Washington Department of Ecology Publishes 2014 Tacoma Smelter Plume Annual Report

Tacoma SmelterWashington State Department of Ecology has published the Tacoma Smelter Plume 2014 Annual Report, which is available here.

What is in the annual report? This 20-page report describes how the Department of Ecology is using the $94.6 million Asarco settlement to clean up the Tacoma Smelter Plume. It provides an update on cleanup progress and efforts to manage human health risks. It also includes the accomplishments and 2014 performance measurements from October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014.

What are the highlights from 2014?

  • Completed soil sampling on 1,495 homes in the most impacted areas of the plume.
  • Cleanup of 53 more residential yards with arsenic levels over 100 parts per million.
  • Replaced soil on eight acres of playfields at Vassault Park in Tacoma.

Printed copies of the report are also available. Contact the department if you would like a printed version.  For more information  contact Jill Jacobson Reitz, MPA, Tacoma Smelter Plume-Yard Cleanup Outreach Coordinator, Toxics Cleanup Program, Southwest Regional Office, Washington State Department of Ecology, phone 360-407-6245, or email at Jill.Jacobson@ecy.w
a.gov

Help King County Prioritize Environmental Goals: Use Online Budget Planner

KCparks viewThe King County Department of Natural Resources would like to hear from you about how you would prioritize King County’s environmental goals to help the county continue to plan for a greener future.

How would you prioritize King County’s environmental goals?

Let’s pretend you have a budget of $100 for King County’s environmental work. How would you spend it on three or more of the County’s environmental goals? Find the environmental goals that you would like King County to prioritize, then allocate a portion of your imaginary $100. Total spending should add up to $100. Click here to give your ideas to make King County greener?  The question will be open for comment until December 24.

OneKingCounty.info is an online platform that provides opportunities for government and citizens to work together to improve our communities and environment through digital civic engagement.

Save the Date!! Tool Library Annual Fundraiser Party – FESTIVUS – Dec. 5

Tool Library Fundraiser Poster_2014_finalThe West Seattle Tool Library announces our second annual fundraiser gala.

Now in its 5th year of providing free tools, advice and workshop space to the community on a donation basis, the West Seattle Tool Library is holding its second annual fundraiser.

The fundraiser, which will also serve as Sustainable West Seattle’s annual winter holiday party, will be held Friday, December 5, from 5:00 to 9:00 pm at the SoDo MakerSpace, 1914 Occidental Ave SAll net proceeds will go to the maintenance of tool library operations, as well as potential enhancements such as extended hours and more classes. 

The fundraiser, continuing with last year’s theme of a “Festivus” party, will be a gala with a dinner buffet, beer, wine, soft drinks, music, an environmental poetry slam, a raffle, kid activities, and a tool sale. In addition, discounts will be offered on tool library lifetime memberships, and members who have tool library items they’ve been meaning to return will be offered amnesty for any returned tools. No fines and no questions asked!

Everyone is welcome. No cover charge except for a voluntary suggested donation for food. 

You Can Help Too!

Donations and volunteer help, including day-of setup help for the fundraiser, are still needed. If you are an individual or business with an item you’d like to donate for the raffle or are interested in volunteering, please contact us at library@wstoollibrary.org. Food and beverage donations are also welcome. Donors will be recognized at the event. 

Tool Library Facts

Since opening in the summer of 2010, the West Seattle Tool Library has built an inventory of more than 2,500 tools, signed up more than 2,000 members, facilitated over 13,000 loans,offered many classes and served as the home of the Fixer’s Collective and Ask an Expert night. It has been a model to many other tool libraries that have opened in the Puget Sound region and beyond, and received positive media attention as an example of the type of sharing economy projects needed to make the world more sustainable. It is a nonprofit project of Sustainable West Seattle. You can learn more and check out our inventory at wstoollibrary.org.

Whale Trail Presents Discussion On A Protected Zone for Puget Sound Orcas

Protected Orca Zone posterThe Whale Trail will present the ideas behind “A Protected Zone for Puget Sound Orcas,” a presentation by Bruce Stedman, of Orca Relief, on Thursday, October 30, from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm at C&P Coffee, 5612 California Ave SW.  There is a five dollar ($5) suggested donation, kids free!
Tickets are available from brownpapertickets.com. The event is presented by The Whale Trail and will feature additional speakers on harbor seals and clean-up efforts for the Sound.

The Southern Resident Killer Whales are endangered and seriously declining; their 2014 population of 79 is the lowest since 1985.  To aid their recovery, Orca Relief is urging NOAA Fisheries to conduct a public process that will result in a Whale Protection Zone for the Southern Resident Killer Whales.

A well designed and enforced WPZ would provide the Southern Resident Orca a safe-haven in the very core of their critical habitat, and a relief from vessel impacts including noise, disturbance and air pollution. Bruce Stedman, Executive Director of Orca Relief will describe the key aspects of how a protected area for the Orca should be developed and how it could help the SRKWs begin to recover.

