Re: “Come together to save Puget Sound and Snake River salmon” [July 26, Opinion]:
U.S. Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dan Newhouse made a number of assertions about wastewater treatment plants that misstate the role of these facilities in the health of Puget Sound. The vast majority of wastewater from homes and businesses in the region is treated to current standards. Over the past half century, local utilities have invested billions of dollars in plants and processes that have been a major environmental success story. The occasional raw sewage spill is the exception, not the rule.
As stewards of the marine environment, we work hard every day to provide effective and reliable wastewater treatment. As stewards of public dollars, at a time when income inequality and housing affordability are significant and growing issues, we must ensure that further investments produce the results needed to best protect our salmon and orcas.
Salmon recovery is vitally important in the Pacific Northwest, but it is a complicated matter. Habitat restoration, pollutant reduction, fisheries oversight, ocean research and more play roles in the recovery of a vital social, economic and spiritual resource. We need to work together to ensure wise decisions about how best to invest limited resources.
Judi Gladstone, Renton, executive director, Washington Association of Sewer and Water Districts