The Importance of the Community’s Voice

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There are just SEVEN DAYS left to donate to the Restore the Flow campaign!  Every donation – from $5 to $501 – is a big step towards reaching our $20,000 goal!  There are some great ways to connect with DRCC/TAG staff and coalition.  Check them out!

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There is a bonus, tasty way to give on May 4 from 4pm to 7pm – we are partnering with Machine House Brewery in Georgetown to host a Restore the Flow Happy Hour.  One dollar from every beer will go to support this campaign.  Let us know you will coming!

Today, Bill Pease, a long-time resident of South Park and a member of DRCC/TAG’s board and coalition, shares why it is important for DRCC/TAG to continue its work.

Bill Pease and James Rasmussen

Bill with DRCC/TAG Executive Director James Rasmussen

“I have been a DRCC coalition member for 10 years and a member of the Board of Directors for six years. I put in the time because I believe that what DRCC/TAG does has a tremendous value. Not just for our stretch of the river, but for the entire ecosystem of the Duwamish Valley.

Without the watchful eye and proactive advocacy of the DRCC/TAG, the Superfund process would be on auto-pilot and we would be at the mercy of the bureaucratic process.

A case in point: One of the “Early Action” (extremely polluted) cleanup areas was a Port of Seattle property known as T-117. T-117 was formerly occupied by a company that made asphalt roofing products and had such disregard for the environment that they just let their product ooze into the soil, and pour down the riverbank.

To make matters worse, they bought used transformer oil to run their boilers – transformer oil that contained high levels of PCBs. Testing of the site revealed that there were levels of contamination in the soil thousands of times higher than the allowable limits.

The Port proposed a plan that instead of actually cleaning up the site would cover it up with paving, put a fence around it, and only allow the site to be used for storage in the future. And the EPA approved the plan, but then something happened… the community felt that the plan was not adequate and, with the help of DRCC/TAG, took our case to the Port Commission. A group of 20 people from the community travelled to the Port Commission meeting and made our case.

And we succeeded! 

The Port Commission rescinded the first proposal.  They began to work in tandem with the neighborhood to come up with the best possible clean-up while also creating a community amenity. Instead of having the river shut away from the neighborhood by an oppressive fence, we will have a fully restored riverbank with natural habitat and public access to the water.

It is a dark mark on our state legislature that they consider such successful advocacy to be unworthy of funding, but it doesn’t negate the fact that the DRCC/TAG needs to continue our good work.

Please donate what you can to help us continue to be the eyes, ears, and indeed, the mouthpiece of the people when it comes to the Duwamish Superfund site.”

Thank you,

Bill Pease

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