Join us to hear the latest about the orcas, and updates from Robin Lindsay (Seal Sitters), and Diver Laura James (tox-ick.org). This is the first in a new series of Orca Talks hosted by The Whale Trail in West Seattle.

Buy tickets ahead of time and we’ll save you a seat! And hurry – this will likely sell out.
About the Presenter
The Executive Director of Orca Relief Citizens’ Alliance, Bruce Stedman has more than three decades of experience in marine conservation, ocean health issues, and whale conservation.  He was one of the core team that built the Whale Museum (Friday Harbor, WA) and was its first curator.
He has directed five other conservation and environmental organizations, as well as working as an environmental mediator for 15 years.  He has facilitated or mediated more than 100 decision-making or information-sharing processes on many environmental topics, and designed/conducted more than 55 workshops or study tours for public officials and technical specialists from over 40 countries. Trained at University of Washington and MIT, Mr. Stedman has taught conservation and environmental courses at Harvard, MIT, Tufts, and Western Washington Universities.
About The Whale Trail
The Whale Trail (www.thewhaletrail.org) is a series of sites around the region where the public may view orcas and other marine mammals from shore. The mission is to inspire appreciation and stewardship of whales and our marine environment by establishing a network of viewing sites along the whales’ trails through the Salish Sea and the coastal waters of the Pacific Northwest. The goals are to increase awareness that our marine waters are home to orcas and other species; connect visitors to orcas, other marine wildlife and their habitat; inspire stewardship and build community; promote land-based whale watching. The Whale Trail’s over-arching goal is to ensure the southern resident orcas do not go extinct.

The Whale Trail provides simple, powerful, and long-lasting reminders to visitors and residents alike that orcas and other whales live in our waters.  Through the current sites and signs, including two on every Washington State ferry, Whale Trail reaches more than 22 million people each year. They are currently adding sites from BC to California, throughout the southern resident orcas’ range.

The Whale Trail is led by a core team of partners including NOAA Fisheries, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Seattle Aquarium, the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, and the Whale Museum. The Whale Trail is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, registered in Washington State. Join us!

Weekend Work Scheduled for Lowman Beach Retention Tank Dirt Removal

IMG_1610Contractors for King County Wastewater Division will be working on weekends this month to remove the dirt from the million-gallon retention tank being constructed at Lowman Beach Park as part of the Murray Basin Combined Sewer Overflow project.

To keep the project on schedule and avoid digging during heavy rains, King County’s contractor will work Saturdays in October. Saturday work will begin at 9:00 am and finish at 6:00pm. The County contractor expects to finish digging out the tank area by early November, before the largest winter storms usually arrive. Digging during storms takes longer and increases the chance of mud from the site getting on to streets and storm drains.

What to expect on Saturdays:

  • Upcoming Saturday work days:
    • October 4
    • October 11
    • October 18
    • October 25
  • Work hours from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm  (Weekday work hours continue to be 7:00 am to 6:00 pm)
  • Noise from trucks and excavators, including backup alarms
  • Excavators, pumps, and trucks working on and near the site
  • Up to 55 trucks entering and leaving the site each day (about 7-8 trucks per hour)
  • Flaggers to keep traffic moving as trucks access the site
  • No parking on the eastern side of Beach Drive SW
  • Limited parking on the western side of Beach Drive SW
  • Limited access to the eastern sidewalk on Beach Drive SW
  • Beach Drive S.W. and Lowman Beach Park remain open
  • Primary haul routes remain Lincoln Park Way and 48th Ave SW
  • The sound of running water may also be noticeable. Groundwater is being pumped from the tank area into a holding tank on site to allow for safe digging. The sound you may hear is typical for this kind of work.

The project haul route map is shown below. haul map

For more information:

Call the 24-hour project information hotline: 206-205-9186, or email doug.marsano@kingcounty.gov or search “Murray CSO” at kingcounty.gov

 

Open House for West Seattle and Burien Solar Homes Saturday

Homes north of West Seattle Elementary School which have solar installed.

Home owners in West Seattle and Burien neighborhoods are preparing to show their solar homes as part of the National American Energy Solar Tour on Saturday, October 4 from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm.  It is a golden opportunity for curious folks interested in solar energy to view projects first hand, see how they are working, and talk to the owners and installers.  

To find tour sites go to http://www.ases.org/solar-tour/find-a-tour/ or www.solarwa.org.  The web site has addresses, most of the sites are a within 15 min drive between the north part of West Seattle to Burien.  

Pam Burton and Jeremy Smithson, owners of Puget Sound Solar, will be available for answering questions at the home of Cindy Jennings, 2205 41st Ave SW. For more information or questions call 206-402-6926.

Tour map direct linkhttps://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=zieH_jH3zMLg.kA1ko0WXVdcI

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