Water for Methanol

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The City of Destiny has its own fabulous future threatened by a proposed methanol plant.

Tacoma-6046853-smallTabletRetinaTacoma is a city that has committed itself to environmental sustainability, in fact, according to the City of Tacoma website, “Tacoma is the first of 30 pilot communities to submit and receive STAR certification, the first national community livability and sustainability rating system.”

Unfortunately, a proposed methanol plant (the largest in the world) could halt that green initiative.  Natural gas (as you know is extracted by fracking) will need to be supplied via a ten-mile underground pipeline, the pipelines themselves are also a source of methane pollution due to leaks. The plant will need to treat and recycle cooling water, it would use 7,200 gallons of water per minute, or 3.8 billion gallons per year. The remaining spent coolant (7.2% of water used) would need to be processed as wastewater.

This would put significant demands on The Green River watershed.  According to Citizens for a Healthy Bay “[This] watershed is relied upon not only by the City of Tacoma, but by many other species as well, including threatened Chinook salmon, a key food for orcas. Substantially lowering river water levels could have harmful consequences for these…species and the Puget Sound ecosystem.” This is not to mention the air pollution caused by the pollutants result from the combustion of natural gas. A fault line runs right under the Tacoma Tideflats, an area likely to liquefy during an earthquake. The damage would result in an unprecedented explosion which would release dangerous toxins in the air. This pertains to the entire Puget Sound.

There is a hearing for the SEPA review on February 10th at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center at 6:30 PM and the draft Plan for the Scope of the Environmental Review will be available by February 5th. If you cannot make it to the first meeting there is an additional meeting Feb. 16 at Meeker Middle School in Tacoma. Public comment is due on Feb. 17.

You can submit a comment via email: tacoma.methanol.sepa@cityoftacoma.org.

I encourage you to come show your support for the environment and more importantly submit a comment.

Kristen Howard
Regional Coordinator at OUT for Sustainability Tacoma

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