Port Angeles Harbor is contaminated with dioxin and is one of Washington State’s priority bay cleanups. The pollution primarily came from the former chlorine-based Rayonier Pulp Mill. The EPA initially designated the site as a Superfund Site in 2000, but deferred the cleanup to WA State Ecology’s Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) instead, under authority of the Solid Waste Program. Cleanup stalled for seven years but after transfer to Ecology’s Toxic Cleanup Program in 2007, cleanup investigations have moved forward steadily.
Rayonier and Ecology have conducted extensive sampling and analysis of the mill site soils and ground water, Strait sediments, and soils from Port Angeles. Dioxins, PCBs, heavy metals, PAHs, phenols and other contaminants have been found at levels of concern.
On June 21, 2012, Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Norm Dicks introduced historic legislation to establish new Wilderness and Wild and Scenic River protections on the Olympic Peninsula. If passed, the bill would protect the first new Wilderness designations (more than 126,000 acres ) on Olympic National Forest in nearly 30 years and the first ever Wild and Scenic River designations (for 19 rivers and their tributaries constituting 464 miles of river) on the Olympic Peninsula.
Did you know that medicines such as antibiotics, hormones and antidepressants have been found in many of our streams and waterways?
Right now, the King County Board of Health is considering adoption of a landmark medicine return policy. This policy would hold drug manufacturers responsible for paying for programs that remove unwanted or unused drugs from homes. We need a secure medicine take-back program in King County. The drug companies strongly oppose this policy and it's vital that the Board of Health hear from those of us who support medicine take-back. Please send an email to the Board of Health letting them know that you support a medicine return program.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is a massive free trade agreement being negotiated between the United States and ten countries across the Pacific Ocean. Despite the huge impact the agreement would have on the environment, economy, and more, the TPP is being negotiated in near complete secrecy with very little input from the public.
Despite the secrecy surrounding the negotiations, there is a lot we do know about how this pact if completed and approved by Congress would impact our climate and environment.
First, a leaked version of one of the chapters on investment confirms that the TPP will include provisions that give corporations the right to sue a government for unlimited cash compensation, in a private tribunal over nearly any law or regulation that a corporation argues is hurting its expected future profits. While that sounds impossible, to date, corporations such as Exxon Mobil and Dow Chemical have launched more than 518 cases against 95 governments using similar rules in other NAFTA-style agreements. Many of these cases directly attack environmental and climate policies policies, such as efforts to phase-out toxic chemicals, stop dangerous mining practices, or reduce reliance on coal and nuclear energy.
We all love Seattle's waterfront because of its great restaurants, entertainment, art and culture -- but mostly for views of our beautiful Puget Sound. It is part of why we choose to live here. But imagine up to 18 coal trains, each a mile and a half long, rumbling through the waterfront daily -- disrupting this vital economic tourist engine, polluting our water with toxic coal dust and making already-congested traffic worse. That is what we will face if coal companies' proposed 50-million-ton coal export terminal in Whatcom County gets built.
"These coal trains threaten the health of our communities, the strength of our economies, and the environmental and cultural heritage we share," said Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. "We will stand together to stop the coal trains."
Statement on the State Senate 2013-2015 Capital Budget
The Washington State Senate's capital budget proposal misses key opportunities to invest in natural resource projects that create jobs and benefit all communities across the state by cleaning up Puget Sound and other waterways, protecting communities against forest fires and landslides, and promoting outdoor recreation. Washington state deserves more. We need more investment from our legislature in communities across the state. Key points on environmental issues in the Senate's proposed capital budget:
Governor-request and Environmental Priority legislation would convene state leaders to address climate change; now heads to Governor's desk for signature
OLYMPIA, Wash., March 25, 2013 - Governor Inslee's Climate Action bill (SB 5802) passed the State House today on a bipartisan 61 to 32 vote. The bill previously passed the State Senate (37 to 12) and now heads to Governor Inslee's desk for signature. SB 5802 is sponsored by Senator Kevin Ranker.
"The Governor's climate action bill keeps our state in the game - requiring leaders to map out a strategy to grow our clean energy economy and reduce climate pollution," said Joan Crooks, executive director of Washington Environmental Council and co-chair of the Environmental Priorities Coalition. "By taking smart and responsible action now, we position Washington to be economically competitive in the 21st century."
It's an exciting day for Washington. President Obama just designated the San Juan Islands one of five new National Monuments!
Spanning the nation, each of these beloved sites -- from the Rio Grande del Norte in NM, and the San Juan Islands in Washington state, to the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument in Maryland and the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Ohio -- represent a unique part of the American story.
These new national monuments will protect a diverse set of culturally and historically significant sites for all Americans to explore and enjoy. They'll also generate significant economic opportunities for surrounding local communities.