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"What price growth...?"

Public Comment by Stanley Stahl at the August 13, 2007 Port of Olympia Commissioner's meeting

I have been chased from one agency and government to another and in Ecology from one division to another - making it look like there is nothing that has been done wrong. Fact is there has been an expedient settlement between Cascade Pole Company and the Port as co-violators of environmental concerns to a very high degree, and the hypothetical policeman being Ecology, with the Attorney General helping all the parties come to something they could all live with.

The first round of sampling took 8 years and showed up heavy concentrations of dioxin and other volatile PAH's within the Cascade Pole 26 acre boundary.

Then subsequently there was another 2-3 years of sampling and testing in very close proximity to that boundary (18 sampling borings, outside the perimeter of the Cascade Pole site, very close to the boundary), totaling 10 years of studies costing $4 million without any interim measures taken to stop the seepage into Budd Inlet.

Included in those studies -

  1. In the NW corner of the Cascade Pole site - showing up levels of soil contamination above the water table exceeding Industrial AND residential levels, which caused the containment wall in the NW corner to be moved to exclude it from containment - possibly to avoid dealing with the LOTT sewer treatment discharge pipe and/or KGY or some other reason, but NOT for reasons of protecting public health.

  2. In the SW corner of the Cascade Pole site - showing up levels of sediment far exceeding health safety standards, and there the containment wall was moved to encompass those new hot spots, but even so, missed a few high level sampling places, and didn't seem to keep testing southwardly until they got to a place where there was no toxicity.

  3. Along the south border of the Cascade Pole site investigation showed the contamination which had seeped out of the containment wall was infiltrating the stormwater pipes and migrating back upgradient (up hill) to points further south of the Cascade Pole site, under the Admiral District area that Weyerhaeuser is planning to use heavy equipment to move logs in a log yard operation, and likely further south, as there have been documented indications by testing sediment and ground water under the present Farmer's Market that dioxin levels far exceed health standards.

In the end the three parties to the lawsuit (the Port, Cascade Pole, and Ecology) agreed to split a projected $15 million cleanup, which level we passed a couple of years ago, and the Port is paying the entire freight above $15 million ad infinitum. Worst of all is there is seepage, and the fix was never done properly.

Below are some inescapable facts -

  1. Get back to the source of the contamination - we need a characterization of the peninsula to determine where toxicity tapers off, especially in the direction of the shipping berths on the west side of the peninsula which are contaminated with dioxin;

  2. the decision to allow dredging even though Ecology's 2007 Sediment Investigation results of testing conducted aren't yet fully known;

  3. the decision by Ecology to kick in $2 million to partner with the Port, once again prior to the release of results from their own Sediment Investigation, to do what they are misleadingly calling "maintenance" dredging and "interim" toxic removal; and

  4. Ecology needs to follow up with recommended listing of Budd Inlet as a 303(d) category 5 contaminated area for Dioxin and three other dangerous toxic chemicals, as discovered in the Ecology shellfish tissue study (2005 by Brandee Ares-Miller).

Since discourse with Port and other regulatory bodies has proven to be evasive on this issue, and the expedience of capping and dredging to carry on a business as usual with the false claim that it is providing jobs, I think the only reasonable way to accomplish a degree of safety with toxics remediation is to replace the two Commissioners who are presently running for re-election in 2008 - I believe both have the qualifications to handle the financial end of things quite well.

Suzanne Nott has openly vowed to cause this cleanup to be done properly in Van Schoorl's district 1 (since barely losing in the primary on August 21st, Suzanne is throwing her support to George Barner. Between Nott and Barner, they took 66% of the votes in Van Schoorl's district 1 -- and -- Bill Pilkey has also indicated he will work towards an effective cleanup in McGregor's district 2.

Thank you,

Stanley Stahl
120 State Ave NE, PMB #232
Olympia, WA 98501

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