Monthly Archives: February 2016

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    Lawmakers urge thorough examination of proposed methanol plant in Tacoma

Lawmakers urge thorough examination of proposed methanol plant in Tacoma

February 19th, 2016|

Sen. Jeannie Darneille, Rep. Laurie Jinkins, and Rep. Jake Fey have asked the City of Tacoma to broaden the scope of its environmental review process for Northwest Innovation Works’ proposed methanol plant at the Port of Tacoma.

In a letter to the City’s Planning and Development Services Department, the lawmakers outline issue areas that need to be addressed before the methanol plant is approved. The letter also urges the City to study, not just the impacts the proposed project will have on the cities and counties surrounding the project, but the potential state and global impacts as well.

“We’ve spent 35 years cleaning up our city – from Asarco to cleaning up Commencement Bay and the Thea Foss Waterway,” said Darneille, who has become a strong voice in opposition to the project. “We have invested billions of dollars in our infrastructure and have worked to recapture our downtown museum district, which has become a regional and national draw. All of that progress could be in jeopardy with this development. Deciding to put a methanol plant right in the center of the Tacoma tideflats could have devastating impacts and consequences to our state’s natural resources, our infrastructure, the safety of our citizens, and our state’s quality of life. We need all the answers we can get before this project is permitted.”

Some of the far-reaching effects the letter asks the City of Tacoma to look into include potential on-site impacts including air and water pollution and community safety. The cities of Federal Way, Fife and Tacoma and The Puyallup Tribe of Indians would be most directly impacted by the proposed methanol plant; however, the impact on the state’s resources could be much larger. There are also grave concerns about the 1,500 people in the federal Northwest Detention Center and the hundreds of employees that work there.

“Many members of our community, myself included, have grave concerns about this project and the impact it will have on our health, our environment and our way of life,” Jinkins said. “That being said, I believe in a fair, balanced process that rigorously examines this proposal and addresses the concerns of every person in our community. That needs to happen before any steps are taken to move this project forward.”

The lawmakers’ letter also questions the methanol project’s effect on shared resources like the region’s transportation infrastructure system, water and electricity sources, the increase in marine traffic of shipping vessels, and environmental justice for those who live in the low-income communities in the vicinity of the project.

“The issues raised in our letter and by many people in the community must be fully addressed because of the unprecedented size and scope of the project,” said Fey. “To do anything less than that would be a travesty.”

Northwest Innovation Works, the company that has proposed Tacoma’s methanol plant, is also proposing smaller methanol facilities on the Columbia River in Kalama and in Clatskanie, Ore. Methanol for use in plastics, explosives, paints, solvents and many other chemicals is currently in high demand.

The lawmakers wrote their letter with the intention that it will be a part of the public record. They expect their questions to be addressed during the environmental review process, which is expected to take about a year before the permitting process begins.

To read a copy of the letter, click here.

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    Senate honors 125th Anniversary of the Washington State Historical Society

Senate honors 125th Anniversary of the Washington State Historical Society

February 16th, 2016|

The Washington State Senate on Tuesday, passed Senate Resolution 8721, honoring the 125th Anniversary of the Washington State Historical Society. Sen. Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma, sponsored the resolution and issued the following statement:

“I am incredibly proud to be able to honor the accomplishments of the Washington State Historical Society and to help celebrate its 125th Anniversary. Founded in our state in 1891, it is a rare gem and an incredible asset to learners of all ages studying the varied and rich history of our state.

“Researchers, scholars and more than 16,000 students per year take part in programs sponsored by the Washington State Historical Society. The collection of personal, local, national and regional stories has become the repository of our comprehensive history and heritage of our people and our state.

“I have had the opportunity to take part in many of the programs that are offered by the Historical Society. Each year look forward to the ‘In the Spirit’ show of contemporary Native American art and National History Day and Washington State History Day inspires our students and emphasizes the importance of comprehensive historical research and education. The Washington Women’s History Consortium has created an extensive collection and sources of information about women’s history in Washington through partnerships with higher education institutions across our state.

