Puyallup tribal leaders led a march and rally on Tuesday for residents who remain opposed to a liquefied natural gas facility. Boosters insist it could bring jobs and lower emissions.
Since Puget Sound Energy announced plans to build a liquefied natural gas facility in Tacoma over five years ago, regular protests by residents have dogged the project. Ahead of a public comment period on the facility’s final necessary permit, those protests continued on Tuesday: Approximately a hundred people rallied in Tacoma’s streets, marching a mile down Pacific Avenue and briefly blocking an intersection to bring attention to the issue.
Many of the protesters were Puyallup Tribe members. The facility is being built on historically Puyallup tribal land, and opposition groups like Frack No 253 argue that nearby residents within a certain distance from the facility could be killed in the case of an LNG-related explosion. The city of Tacoma denies this on its website, stating that such worries “are based on worst-case scenarios involving a terrorist attack on an LNG cargo ship resulting in an uncontrolled spill of LNG over water.” One family of Puyallup Tribe members at the rally held an umbrella with the words “We Live In The Blast Zone” lettered in yellow duct tape on its top.
“We live right off the street that’s closest to the tideflats,” said one young member of the family, Amenda (last name withheld), while marching with others toward the site of the public hearing. Her family has lived in the area all her life, she added, so the possibility of harm hits “very close to home.”