Save Tacoma Water withdraws Initiative 4

Save Tacoma Water was successful in having received our ballot title and number late last week from the City Attorney’s Office. However we have re-examined the initiative and have been advised that there is an opportunity to further strengthen the proposed ordinance by filing a few modifications to our original submission. For example, one major change would clarify that it is the water permit applicant that would have to pay the cost of a public vote on the water permit. Clearly, taxpayers should not have to pay that bill as it is estimated that a citywide initiative could cost about $100,000. With support and guidance from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), a national public interest law firm, Save Tacoma Water intends to file a new initiative this week. Kai Huschke is the Northwest Organizer from CELDF assisting Save Tacoma Water.

As our initiative gathered steam, rumors were floating around that we were going to be sued. Given the David and Goliath fight we are in, we found this to be a blessing in disguise. Soon, we will be posting the new improved language that is guaranteed to remain in place even after a court challenge.

We received our ballot title today!

Save Tacoma Water received our ballot title and number today – we are Yes on Initiative 4.

We will have petitions ready for signing around March 2, 2016. We are planning a petition signing party for the first signers, as our plans finalize, we will let people know so they can join with us as we stop the methanol refinery.

Below is the top half our our petition with the ballot title.

Initiative 4 petition S1 flyer

Scoping meeting date rescheduled

The City of Tacoma  just did another end run on the citizens who planned to go to the final Scoping Meeting regarding the planned methanol refinery. Just a few minutes ago, the city’s website announced the change – those of us on the announcement list from Ian Munce, have yet to be notified.scoping mtg notice4 web

Water Permit Initiative filed on Monday

Stop the methanol refinery petition

Stop the methanol refinery petition

Filing a petition with the City of Tacoma starts a process that takes about three weeks to complete. A ballot title must be written by the city attorney as well as a summary of what the initiative does, once that is complete, petitions will be printed and ready for signatures.

Complete text of the initiative filed:

WHEREAS, the Residents of Tacoma do not want to return to our polluted
past; and
WHEREAS, since 1980, Tacoma has spent an immense amount of money,
time and effort cleaning up the Superfund Sites left behind by the Asarco
copper smelter, Occidental Chemical, Kaiser Aluminum and others; and
WHEREAS, City residents use almost half of the water produced by Cityowned
Tacoma Public Utilities; and
WHEREAS, the City of Tacoma is projecting and preparing for residents
with a projected increase in population of 127,000 more residents by 2040;
WHEREAS, a 2009 state survey of public utilities shows that the Pierce
County Large Water Users Sector is 13.7% while in King County the Large
Water Users Sector is only 1.9%; and
WHEREAS, the City of Tacoma is responsible to the city’s residents and
small businesses first and must use all caution when issuing water permits
to any potential water user that wants to use more than one million gallons
of water per day; and
WHEREAS, the Tacoma Public Utility gets water from the Green River
Watershed and the concerns for the environmental impacts of large water
users are valid as more increasing demands for water for people and
community development must take into account droughts that will become
more frequent in the Pacific Northwest as the result of climate change;
WHEREAS, the people want policies and contractual requirements made
to industry secondary to the human needs of the citizens and households,
schools, hospitals, and homes for the aged for fresh potable water that
should take priority except in the case of emergency fire fighting needs or
any other natural disaster that cannot bereasonably forecasted; and
WHEREAS, the sustained availability of affordable and potable water
for the residents and businesses of Tacoma must be paramount over
considerations such as potential tax revenues or investor profits; and
WHEREAS, industrial users that would require excessive amounts of water
to operate will have potential long-term negative impacts on the local and
regional environment and future community development in the city of
Tacoma; and
WHEREAS, residents and businesses of Tacoma have been asked in the
recent past and may be required in the future to conserve water; and
WHEREAS, large water users pay discounted rates while residents
as ratepayers carry an extra financial burden for the conservation,
maintenance, protection and development fresh of potable water sources;
WHEREAS, industries that use large amounts of water daily would place
human, economic, environmental and homeland securities at risk; and
WHEREAS, the Citizens of Tacoma have recently shown a huge desire to
be involved when our affordable, fresh water is at risk; and
WHEREAS, the Citizens of Tacoma want to encourage clean and renewable
energy industries operating in the City of Tacoma; and
WHEREAS, the Citizens of Tacoma find that a proposed methanol refinery
with a projected use of 14-21 million gallons of water per day does not meet
the requirements of a clean, renewable and sustainable energy production
facility; and
WHEREAS, the City of Tacoma Charter provides for Initiative and
Referendum rights which provides the city’s citizens the right to place this
ordinance before the voters;
Be it ordained by the voters in the City of Tacoma that:
A new ordinance is adopted and new sections of Tacoma Municipal
Code Title 12 are hereby adopted:
Section 1. Findings and Intent – The voters of the City of Tacoma find
that there is a compelling need to carefully consider the consequences
of issuing permits to a water permit applicant that intends to use large
amounts of fresh water daily.
Section 2. Subject – this Act deals with issuing water permits to any
industry needing 1 (one) million gallons or more of water daily from the City
of Tacoma, this Act is to be known as
“The Large Water User Ordinance”
Section 3. Text – The City of Tacoma shall place before the voters any
applicant’s request for a water permit for one million gallons or more of
water use per day and it shall be placed on the next General Election Ballot.
Any water users currently using 1 (one) million gallons or more of water
daily are grandfathered in and their rights to water are not transferable.
Section 4. Interpretation – The resulting vote by the citizens of Tacoma
shall be binding.
Section 5. Severability – This Act shall be liberally construed to achieve
the defined intent of the voters. The provisions of this initiative are declared
to be separate and severable. The voters of Tacoma declare that they
support each of the provisions of this Act independently, and their support
for this Act would not be diminished if one or more of its provisions were to
be held invalid, or if any of them were adopted by the City Council and the
others sent to the voters for approval.
– END –

