Concerns over liquid natural gas plant in Tacoma

KING 5's Jenna Hanchard reports.

Construction is underway to build a $300 million liquefied natural gas plant in Tacoma.

While the project has already gotten the green light, it has been met with pushback from neighbors who want to know more about the impact of the plant and the process to build it.

Not far from the Port of Tacoma, in Fife, crews are laying in materials for a pipeline that will eventually connect to an LNG facility in the Port of Tacoma.

"We're building a facility that will fuel ships for tote maritime that runs between Tacoma and Alaska. There will also be fuel for our other ships as well as backup supply for our customers," said Grant Ringel, a spokesperson for Puget Sound Energy

Puget Sound Energy posted a construction notification sign near the construction site and says it sent out notices to those living within 400 feet of there, but some Tacoma residents say PSE should've gone further.

"We think generally speaking when you're talking about such as big facility like this there should be city-wide and even neighboring city notification with such a major industrial change," said Todd Hay who lives in Tacoma.

The project has received most of the permits to build and is expected to be complete in 2019. The Puyallup Tribe of Indians has appeals two of the permits in the building process.

“It really bothers me,” said Dakota Wayne Case. “I want to put a stop to fossil fuels within the port. It’s right by our original reservation boundaries. We’re tied to the land we’re tied to the waters. Our families have been here for generations on generations. “

Others opposed to the facility have concerns about safety and the long-term impact of the facility.

"I’ve lived in Browns Point for 26 years, “said Nanette Reetz. “When I moved there in 1991 Tacoma was moving away from dirty industry. They just tore down the smelter and they were cleaning and you know they’ve don’t this beautiful restoration of Thea Waterway and the Foss and it’s like, what are they doing in the port.”

A spokesperson for the Port of Tacoma authorized a lease with PSE to build the LNG facility as part of the strategy to reduce port-related emissions.

“I think there is a sense that we need to move beyond fossil fuels and we would support that but that industry isn’t there yet, and we’re looking for cleaner alternative, and this provides one of those cleaner alternatives,” said Tara Mattina, spokesperson for the Port of Tacoma

PSE says LNG is a clean and safe fuel that will help reduce ship emissions

"I actually think the LNG plant is part of the solution and not part of the problem," said Ringel.

© 2017 KING-TV


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