Public Information Meeting – Tacoma Planning Department, Thursday, April 14, 6PM
The 2.5 million square-foot warehouse project borders wetlands and residential areas and could threaten the South Tacoma aquifer.
(More concerns listed in letter at the bottom of this post.)
The South Tacoma Neighborhood Council has requested a public meeting. The purpose of the Public Information Meeting is to provide project information and obtain feedback from the public about the proposal, to assist the Director in making a decision. The public meeting is not a formal public hearing. Attendees will be able to post comments and ask questions for the record.
This meeting will be held on April 14, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. via Zoom:
• Link to join: https://us02web.zoom.us/s/87370633959
• Or dial to join: 253-215-8782
• Webinar ID – 873 7063 3959
Get more information from City of Tacoma here:
Here is a letter requesting the City pursue a full EIS, not just a mitigated Declaration of Non-Significance:
March 10, 2022
Shirley Schultz, Principal planner Planning and Development Department 747 Market Street, Rm 345
Tacoma, WA 98402
RE: Bridge Point Tacoma 2MM Warehouse Project on the South Tacoma Aquifer
Dear Shirley Schultz and Director Huffman,
The Bridge Point Tacoma 2MM Warehouse Project proposes a 2.5 million square feet warehouse complex on over 147 acres to be built over the South Tacoma aquifer. A SEPA checklist was filled out last spring by Bridge Industrial. The proposed Mitigated DNS does not account for the following concerns, which are related to the city’s intentions as put forth
in Tacoma’s Climate Action Plan.
• This project paves over a significant portion of land above the South Tacoma aquifer impeding recharge of the aquifer and potentially adding pollutants to Clover and Flett Creek due to increased traffic (petroleum and tire residue, both aquatic toxins) Tacoma draws 5% of its water from the aquifer in summer, and this is likely to increase as climate change has a bigger impact on the summer water flow of the Green
River. According to TPCHD up to 40% of Tacoma’s water supply can be drawn from the
aquifer during times of drought which will occur more often due to climate change.
• It will increase Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in Tacoma. Embodied carbon from
concrete walls is now recognized as a significant source of emissions. Once operational, GHG will come from the sizable increase in traffic from trucks and cars. The SEPA lists over 1400 employees with planned parking spaces for all of them and almost 5000 week-day daily trips of which a little over 1300 are expected to be truck trips. While some of these may be by EV, there was no mention of EV charging stations on site. The project provides access to natural gas for HVAC purposes, which is also a GHG source.
• The project is in a neighborhood that deserves better planning and environmental outcomes. Looking at either the Washington Environmental Health Disparities Map or the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD) Health Equity maps, this neighborhood ranks as the very highest impact level for environmental hazards from diesel pollution (which will increase with the trucks), and other sources, health disparities, economic disadvantage, etc. This project does nothing to help improve that. Considering this is also one of the lowest-income, most diverse neighborhoods in the city, that is a form of environmental racism.
• This project conflicts with a current proposal to amend the code for the South Tacoma Groundwater Protection District (STGPD) by adding on a South Tacoma Economic Green Zone designation. The amendment is currently working its way through the Planning Department process at a much slower rate than this permit application, even though the water protection code is long overdue.
• This area needs only activity which cannot threaten the aquifer (such as non-polluting activities and open green space). TPU expects to have to monitor and draw contaminated water for years to come from the aquifer to contain a pollution plume that made the area an EPA superfund site. We need to get to only pure, clean water.
• A moratorium should be placed on permit application reviews and approvals until the STGPD code is appropriately updated.
• This project removes the possibility of using some of the land to grow our urban tree canopy in a neighborhood in desperate need of more trees for health, cooling, cleaning the air and filtering the water.
• This project removes the possibility of using some of the land as urban green space, community gardens for increasing our local food supply, and recreational purposes to serve the growing population in the area. It will also displace some of the last urban wildlife and unlit areas in the city, important to bats for insect control.
• This project borders on wetlands. And although the SEPA list addresses this concern with buffers (that are inadequate), the connection between the wetlands, 100 year flooding potential, the aquifer recharge area and the enormous paved area being proposed, should require a full EIS to model future expectations given both increased rainfall predicted by climate change and increased dryness in the summer predicted by climate change. This project will have long-lasting and devastating effects, and needs to take into account that climate impacts are speeding up.
• This project will increase the urban heat island effect in this area, which already suffers disproportionately when we get high temperatures such as last summer’s heat dome..
If the City is to have any hope of achieving the needed level of GHG reduction, while promoting climate and racial justice, then projects like this should not be allowed without comprehensive assessment of all impacts and significant mitigation. We request that the City adequately and comprehensively review the project by issuing a SEPA Determination of Significance and require a Health Impact Assessment.
Thank you for your consideration,
Elly Claus-McGahan, PhD, Climate Pierce County
Cathy Carruthers, CXC
Cynthia Stewart, President, League of Women Voters of Tacoma-Pierce County Linda Cohan, CCL
Marian Berejikian, Friends of Pierce County
John Doherty, host KTAH’s Climate Talk
Kathy Hall, MS, TPS Educator