“The State History Museum in the heart of downtown Tacoma was at the forefront of the revitalization of Pacific Avenue. Today, it is a vibrant hub of historic, educational, cultural, and entrepreneurial activity. I cannot imagine Pacific Avenue, or Tacoma without the Washington State Historical Museum.

“The Washington State Historical Society and our State History Museum remain a critical asset and historical treasure to my community, our region and our state. I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations on their 125th anniversary.”

News from Sen. Jeannie Darneille

February 10th, 2016|

Darneille banner

News from Sen. Jeannie Darneille                              Feb. 10, 2016
 Dear friends and neighbors,

Tuesday marked the half-way point for this year’s 60-day legislative session, and was also the second major legislative deadline, the fiscal cutoff. This means that any bills referred to the Senate Ways & Means Committee had to pass out of the committee to move on in the legislative process. Many bills died that day, including some I sponsored, but that is the nature of the timeline in a short 60-day session.

As I am sure you have seen on TV, or read in the newspaper or on social media, we have had interesting recent developments in the legislature and in state government. Senate Democrats remain focused on and committed to finding a solution to fully funding our K-12 education system for our one million public school kids, addressing rising rates of homelessness across our state, improving our state’s mental health care system, and continuing to work on the many issue areas that impact the people who call our state home.

Save The Date – Town Hall Meeting

Please join the 27th Legislative District delegation at our annual Town Hall Meeting from 10 to noon on Sat. Feb. 20, at the Evergreen State College Tacoma Campus, 1210 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405. We hope that you will be able to join us for a brief overview of what’s happening in Olympia, and be there to ask questions, and voice your comments. Sign-in will begin at 9:30. I hope to see you there!

Methanol Plant Proposed for Tacoma

I have taken a strong public stance against the methanol and liquefied natural gas plants proposed for Tacoma. I have deep concerns about these projects and the safety of our community. The environmental impact and consequences of projects of this scope would change the future of our city and roll-back many of the steps we have taken to move our community and our region forward.

I invite you to attend the second and third Environmental Impact Statement Public Scoping Meetings. The second meeting is TONIGHTWed. Feb. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center, 1500 Broadway, 5th Floor Exhibit Hall. The doors will open at 5 p.m. for speaker sign-up.

The third meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 6:30 p.m. at Meeker Middle School, 4402 Nassau Ave NE. Doors will open at 5 p.m. for speaker sign-up.

These meetings will help shape the future of our community. I encourage you to attend the meetings to learn more about the proposal.

New Video Update – Human Services, Mental Health & Housing

Carlyle video photo

Video updates can offer a quick glimpse into what we’re working on in Olympia. In my most recent video update, I give a general overview of the Senate Human Services, Mental Health & Housing Committee, where I serve as the highest ranking Democrat. This committee oversees a wide-range of issue areas, from our state juvenile justice system, to our Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, to Mental Health and Housing. Click the photo or here to watch the update.

2016 Legislative Photo Gallery

Senator Darneille with Communities in Schools students, January 29, 2016.

I invite you to visit my 2016 Legislative Photo Gallery that gets updated regularly with the different constituent groups that visit my office during session. I was pleased to meet with a student group of kids from Community in Schools. They were in Olympia to learn more about the legislative process…they asked some great questions!

I am still working on a number of bills that are moving through the legislative process. As we move away from our committee meetings and begin to take more votes on the floor I will be advocating for my bills as they advance.

Please keep in touch by calling my office, or sending me an email if you have a question about state government or have a question about a state agency.

Take care,

darneille

 

 

27th Town Hall Meeting – Feb. 20

February 9th, 2016|

Mark your calendars, the 27th Legislative District Town Hall Meeting will be from 10 a.m. to noon on Sat. Feb. 20 at the Evergreen State College Tacoma Campus, 1210 6th Ave, Tacoma, Wa, 98405.