who could rent a Home Depot truck and figure it out. Marilyn could move and distance herself like the owners in Australia, but she has a love for Tacoma and the people who make their lives here. We have exhausted conventional means to stop this disaster. Puyallup has attorneys using litigation. We’ve attempted legislation. All Marilyn had was her body to protect us. She put her precious life on the line hoping this community would wake up and stand with us. I looked into the archives to see what the Puyallups did to stop ASARCO. Their big expansion was in 1912, the year the Congressional Cushman Act opened our reservation for sale on our property. My family didn’t do anything about ASARCO. The Holocaust had begun. My beautiful grandaunts were murdered and my grandfather died that year. We Puyallups can’t move. Creator put us here to protect our brothers and sisters, the Nation of Salmon. Thank you, Marilyn, for protecting the air, water and earth for all of us.
Jeannie Darnielle, State Senator 27th District, Tacoma spoke at the PCCAA hearing on Aug 27, 2019. Here are her transcribed words:
“I want to talk about process, call me naive but in 19 years in the WA legislature, when you have a public hearing the people elected show up and listen to the people. Elected members of the puget sound clean air agency should be here all day, listening to what people have to say. And they should be accountable for their decisions, so I don’t know why they’re not here, I think it’s shameful that they’re not here, and I think the advice they were given by staff to not come here tonight was also shameful and short-sighted.
This, this is a perfuntory nod to process, you have followed the rules, but you have broken the public’s trust that they could actually speak tonight to the people that make decisions. But you’ve heard all this testimony before. There is no chance to change one mind, no chance to rouse one emotion. The Warriors and Advocates are born of a recognition of tribal rights of a concern for the community rights movement.
This PSE project is being built without permits, there must be some consequences for that, for using ratepayer dollars to do that, something that’s not allowed. Drivers have licenses, home builders have permits, people who have firearms need licenses. These are rights of passage, this is due diligence, and the fact is, as public officials, we are affirming through these actions that the public can trust us to assess risk and that risk will be reduced. A promise. The consequences and risks cannot be contained. The Tacoma Pierce County Board of Health long ago said, that a project this size should have a public health impact statement- not just for air, land and water but for people, about the health of people in the community. Projects like this should have a health impacts statement, a health impact analysis. I doubt that if we were in Medina tonight or Newcastle or Clyde Hill…well we wouldn’t be having this up there, would we? Because their residents would not be trusted to accept the rulings made by this group.
Please, listen to Annette Bryan and Ramona Bennett and other tribal leaders. Listen to the scientists that have spoken here today. Say no to foreign investors that want to colonize Tacoma Washington. When I say foreign investors, we should all know that PSE is now owned by four public pension funds in Canada and the Netherlands. In the state of Washington we have one of the most solvent public pension plans. All of you will be counting on that, those pension funds, we don’t invest in fossil fuels on your behalf.
So, next time bring elected persons. You know in the 1980’s some time, Bruce Springsteen said this was a gritty little mill town, well I’ll tell you what we are, we’re gritty, and what we’re asking you for today is to join us in loving Tacoma- Deny! Deny! Deny!”