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A Win for Clean Water: $734,000 Settlement Reached in LRI Landfill Case

GRAHAM, WA—On December 10th, Puget Soundkeeper reached a legal settlement to resolve a federal Clean Water Act case filed in September 2017 against LRI Landfill, a 168 acre, privately owned non-hazardous landfill within the Nisqually River watershed.  The settlement requires LRI to pay $734,000 to fund third party environmental grants in the vicinity of the Nisqually River watershed and areas impacted by illegal discharges of landfill fluid, oils, and other contaminants caused by LRI’s failure to meet both Industrial and Construction Stormwater Permit standards.

Since the start of its construction in 1996, LRI has discharged stormwater to wetlands that lead to Muck Creek ( aka South Creek) – Nisqually River tributaries providing critical habitat for chum salmon, steelhead trout, and sea-run cutthroat trout.

Documented by the Washington Department of Ecology and Tacoma Pierce County Health Department, LRI’s list of violations also include failure to follow stormwater sampling guidelines; high levels of toxic chemicals such as copper, zinc, lead, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) found in their discharged stormwater; and failure to install technological improvements to effectively control their water pollution.

The settlement reached with Puget Soundkeeper also requires LRI to comply fully with all clean water permits going forward; to install site improvements to prevent future leachate leaks; to install an advanced stormwater treatment system for both their industrial and construction stormwater discharge, and upgrade it if sampling data shows it’s needed; improved handling of auto shredder residue to prevent it from becoming a pollution source; and share permit compliance reports with Puget Soundkeeper to track changes outlined in the settlement.  For a full list of settlement outcomes, view the Consent Decree.

“LRI Landfill has a long and complicated history of disappointing community members with its poor pollution track record – and we hope that today marks a turning point for this facility,” said Katelyn Kinn, Puget Soundkeeper Staff Attorney. “Moving forward, LRI has the opportunity to work to become a better neighbor. We look forward to tracking their progress, and holding them accountable.”

Puget Soundkeeper is an environmental non-profit whose mission is to protect and preserve the waters of Puget Sound. Since 1984, Soundkeeper has filed over 200 legal actions and all funds from successful settlements go to restoring polluted waterways in the region through the Puget Sound Stewardship & Mitigation Fund.

Puget Soundkeeper was represented in this matter by Claire Tonry, Richard Smith, Knoll Lowney, Katherine Brennan at Smith & Lowney PLLC and Soundkeeper’s Staff Attorney Katelyn Kinn.

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News Release

www.piercecountywa.gov

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 18, 2019

 

Planning Commission adds meetings on community plan updates

 

The Pierce County Planning Commission has scheduled eight additional meetings on the Frederickson, Mid-County, Parkland-Spanaway-Midland and South Hill community plan updates in early 2020. The commission is scheduled to makes its final recommendations on the updates in March.

 

Community plans provide direction on how growth and development will occur. The plans address topics such as zoning, transportation, the look and feel of the community, and access to services and amenities. An overview of the proposed changes is available at www.piercecountywa.gov/cpupdate.

 

Upcoming meetings

The meetings will be held at the Pierce County Annex, 2401 S. 35th St. in Tacoma.

 

Several meetings will focus on the Centers and Corridors proposal, which would focus growth along Pacific Avenue/State Route 7, Meridian/State Route 161, 176th Street East, 112th Street East and Canyon Road East.

 

Two January study sessions are open to the public, but there will be no public testimony.

  • Jan. 7, 1-3 p.m.: Information about a concept that would allow the proposed Centers and Corridors rezones to be phased in over time.
  • Jan. 9, 1-3 p.m.: Information about a new approach to regulate design in the proposed Centers and Corridors zones.
  •  

Four public hearings will be held in February and March. Each meeting will feature a staff presentation, discussion by the commission, and public testimony about proposed changes presented at that meeting.

  • Feb. 4, 6:30 p.m.: Review additional draft proposed changes to the Centers and Corridors proposal.
  • Feb. 25, 9:30 a.m.: Results of the housing market study that provides a realistic estimate of additional housing growth related to the Centers and Corridors proposal for the Environmental Impact Statement. Environmental Impact Statements evaluate the environmental impacts of changes to plans and zoning and provide ways to reduce any identified impacts.
  • March 3, 6:30 p.m.: Review additional draft proposed changes to the Centers and Corridors proposal.
  • March 4, 6:30 p.m.: Review additional draft changes and potential amendments for the community plan updates.

 

The commission will make a final recommendation on each plan, associated development regulations, and amendments to the Pierce County Comprehensive Plan in March. There will be no public testimony.

  • March 10, 6:30 p.m.: Final amendments and recommendations.
  • March 12, 6:30 p.m.: Final amendments and recommendations.

 

The commission’s final recommendations will be submitted to the Pierce County Council. The council will then consider the proposed changes for each plan and determine whether to adopt them.

 

Visit www.piercecountywa.gov/cpupdate to view a meeting calendar and sign up for meeting updates.

 

Written comment accepted
Written public comment will be accepted until March 4 for consideration at the final recommendation meetings. It can be submitted via email to CommunityPlans@piercecountywa.gov or by mail or in person at Pierce County Planning and Public Works, Attn: Long Range Planning, 2401 S. 35th St., Suite 2, Tacoma, WA 98409.

 

Background
Using community feedback gathered over the last few years, Pierce County and the Land Use Advisory Commissions for the four areas drafted updates to the plans and development regulations. The Planning Commission has held public meetings and study sessions this summer and fall to review the draft updates.


To learn more about the proposed updates, community members can call the Community Plans Hotline at 253-798-2799, email CommunityPlans@piercecountywa.gov, or send a letter to Pierce County Planning and Public Works, Attn: Long Range Planning, 2401 S. 35th St., Suite 2, Tacoma, WA 98409.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Sheryl Rhinehart, Planning and Public Works public information specialist
253-798-4655
sheryl.rhinehart@piercecountywa.gov










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Friends of Pierce County 2019 Annual Meeting Summary

Friends of Pierce County welcomed Erin Dilworth from Citizens for Healthy Bay.  Erin briefed attendees on the latest issues with the Tacoma Tide Flats.  The City of Tacoma is working on a Tideflats Subarea Plan. The City is putting together a stakeholder team to address a vision, environment, land use, economy, public services and transportation in the plan.

The most contaminated site in Commencement Bay (from Hylebos to Marine View Drive – and deeper than the height of the Tacoma Dome) is slated for cleanup.  A plan is currently being developed for what portions of this area will be cleaned up.  For more on Occidental Chemical Cleanup: https://www.healthybay.org/work/contaminated-site-cleanups/occidental-chemical-cleanup-site/

Erin Dilworth, Citizens for Healthy Bay, at Friends of Pierce County Annual meeting. March 19, 2019.




Friends of Pierce County is a 501(c) non-profit organization. 

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