The Superfund cleanup of the Willamette ["What the Muck?," WW, March 28, 2012] is a critical step to making this river whole—and to protect the terrific investment of dollars upstream to improve how our dams pass native fish, and to improve habitat.
In the months ahead, support for this cleanup will be needed, and it would seem that an informed public (helped in part by articles of this type) can help influence the discussion of the Willamette and how best to rid it of PCBs, heavy metals, breakdown products of DDT, and PAH.
This is the next critical phase of ensuring that the Willamette River can be clean and function in a more natural condition. We have seen significant strides in the past during the [Tom] McCall era and before for clean water, and today habitat is on the mend as well (though much remains to be done). Now we need to rid the river, in its last few miles before the confluence with the Columbia, of a very significant, and toxic, problem.
If the cleanup removes all of the toxic sediment from the harbor, it will be gone. Forever. Everyone breathes (and eats) easy and can die knowing they worked hard to do the right thing.
If the cleanup leaves the toxic sediment alone and sequesters it with rocks and sand, the toxics still persist. There is absolutely NO guarantee the river won't decide to pull the cap away and resuspend everything during a large flood. In that case, we will have still poured copious amounts of precious money into a "solution," and remain plagued by the pollution legacy as it continues to persist in our minds and bodies.
Clean up the damn river, already! And do it right the first time so we don't have to keep fighting and wasting everyone's time, money and health.
Let's see how many people are eating bottom-feeding fish. Divide $2 billion by that number. We'll get a per-person cost to cleaning the [Superfund] site. I think it might surprise people how expensive this is going to be if we do it the most expensive way.
ELECTION DATING GAME
Kate Brown's duplicity and/or incompetence is alarming ["Brown's Labored Credibility," WW, March 28, 2012].
Steve Trout should be fired immediately. He didn't think the issue was more important than the routine filing of other candidates? How long would it have taken him to give Brown a heads-up?
Something stinks in Salem.
Of course Republicans are angry. They tried to game the system for an advantage, and they lost in court. The legislative council can say whatever it likes, but the statute is clear on its face about the November election date.
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