If you have something to say to the Environmental Protection Agency about a plan to reduce the Duwamish River cleanup, today’s your last chance. (10:36 AM UPDATE: This has just been extended until April 21st.)
We reported back in February on the proposal to remove scattered areas totaling about five acres (not yet mapped) from the cleanup zone because the government increased the allowable level of a particular pollutant – benzo(a)pyrene (BaP), a “carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (cPAH).” On the night of the EPA community meeting we covered, the agency agreed to extend the public-comment window, and has since extended it again, but the deadline is tonight.
The reminder came in emails from two interested parties sharing the comment letters they have just submitted. The first is from BJ Cummings, longtime area advocate, who points out “significant questions about the scientific merit of the BaP reassessment” as well as a lack of time for discussion with community members who will be most affected by a cleanup change, which would leave a higher level of the substance in shellfish. Here’s her comment letter:
She refers to comments from an unofficial community coalition called the Duwamish River Accountability Group, which also sent us their letter:
That group’s points also include the time frame as well as the fact the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, an official advisory group, only released its own fact sheet on the proposal about a week ago;
The DRCC fact sheet also notes that the scientists from the UW are concerned that “inconsistent results” among studies including those that led to the proposal to change the cleanup “means that there is still a high level of uncertainty about the cancer risk of BaP.”
As linked in our February report, the full document for review is here; an explanatory one-sheet is here. If you are interested in commenting,
11:59 pm tonight April 21 is the deadline to send email to Region10@epa.gov.