The oily airborne events of this past Friday from the Maritime Administration ships isn’t their first, nor will it be their last if left unchecked.
I have seen and smelled exhaust coming from their stacks into my windows and later have seen the same exhaust trapped in the Garfield Park, tennis club and Annie Wright School area. I have seen exhaust plumes wafting at tree level into Old Town and toward Stadium High School.
I have seen scraping and sand-blasting without tenting to prevent paint particles from entering the air or bay that a private boat owner couldn’t dare get away with doing. I have seen a worker hose paint dust and chips overboard into Commencement Bay.
All these events were reported to local, state and federal agencies, but environmental atrocities continue.
Is there a “get-of-jail-free card” for the dock owner, maintenance contractor and MarAd because the ships fall into a military classification?
The question, as a few suggest, isn’t whether the residents should have known these activities occurred prior to moving to the neighborhood, as though polluting were permissible. It is a question whether the City of Tacoma, the Department of Ecology, the Department of Natural Resources, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department actually protect Tacoma residents, park users, students and marine life?
When will someone stand up to the federal government and say “we are mad as hell and won’t take your pollution anymore”?