I’m a little gutted right now. Learning and opening one’s eyes to the devastation that is taking place around the world can challenge one to remain positive in a world full of error and harm. Today is a monumental day. One year ago today, Standing Rock water protectors endured the onslaught of an industry married to military. I lift my hands to all who endured.
I knew that there were a lot of really bad things needing to be cleaned up at the Port. I recently found out about the Arkema clean up site just east of the fracked gas site. Another toxic site so toxic that ecology and the port don’t know what they are going to do about it. Another plume of toxic chemicals leaching into the Salish Sea. The port is teeming with toxicity. The land and the water are constantly under assault.
Below is the presentation the Port of Tacoma received in August. There are lots of scientific facts that I need to dig through, but the most disturbing reality is that there seems to be no end in site to the toxicity of the port. Each cleanup site gets an environmental covenant which essentially limits any future use of the site to industry.
100 years we have been destroying the tideflats and poisoning the waters of Commencement Bay and the Salish Sea.
100 years and 1300 toxic sites later, we face the most important decision we have probably ever faced.
Will we wake up and put a pause on development at the Port and transform our world into one truly sustainable?
Or will we embark on another 100 years, with our hands thrown up in the air, claiming to be ignorant of any better way?
We have the chance to choose a cathartic transformation whose effects will echo through generations.
Are we brave enough?
The house of cards is crumbling. We live in an era where the EPA is being gutted. Because industry is tired of even minimal regulations which require them to be responsible to the health and safety of people and the environment. We live in a time where a state agency is willing to turn over their lead agency status to lower agency with questionable expertise on major projects. We live in a time where both agencies are infiltrated by industry representatives who decry anyone who questions their practices and processes as ‘extremists‘ or ‘terroristic’. One cannot even stand up in their art without being attacked.
Super fund sites and toxic emissions killing people are of no concern to industry. They claim to be responsible, but work to dismantle every regulation that will keep them environmentally responsible. Some are claiming that they are environmentally responsible, but I don’t see them raising the alarm about all the damage that is being done within the EPA under the current administration.
They claim to be doing their best as neighbors, but willingly throw accusations and disparagements with ease if you question them, rather than taking a moment to truly consider that their actions might actually be harmful.
If they want to continue to refer to themselves as ‘responsible’, I challenge them to stand up to the dismantling of the EPA and demand that those protections remain in place. Put your money where your mouths are, fellas.
Without that happening, do we have any other choice than to stand up and sound the alarm? Do we have any other choice that doesn’t equate to an assured death knell for human and environmental health? I don’t think so. As Anisihinaabekwe, I don’t have any other choice. It is my responsibility to speak up and to sound the alarm.
Because kids are being exposed to oil and gas emissions.
Because fracked gas sites expose humans and more-than-humans to cancer causing elements.
Because super fund sites don’t get properly remediated and are turned into perpetual dumping grounds for industry.
Because agency is being overrun by industry.
Because agency refuses to admit that the citizens voices are competent and justified in their concerns.
Because agency repeatedly refuses to shut up and listen.
These small acts of standing up and sounding the alarm keeps me from losing hope. The hope that my efforts will find a way to get through to people, to get them to truly listen to understand. To finally find that moment where we all say – we will no longer stand by and give over to entities whose processes and policies endanger our health.