Puyallup Tribes Treaty Right to Fish Threatened by Proposed Liquefied Natural Gas Plant

The Puyallup Tribe and environmentalists are united in their opposition to a proposed Liquefied Natural Gas [LNG] plant slated to be built in the Port of Tacoma.  The Tribe states the proposed facility violates their treaty right to fish.

The following information was compiled by the group Redline Tacoma and Climate First Responders

Puget Sound Energy [PSE] wants to build a 140 foot, 8 million gallon LNG storage tank with production capability of 500,000 gallons LNG/day, operating 24/7. LNG is fracked natural gas in a liquid state. To reach the liquid state, the fracked gas is cooled to -260 degrees Fahrenheit (°F). PSE previously leased LNG storage at Williams Northwest Pipeline’s LNG plant in Plymouth, WA.

No LNG rally in Tacoma. Photo by Chandra Marqueza

That facility had an explosion in 2014 that injured 5 workers and forced everyone within a two mile radius to evacuate. The Plymouth LNG is still only operating at half capacity. Now PSE wants to build a LNG tank in the middle of the second largest city on the Puget Sound. This facility would be the second only marine bunkering facility in the US, and the largest.

PSE never built a gas liquefaction facility before. City and port never permitted one before.The following chemicals (used for the cooling process) would also be stored in tanks above ground: Propane, Isopentane and Ethylene in vessels up to 9,700 gallons each.

Air emissions

  • 42,000 tons greenhouse gases, 80 tons toxic emissions, 170 tons volatile organic compounds/year
  • Unknown amount of methane leaking from venting, pipelines, spills, fueling and liquefaction.
  • The shipping industry makes it clear: LNG is a climate change accelerator.

Environment

  • Massive tank would be build right next to superfund site and on the Hylebos, already so polluted toxins melt rock into silica slime and fish have very high tumor rates.
  • Construction in this area could have very detrimental effects on endangered salmon and wildlife in Commencement Bay.
  • Fall out from toxic air emissions would not spare the water.
  • Unknown amounts of toxic fracking chemicals will be scrubbed from the gas and disposed of likely in our landfills.
  • Construction and decommissioning of huge amounts of cement are very high in energy consumption,cost and environmental implications.
  • PSE will be using chemicals such as Monoethanolamine, Diethanolamine,
    Methyldiethanolamine and Diglycolamine to remove CO2 and other chemicals from the fracked gas, such as mercury, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene.

Safety

  • International safety standards require LNG to be at least 3 miles from resident.
  • PSE did not evaluate tank safety & risks, only looked a small pipeline leaks.
  • PSE “safety recommendation” to handle leaks are for staff to wrap towels around leaks. LNG is minus 260 and causes cryogenic burns or even death when in contact with the human body.
  • Unknown number of 12,000 gal LNG tanker trucks our public streets daily, also LNG barges and train cars.
  • Significant risks to nearby workers, residents in Northeast Tacoma and Fife, as well as people locked up in ICE Detention Center and Pioneer Re-entry House increases exponentially with an existing and burgeoning oil industry nearby (most oil trains in PNW, US Oil refinery, TARGA mass storage of oil and chemicals)
  • During the 2014 LNG explosion in Plymouth, WA, the fire marshal declared a ¾ mile lethal zone and a two mile radius of residents was evacuated. Can the entire port be evacuated?
  • No additional public review of the project’s impacts would be required for future developments on site.

Energy use

  • Gas liquefaction has a tremendous energy need. PSE electricity use alone would be enough to power 15,000 homes.
  • Instead of using safer but more expensive nitrogen, PSE is using dangerous hydrocarbons for liquefaction as well.

Water Use

  • From LNG environmental impact statement prepared by Ecology & Environment Inc, hired by the city: “Testing of the LNG Storage Tank The primary inner container of the LNG storage tank would be filled and hydrostatically tested in accordance with the requirements of American Petroleum Institute Standard 620. Approximately 5.0 million gallons of water would be required to perform the test. The hydrostatic test water would be supplied by the Tacoma potable water system, and the used test water would be discharged to the municipal stormwater system. At the proposed intake pumping rate of 1,000 gallons per minute, it would take approximately four days to fill the tank to the required level for testing.”

Cost to public

  • PSE already forced 43 % of LNG capital costs onto rate payers -over $134 million. Cost overruns for the project are more than $ 35 million, and rising. PSE liability insurance is woefully inadequate for worst case scenario. Liability also excludes damages due to earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, lathers or third party operators (like TOTE). The Tacoma community would be liable for all those damages. Insurance rates for nearby businesses and homeowners would go up, home values down.
    PSE claims need for facility to provide gas for residents, yet Macquarie group, PSE’s Australian owners, already owns the largest US gas distribution. PSE also own the largest underground gas vault in the NW.
  • PSE will incorporate the gas facility as a limited liability corporation. Liability is shifted to the Tacoma public.
  • Pumping this much gas for industrial use will drastically increase gas pipeline need construction throughout the area.
  • During movement of LNG barges, other port operations would be curtailed or halted, causing business losses.
  • As part of mitigation, PSE is supposed to pay to reopen the fire station. Part of reopening plus $1.5 million operating costs annually have already been shifted to the Tacoma general fund.

Public involvement

  • The Puyallup Tribe is strongly opposed to this facility right next to their marina on the Hylebos.
  • Puyallup treaty rights and fishing rights need to be respected by our local government. 28 WA tribes voted to opposes PSE LNG.
  • From the very beginning, the public was kept out of the loop. City only notified residents 400 feet from a proposal. Neighbors half a mile from LNG tank proposal were not notified. As a result, SEPA only had a handful comments from the general public. City and port have been pushing for this development and Jake Fey, state representative, created a special LNG tax break several years ago. PSE has been spending $ millions on political campaigns and green-washing. City is not acting as a neutral lead agency. City manager, who serves at the pleasure of the council, refuses to open a supplemental EIS, despite substantial changes to the proposal after the finals EIS.
  • PSE claims need for facility to provide gas for residents, yet Macquarie group, PSE’s Australian owners, already owns the largest US gas distribution. PSE also own the largest underground gas vault in the NW.
  • PSE will incorporate the gas facility as a limited liability corporation. Liability is shifted to the Tacoma public.
  • Pumping this much gas for industrial use will drastically increase gas pipeline need & construction throughout the area.
  • During movement of LNG barges, other port operations would be curtailed or halted, causing business losses.
  • As part of mitigation, PSE is supposed to pay to reopen the fire station. Part of reopening plus $1.5 million operating costs annually have already been shifted to the Tacoma general fund.

Posted by Wakíƞyaƞ Waánataƞ (Matt Remle- Lakota)

Matt Remle (Lakota) – far left- is an editor and writer for Last Real Indians and LRInspire. @wakiyan7

2 thoughts on “Puyallup Tribes Treaty Right to Fish Threatened by Proposed Liquefied Natural Gas Plant

  1. Pingback: Puyallup Tribes Treaty Right to Fish Threatened by Proposed Liquefied Natural Gas Plant | sandyfl100

  2. Pingback: Hello Tacoma. | Sri Lakshmi's Atelier

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