LETTER: Levee questions

On May 14, Clallam County commissioners Mike French and Randy Johnson voted to proceed with the hybrid option of a paved road and trail on the lower Dungeness River levee, despite critical questions and issues that have yet to be addressed.

The lower Dungeness River floodplain restoration is evidently a resounding success, yet, as many have testified to the commissioners, it could be undone by re-introducing daily vehicle traffic and the associated effects of stormwater flowing into the restoration area from a paved road.

A chemical called 6-PPD-q, used in tire manufacturing, is released as dust that contaminates stormwater, washes into waterways and is highly toxic to fish, resulting in up to 100 percent mortality.

When the county issued its 2018 environmental analysis of the project, 6-PPD-q had not yet been identified as a major culprit in salmon mortality; now aware of the issue, they refuse to update the analysis to address this noxious threat.

The project includes an untested stormwater treatment system and features a trail design the Trails Advisory Committee deems unsafe.

Additionally, the county does not yet have a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers.

The delay and reconsideration of the last few months provided the opportunity to change course on the levee, enhance the restoration work and preserve a safe and well-loved trail.

Sadly, these decision-makers did not have the imagination to embrace that opportunity.

Janine Blaeloch