Mar 30, 2019 - Puyallup Tribe rejects flawed new review of Tacoma LNG
March 29, 2019
Tacoma, Wash. – The Puyallup Tribe of Indians rejects the flawed findings in the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) published today by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. By finding that an 8 million gallon fossil fuel project with fuel shipped from hundreds of miles away, would not cause significant adverse climate impacts, this project strains credulity.
“Puget Sound Energy’s fracked gas project is sited on our homeland in an area we have inhabited since time immemorial, and where many of our tribal members live today,” said Chairman Bill Sterud. “It is a direct threat to our well-being and our way of life.”
Today’s FSEIS does not address the absence of legally required consultation with the Tribe. From the beginning, the Puyallup Tribe has been systematically ignored by Puget Sound Energy (PSE) and the government agencies responsible for reviewing the project, in blatant violation of their legal obligations. The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency was delegated its authority from the US Clean Air Act and from Washington State’s authority under that Act. The obligation to consult with the Tribe held by both the federal government and the State of Washington was delegated to the Clean Air Agency, yet it has not conducted meaningful consultation with the Tribe.
Today’s FSEIS document does not address the project’s many safety risks. PSE’s fracked gas LNG facility is clearly unsafe, for both the people of Tacoma and the global climate. PSE fought the release of the safety, fire, and siting studies until a year or more after the final EIS was issued, which was well after comments were allowed on the analysis. The Tribe had provided permitting authorities with safety concerns identified by an expert, but received no response from the State or City.
Today’s FSEIS document does not address all the changes made to the project after it was subjected to environmental review. The Puyallup Tribe has documented no fewer than seven major alterations to the project since the draft EIS was conducted—changes that have happened without our review, input, or agreement. In fact, the FSEIS relies on several of these substantial changes to make its determination, finding a net benefit for greenhouse gases emissions if gas for the project is sourced from western Canada. These changes should be addressed in a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement as required under the law by the City of Tacoma or the State of Washington or both.
The FSEIS published today wrongly concludes that the project would not be harmful, based on outdated assumptions, limited scope and flawed methodology—errors that were pointed out during the public comment period. Fracked gas infrastructure like Tacoma LNG is far more harmful than previously thought because climate-damaging methane leaks are so prevalent and because fracking drives so much gas production today.
“Today, we call on Governor Inslee and the Washington Department of Ecology to initiate a supplemental review. On behalf of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians,” said Sterud “We demand a legitimate review that honors the Tribe’s legal rights to consultation, that evaluates the many changes to the project, and that fairly weighs the science of methane leaks from fracked gas infrastructure.”
Eric de Place