Scoping Meeting Notice


The room holds 2,000 people. Public comments should be provided in written form by letter or Email.

Email comments to Ian Munce,  Principal Planner,  City of Tacoma by March 1, 2016

Mail comments to 747 Market St., Suite 345, Tacoma, WA 98402

Sign up sheets for the Scoping Meeting will be available at 5:00 PM.

Arrive before 5:00 PM if you want to make a public comment as a line is expected – speakers will be called in the order of sign up. Speakers are allowed three minutes and public comments will begin at 6:30 PM.

scoping mtg notice 1 up

Water Permit Initiative to be filed on Monday

Save News Release1F

Save Our Water
P.O. Box 8841 • Tacoma WA 98419 • Donna Walters (253) 209-7988

The legally binding initiative process will begin at 10:00 AM on Monday, February 8, 2016 when Save Our Water initiative sponsors file their initiative with Doris Sorum, Tacoma City Clerk. City of Tacoma Charter at 2.19 provides the right to Citizens of Tacoma to file an initiative petition. City Attorney Elizabeth Pauli will have 10 business days to write a ballot title. Citizens have 180 days to collect 3,160 signatures however we intend to turn them in on or before June 15, 2016.

There is an online petition circulating regarding stopping the methanol refinery in the planning stage for the Port of Tacoma – however, signing that initiative will not count towards this official People’s Initiative to the City of Tacoma. If you have signed the online petition you will want to sign this legally binding one that will place the issue before all of Tacoma voters on Nov. 8, 2016.

for more information contact
Michael Lafreniere (253) 228-0925

Initiative will be resubmitted

January 19, 2016Update on the initiative filed

On Friday, the city attorney rejected the initiative that was submitted stating that an Advisory Vote was not within the scope of the initiative process. During the meeting it became clear that another avenue could be explored that would result in actually stopping the methanol plant rather than just having an Advisory Vote.

Save Our Water will be submitting a new initiative shortly as several of us left the meeting last Friday and went right to work researching what we need to do to resubmit. We are just about done with our research and are just about ready to resubmit. Anyone interested in staying informed on this new initiative, please email  Donna Walters <>.

Save Our Water was formed to focus on putting an initiative on the Tacoma 2016 General Election Ballot with the intent to stop the methanol refinery planned for the heart of our city.

Onward to defeating the methanol refinery.
Donna Walters, long time resident and property owner


Equal Time Radio on KLAY 1180 AM with Frank Blair and Traci Kelly

Equal Time Radio on KLAY 1180 AM with Frank Blair and Traci Kelly

Michael Lafreniere, Official spokesman for Save our Water joins us for an update on the initiatives to save Tacoma Public Utilities from using this precious resource from the Port of Tacoma, AND the lawsuit challenging their right to do so. What a mess.  Listen here: