I grew up learning to take care of the property my parents owned. I helped to maintain the creek flowing on the boundary of our property on its way to Grays Harbor Bay. I dragged branches and debris out of the creek so that our property would not be flooded. So that set the stage for everything else I would choose to do regarding water. I have read extensively about land and water reclamation and conservation around our country. I have spent a lot of time on and around Commencement Bay. So when I heard the words, “largest methanol plant in the world”, I knew it was the wrong thing for Commencement Bay, and I knew I had to get involved in helping to stop it. I had the knowledge and experience that made me confident to speak up.
When I learned about “Save Tacoma Water”, I was grateful to be able to join a group where I could contribute. This particular set of circumstances regarding NW Innovation Works – the application process, the petition process, and the seeming permissive attitude of our public officials toward NWIW – might set a standard that other companies would follow. It was all going to have a negative effect on Pierce County residents regarding taxes, utility fees, and air and water pollution. Commencement Bay is not the largest bay in the world, and Puget Sound is not the largest inland sea in the world. It narrows considerably on its route toward the south end of the Sound. The enormous container ships that were being planned would overwhelm all other shipping.
Although NWIW had asked for a larger quantity of fresh water per day, Tacoma’s public officials got the company to come down to 10.4 million gallons per day. They declined to consider using recycled water. There was a hint that after the permitting and construction process was over, the company would lobby to get more fresh water per day. Now, American Rivers, a conservation organization, has identified the Green River as “at risk”, and developing temperatures too warm for safety of animal and plant life in its waters. Measures will have to be taken to deal with this problem. The proposed methanol plant would cause warming.
We need to protect our precious fresh water source for the use of businesses, residents, and recreation. And we need to preserve it for future generations. In one way, this is a difficult decision to make, because it will involve hard work in planning, communication among groups, and cooperation. But in another way, it is an easy decision to make. Puget Sound is a very beautiful and precious water resource for our region. Clear, clean water is a gift to us given by us after the cleanup of Asarco, which we have all participated in. It is our duty to keep it that way. I am in for the long run.