TACOMA, Wash.— The Tribal Council of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians today called for the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency to engage in direct consultation on the Tacoma liquified natural gas facility, which is being built on Puyallup homelands.
In a letter to the PSCAA’s board of directors, the Council wrote, “Contrary to PSCAA’s published findings, the LNG project is hazardous for the local community, harmful to the Salish Sea, and damaging to the global climate. More troubling, however, is PSCAA’s process, particularly its failure to consult with the Puyallup Tribe.”
The complete letter follows.
Members of the Board of Directors of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency,
We, the Tribal Council of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, write to request a meeting with you concerning the proposed Tacoma LNG facility. The project is sited on our homeland in an area that is governed by our treaty rights. It is a place we have inhabited since time immemorial. As you are no doubt aware, the Puyallup Tribe is gravely concerned about LNG development here, and we are especially concerned by the process undertaken by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency to review and permit the facility.
PSCAA is delegated its authority from the U.S. Clean Air Act and from Washington State’s authority under that Act. The obligation to consult with the Tribe held by both the federal government and the State of Washington is therefore also delegated to PSCAA, yet the agency has failed to conduct meaningful consultation with the Tribe. At no time during PSCAA’s recent environmental review of the project did the agency’s leadership or staff engage in any direct consultation with the Tribe, which the agency is legally required to do. And, as far as we are aware, PSCAA has no plans to consult with the Tribe during the current final stage of permit review.
For years now, the Tribe has raised objections about consultation repeatedly in public gatherings, media stories, and Tribal communications. The Tacoma Human Rights Commission has called forcefully for local government agencies to engage in direct consultation with the Tribe on this project, so we are especially disappointed that PSCAA has ignored its obligations.
The Tribe appreciates PSCAA’s important role in safeguarding clean air in the central Puget Sound region. Yet we believe that your agency’s environmental review of the project is badly flawed and functionally ignored expert critique from the Tribe and other stakeholders during the public comment period. Contrary to PSCAA’s published findings, the LNG project is hazardous for the local community, harmful to the Salish Sea, and damaging to the global climate.
More troubling, however, is PSCAA’s process, particularly its failure to consult with the Puyallup Tribe. Today, we ask the Clean Air Agency to honor its legal obligations. We ask you to meet directly with our Tribal Council so that we may have an opportunity to make ourselves heard.
We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Puyallup Tribe of Indians
About the Puyallup Tribe of Indians
The Puyallup People have lived along the shores of what is now called Puget Sound for thousands of years. The Puyallup Tribe of Indians is a sovereign nation of more than 5,000 members and one of the largest employers in Pierce County. It serves its people and neighbors with generosity and is committed to building a sustainable way of life for future generations. Learn more about the Puyallup Tribe.
About the Puyallup Tribal Council
The Puyallup Tribal Council is the elected governing body of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. The council consists of Chairman David Z. Bean, Vice Chairman Bill Sterud, Sylvia Miller, Annette Bryan, Tim Reynon, James Rideout and Anna Bean.
Communications Director, Puyallup Tribe of Indians
Posted on: September 4, 2019.
Photo credit: Puyallup Tribe of Indians – No LNG