In September, the Port of Seattle adopted Friends of the Earth’s proposal to dispose of 20,000 cubic yards of PCB-tainted sediment dredged from Puget Sound into a waste management facility (the alternative was to dump it back into the Sound). This decision is a victory for chinook salmon, killer whales, and the people of Puget Sound, as the salmon have the highest levels of toxic PCB of any salmon on the west coast, and killer whales have the 2nd highest PCB levels of any whales in the world. This achievement is a direct result of 18 months of advocacy and outreach by Friends of the Earth’s Northwest consultant, Fred Felleman. Fred has generated media coverage, coordinated the efforts of environmental groups, and obtained resolutions from port directors.
The Port of Seattle and King County, Washington, where the Port of Seattle is located, will share the burden of the $3.5 million cost of disposing of the toxic waste upland. This type of interagency collaboration is essential if the Puget Sound Partnership is going to meet its goals and if Puget Sound is ever to recover its endangered species — the chinook salmon and southern resident killer whale.