Stormwater pollution solution needed now
October 5, 2010 · Updated 1:56 PM
Who will be a good steward for our water quality and Puget Sound? That’s one of the big questions I’m weighing when I decide who to vote for in our upcoming state legislative race. We have two well-qualified candidates — Democrat Randy Gordon and Republican Steve Litzow. But which one of them is ready to stand up against oil companies and for our state? That’s what I want to find out.
The biggest water pollution problem in our state is toxic stormwater runoff. When it rains, water washes through our streets and storm drains, picking up oil, gasoline and hazardous chemicals and washing them right into our waterways. This toxic runoff is poisoning our waters, hurting local industries like shellfish growers and fishermen and endangering the long-term health of Puget Sound.
There are straightforward solutions available — updating storm pipes, retrofitting urban streets, and using the landscape’s natural ability to absorb and filter rainfall. And implementing these solutions would put people to work — strengthening our economy and helping to build a healthy legacy for our kids.
To pay for the projects, I think we should ask the oil industry to pay their fair share of the costs — a solution that has been before the state legislature for two years running, and has died each year due to huge pressure from the oil companies. I’m looking for one of our candidates to stand up as a leader on clean water — someone who sees our way forward to a healthier environment and economy.
I want to be able to hand over a healthy Puget Sound that I’m proud of to the next generation, and that means finding solutions to stormwater pollution now.