Tuesday, June 30, 2009

How far would you go...

To protect the environment...how far would you go? Certainly we need to take care of our resources. Make sure that people are safe and the environment is safe, but how far would you go to make sure everything' okay? Would you sue the city over fireworks?

One man is...he's attempting to stop 4th of July fireworks over Lake Union in Seattle until he state shows that gathering that many people together is safe for viewers, the park and surrounding wildlife. He's claiming that the city failed to conduct a review in accordance to the State Environmental Policy Act befor permitting the annual event.

Seattle city officials maintain that the once-a-year civic event is what the state had in mnd when it exempted certain activities from these revie requirements and there are already conditions on the event' private contractor sonothing happens that might release any contmination this weekend.

The event is an annual event held at Gas Works park on the north end of the lake. It was a toxic clean up site becuse the park was once the site of a coal-to-gas plant.

With the fact that Ivars pulled out of 4th of July celebrations out here earlier this year, the timing for his petition isn't exactly the best. WaMu Family 4th, now Chase Family 4th, is the only fireworks celebration that will take place inside Seattle city limits this year. Many people attend this free event and it certainly would be a shame for this event to not take place.

The Lake City man does have a point though. Because it is built on a former industrial site, the soil and groundwater on the site was contaminated. The 1971 Master Plan called for "cleaning and greening" the site through bio-phyto-remediation. There are no known areas of surface soil contamination remaining on the site today, although tar occasionally still oozes from some locations within the site and is isolated and removed.
Toxic sites are not something to be messed with...boats aren't allowed to launch from the park because the soil has hazerdous substances in it. Nonetheless...it would be a shame to lose this wonderful event. But I would think that the welfware of its viewers should stand higher than the lighting of fireworks once a year.

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