Under Siegeby Susan Evans
The Daily Astorian, January 12, 2007
Currently the Columbia River is under siege from many sources. Teck Cominco Mining Smelter in Canada is refusing to clean up the 20 million tons of metal slag it dumped in the river, and our State Department is supporting this with another "study" of the damages along Lake Roosevelt we already know exist. Hanford Nuclear Reservation continues to pollute the river with radioactive waste, and more contaminated groundwater seeps closer to the river every day.
Portland regularly flushes its excess sewage directly into the river whenever it rains heavily (you know how often that is). I could go on, but in spite of this and all the dams, the salmon are just beginning to return to the Wenatchee River watershed up the Columbia in amazing and beautiful numbers.
I wish you could have seen the people lined up along the banks of the Wenatchee and Icicle rivers watching the salmon spawn this fall. Everyone was transfixed watching them struggle and die for the next generation.
If we do not stand together along the shores of the Columbia, our watershed will be further ruined. Northern Star is proposing an extremely harmful project, Bradwood Landing liquid natural gas port, in the heart of the Columbia River Estuary. This is a project that will heavily industrialize an already degraded estuary at the same time the Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership has designed 23 projects for recovery in conjunction with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at a proposed cost of $500 million.
It makes no sense to allow heavy industrialization of an area we are on the verge of greatly improving. There is no way that Bradwood Landing liquid natural gas port would benefit salmon, fishing, or tourism. Dredging the salmon habitat, and sucking up millions of gallons of water for the tanker 2-3 times a week will hurt salmon and other wildlife, and interrupt normal traffic on the river.
The port is also a risk for those who live near by. The explosion of a port has been compared to the power of a small nuclear bomb.
The damage from Northern Star energy speculators and all the California gas companies that will flock to the estuary is extreme, permanent and irreversible. Nothing can make this project safe for our region.
Please do not allow Northern Star to destroy critical salmon migration and rearing habitat and put the region at risk. All of us along the river are counting on you to say "No" to liquid natural gas ports. If we the citizens who live along the Columbia do not stand together for the health of the river, who will?
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