We should also burn garbage
During the last few months, many have been trashing the idea of having an electricity-producing, slash-burning facility in the woods in Mason County.
Where do people get these ridiculous notions?
That’s the most constructive idea I have seen proposed in this region in the 35 years I have lived in the area.
I would like them to go one step further. They should be burning garbage too.
Removing slash from the environment improves water quality by eliminating decaying material, which can cause reduced dissolved oxygen levels in streams. It also reduces tannins, lignins and other pollutants being released into the environment. It will expose more earth for other plants to grow to provide food for wildlife.
If one wonders why I would want to include garbage, one would only have to be in the presence of dump leacheate for about five seconds.
When an analyst opened a dump leacheate sample (groundwater found near dumps) in our laboratory (Ecology) everyone else left the lab and the analyst spent the rest of the day trying to get the smell off.
That is what we have been doing to our groundwater.
Ash from garbage incinerators poses little danger to groundwater quality and with current air pollution standards, no problems should even be encountered.
Nearly all extremely hazardous wastes have been incinerated for years with no problems with EPA’s blessings. The technology is that good. Dump leacheate will be migrating through our soils endangering our groundwater for a long time.
PATRICK M. CRAWFORD, Littlerock
Capitol Lake important as trout habitat
Recently, state leaders have considered restoring Capitol Lake back to estuarine habitat, which should benefit anadromous salmonids that spawn in Percival Creek (including Black Lake ditch) and the Deschutes River.
Chinook and sea-run cutthroat should do especially well, as they use estuaries extensively.
Although the South Sound has a reputable cutthroat fishery, it’s all catch-and-release except formerly in the mid-lower Deschutes. Hence, estuarine restoration could perhaps justify a catch fishery for this trout again.
Although estuarine conversion has been a controversial topic, upstream land-use impacts really are causing Capitol Lake to fill in, so expensive dredging would be needed to prevent inevitable conversion to a freshwater marsh. And estuarine conversion really won’t create a stinky swamp, as past smelliness was from improper sewage treatment rather than estuarine conditions.
Indeed, estuarine restoration would allow more pollutant flushing to clean up the water, including the aquatic-weed problems there. Moreover, the East Bay area of Budd Inlet, which isn’t impounded and thus shows tides, lacks strong odors. And lake conversion to tidal habitat, to benefit Pacific salmonids, has just occurred for a small, Nisqually-area stream.
But state legislators may want to preserve part of Capitol Lake as a reflecting pool, which would be a reasonable compromise if the dam was moved upstream to near the rail or highway. Such would keep sedimentation down in Budd Inlet, to protect marina and port activities and reduce inlet-dredging costs. But upstream sedimentation would still need addressing via the restriction of deforestation from urbanization, farming and logging.
ROBERT L. VADAS JR., Olympia; JAMES E. WILCOX, Tumwater
Skimmers make more sense in Gulf
Millions of feet of oil boom, and umpteen gallons of dispersants have been used on the Gulf oil spill without success. I believe using oil booms in open water is about as effective as trying to herd cats, and dispersants simply sink the oil temporarily out of sight.
In 1985 I was a first responder to a 350,000-gallon spill in Port Angeles Harbor caused by the Arco Anchorage going aground splitting her single-bottom hull.
I observed a totally unprepared Coast Guard’s futile attempts to deploy oil booms.
Fortunately, Arco called in Foss Environmental to assist in the cleanup. Oil skimmers were used extensively and the long-term damages were held to a minimum.
I feel it is almost impossible to prevent all marine oil spills and even more difficult to contain them. This leaves one option. Clean them up after they happen. Arco and Foss used oil skimmers effectively in Port Angeles.
Why hasn’t BP brought in every available oil skimmer in the region? I think they feel it is hopeless and have given up. Somebody else, (hint, hint) better take complete charge of the operation – and soon.
LARRY GLENN, Olympia