For years, everything from old tires and pharmaceutical wastewater to millions of gallons of raw sewage have been dumped into the Sound. Meanwhile, Governor Inslee and the Washington State Department of Ecology simply looked the other way.
You don’t need an advanced degree to understand that this degree of reckless contamination would decimate the Sound’s salmon populations. That simple fact was confirmed by a new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Puget Sound water quality, which I requested back in 2021. Here’s what it found:
Poor water quality in the Puget Sound is killing salmon.
Puget Sound water quality has taken a back seat in Governor Inslee’s administration.
A failure to meet deadlines and develop plans to improve water quality is further harming salmon, which then impacts the health of orcas in the Puget Sound.
The reality is that Governor Inslee and his administration have been so distracted by their misguided efforts to breach the Lower Snake River dams that they completely ignored the salmon being poisoned in their own backyard. That truth is easy to see when you realize the governor has failed to meet even a single water quality assessment deadline or develop a plan to improve water conditions in the decade since he took office.
His consistent failure to meet these deadlines – while doing nothing to stop the ongoing pollution – not only violates federal law, but it’s suffocating the salmon most critical to the health and sustainability of our Puget Sound Orcas.
Hypocritical and politically-motivated doesn’t even begin to describe the governor’s negligence. He must be held accountable for his salmon hypocrisy if we ever want to #SaveTheSound.
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