This letter represents comments made by Carolyn Deford. She was kind enough to share them with some caring folks. Please send at least a little bit to PSCAA today!
Dear Carole Cenci, I hope that you take into consideration the many like-minded individuals, tribal members, animals and future generations who breathe this air. I understand that PSCAA was created to regulate the source of air pollution, monitor air quality and assure the safety of nearly four million lives in the Puget Sound
• I SUPPORT the PSCAA filling important advisory council seats including Environmental Justice and Tribal Nations and hiring additional employees to realistically monitor industry emissions. If additional employees cannot be hired, then additional permits in areas of cumulative industry should not be accepted or approved.
• I SUPPORT the revision of the PSCAAs permitting process to require consideration of cumulative emissions from all sources within close proximity to each other.
• I SUPPORT additional air quality sensors to monitor additional toxic emissions including benzene in areas of high risk heavy industry, areas with cumulative emissions, and residential areas near high risk heavy industry lands.
• I SUPPORT requiring the PSCAA to verify all actual emissions and provide public notice
• I SUPPORT a Full Environmental Impact Study and Toxic Air Study on TARGA Sound Terminal
• I OPPOSE the request submitted by TARGA Sound Terminal to RECEIVE, STORE and DISTRIBUTE natural gas because risk to public safety, health and the environment need to be made priority. Additionally I oppose the added terminal traffic via rail cars through our community due to their contribution to this risk. Finally, TARGA has failed to report current and historical emissions records and for this should be DENIED any new permits AND required to provide historical data.
Regarding Air Quality Sensors: There are only three air quality sensors in Tacoma…. Three in all of TACOMA…. These three monitors only monitor 3 harmful chemicals; nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter 2.5… Three out of over a hundred other harmful airborne chemicals emitted by Port industries. When it comes to the safety of the nearly four million lives currently living here and the countless future generations to come it’s clear that 3/100 is unacceptable… an F, a complete fail.
Regarding Cumulative Emissions: The chemical and fuel odors due to cumulative emissions in the Port of Tacoma, NE Tacoma, Browns Point, Fife and along Marine View Drive, Taylor Way and Alexander Avenue are alarmingly strong. Those responsible for that odor, ought to be ashamed of themselves. Our beautiful city; the City of Destiny just a few years ago was filled with the embarrassing Aroma of Tacoma. To avoid this regression and protect the health and wellbeing of our citizen’s cumulative must be taken into consideration when reviewing permits. Permits should NOT be issued on a case by case basis without regard to the overall emissions and cumulative air quality of the area.
Regarding Monitoring and Regulating Industry Air Quality: The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has failed to monitor the industry in the port and assure that those current approved/permitted industries are compliant and factual in their predicted and reported emissions. I was in complete disbelief when I learned that the PSCAA relies on industries to self-report their emissions. Relying on self-reporting is untrustworthy and it fails to provide a base line or real-time measurements of pollutants or overall compliance. Targa for example has no record of emissions since at least 2010.
Regarding New Applications and Permit Approvals/Staffing: It’s deeply concerning that the PSCAA is grossly understaffed with only 11 inspectors to oversee 13,695 businesses. That is 1245 businesses to monitor per employee; the client ratio is unbelievable. Permit approving should be put on hold until additional inspectors are hired and vacant seats on the Advisory Council are filled for both Environmental Justice and Tribal Nations. Once adequate staff is hired for the PSCAA to monitor and regulate existing business then they may review new permitting applications. In business, I don’t give a waitress more tables or more hours if she is not performing or keeping up with the customers she has. The PSCAA should not be approving or reviewing the permits they have until they can keep up with monitoring existing industries and existing scopes of industry. They are failing and change needs to happen now, before something dreadful happens to the community they were established to protect.
In closing, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has successfully lost the trust of the citizens it was established to protect. Their performance has been inadequate in regulating and monitoring air pollution resulting a failure to protect the quality of life and air in Tacoma and our surrounding communities. I hope that you will take the time to consider the statements made at the 9/14 public hearing and answer my questions below.
1. Question: What is the PSCAA doing to assure industry air quality reporting accountability?
2. Question: What are the consequences to industries who are non-compliant in providing reports?
3. Question: What are the consequences to industries who are non-compliant in air quality standards?
4. Question: What is the PSCAA doing to assure that advisory council seats are filled and that the Environmental Justice and Tribal Nations are represented? What is the deadline for having these two seats filled?