Puget Sound Energy’s Fracked Gas Project

 PSE Artist Rendition of the completed project

The Puyallup Tribe of Indians opposes the LNG refineryThe location of the site is directly on top of their traditional tribal lands that are both culturally important and treaty-protected.  The Tribe was not meaningfully consulted on the project as is a further requirement of a 1990 Land Claim Settlement.

Puget Sound Energy (PSE) created a limited liability corporation, Puget LNG, to avoid financial risks and responsibility.  LLC’s are only required to carry $50 million in liability insurance. They are allowed to be self-insured, even though the rate-payers are helping finance the project.

PSE estimates its customers will use 7% of the refinery’s LNG, yet PSE is having its ratepayers pay for 43% of the cost ($133 million).

The proposed 8 million gallons liquefied natural gas (LNG) refinery is located on 33 acres in the Port of Tacoma tide flats on and near already existing Superfund sites, including the Occidental Chemical Site and the Arkema Site.

The refinery would liquefy, store and distribute LNG while employing only 16-18 full-time employees. The refinery violates industry standards for being sited too close to community residences, the Northwest Detention Center and The Puyallup Tribe’s marina.

There is no established emergency response plan at this time. The infrastructure of the port is not amenable to an effective disaster response. Any possible evacuation when an accident occurs would be near impossible. In addition, The City of Tacoma previously closed fire station #15 due to lack of funds and future funding is unknown.

The facility is currently being constructed without all of the necessary permits after a flawed environmental review process and against the will of the people.

A full summary of these facts and more can be found here:  http://pse-lng.com/

The top five concerns:

Treaty Rights  –  This project directly violates the Medicine Creek Treaty.

Financial risks –  43% of the cost of this project will be added to the bills of PSE’s ratepayers.

Environmental – This facility will use fracked gas.  Fracking is devastating to the environment.

Safety  –   This facility is too close to neighborhoods, schools and businesses.  You’ve seen the blast zone maps and the lack of any disaster response plan.

Liability – PSE created an LLC to limit its own liability (why would they worry if it was safe?)

The City of Tacoma is not qualified to be SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) lead agency.

– The lead agency for the state, by law, is supposed to engage in meaningful consultation with the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. The City of Tacoma did not do that, nor did the Port of Tacoma regarding the PSE LNG.
– The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) conducted by the City of Tacoma is flawed and contradictory and seems to be mostly guesswork.   Even production numbers vary by 100%
– Several City Council members and the then mayor wrote letters in direct support of the  LNG, long before the public was informed.  When questioned, the Mayor insisted that the council could not make statements regarding projects under city SEPA review
– The City of Tacoma SEPA staff told us that our questions were too technical for them to answer!
– The City of Tacoma has refused to acknowledge the many requests for a supplemental EIS and refuses continually to accept an appeal of their decision.
– The City of Tacoma has a direct financial incentive in this foreign-owned dangerous project.
– The City of Tacoma allows PSE to continue building the tank without necessary permits and despite stop work order from Puyallup Tribe
– The City of Tacoma land use attorney wrote that city did not respond to questions for well over a year because at the time city had NO land use attorney
– The City of Tacoma SEPA staff, city attorney, port staff and port attorney organized a Seattle conference with PSE, organized by PSE’s law firm, regarding permitting and “tribal issues” while the city is ACTIVE SEPA lead agency
– Tacoma Councillor McCarthy did legal work for the Port of Tacoma (as a sworn city council member) WHILE City was the active LEAD agency for TWO massive fossil fuel projects in the port
– Now McCarthy’s dad is back being on the port commission, 34 years after he was port commissioner and part of the Puyallup Land claim settlement, that took much tribal land for way under market value
– Fossil fuel projects with more than one million gallon liquid fuels are by law to be handled by WA Ecology
– PSE is building on traditional Puyallup fishing grounds that port had filled with arsenic slag and fill and that now has two overlapping active Superfund sites on top of it