Corps of Engineers does nothing for Sound’s health

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Letters to the Editor, Seattle PI


I concur with your Friday editorial’s statement, “Puget Sound, the region’s ecological treasure, needs more help than it’s getting from a cash-starved federal treasury,” but I question whether the Corps of Engineers should be entrusted with more money, given what it does with the funds it gets.

The Corps has allowed Arco (now BP) to double its refinery dock in the midst of the state’s genetically unique and collapsing herring beds at Cherry Point without even requiring an environmental impact statement. This was done despite herring’s importance to the diet of Puget Sound chinook.

The Corps has been busy making emergency repairs to levees on the Nooksack River, due to repeated instances of flooding in Everson, in the vicinity of one of this state’s worst sites of PCB pollution.

The Corps has yet to determine whether the sediments it is moving are causing the resuspension of PCBs, which could then be taken up by the Nooksack Chinook and back to orcas.

The Corps granted the Port of Seattle a permit to slam-dunk a new cruise-ship terminal in Elliott Bay in record time without any conditions. Then there are all the wetlands being filled with contaminated soil for the third runway.

If the Corps wants to lead an evaluation of the causes for the decline of Puget Sound’s vitality, it has to look no further than its own permit office.

Fred Felleman
Ocean Advocates

~ by fredfelleman on November 26, 2003.

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