"With this permit, Ecology is trying to legalize poisoning of an entire estuary with a neurotoxic insecticide," said Erika Schreder, staff scientist with the Washington Toxics Coalition. "We [were] forced to take legal action because Ecology is shirking its duty to uphold the Clean Water Act."
The final permit issued by the Department of Ecology allows the growers to pollute the bay with carbaryl that can be at toxic levels for up to 30 days following the spray. The permit has no requirements to meet standards to protect sediment or to protect human health. Thus, the permit clearly goes against the requirements of the Clean Water Act. The permit also fails to protect endangered species, including the coastal cutthroat which have been proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act.
"Since our state government is not protecting the health of our water bodies, we're asking the Pollution Control Hearings Board to protect us," said Larry Warnberg, an organic oyster grower and member of the Ad-hoc Coalition for Willapa Bay. "Ecology needs to protect our water-my livelihood and that of many crabbers and fishers depends on it."
"There is very clear evidence that spraying three tons of carbaryl in sensitive estuaries devastates the ecosystem, harming fish, birds, and other creatures," added Schreder. "Willapa Bay is renowned for its fish and crab populations and the Clean Water Act says they have to be protected. That's the protection we're seeking in court."
For more information
contact Erika Schreder, Washington Toxics Coalition, at 206-632-1545
ext.19 or www.watoxics.org and Larry Warnberg, Ad-hoc Coalition for
Willapa Bay, at 360-665-2926.