Tacoma community fights back against Puget Sound LNG facility

Tacoma Direct Action, a group of local protesters, and City Council candidate Sara Morken were arrested this week for chaining themselves to construction equipment.

The Puget Sound liquefied natural gas facility has been drawing major public backlash for being so close to residential neighborhoods on Alexander Avenue near the Port of Tacoma.

Puget Sound Energy says the facility will “provide local transportation companies with a cleaner fuel alternative” as well as providing “residential and commercial customers with natural gas reserves.”

Many residents of Tacoma do not feel the same.. Spokeswoman for TDA Claudia Riedener believes it’s important to raise awareness of the environmental and safety issues.

There also may be hazardous issues concerning the location of the plant. Puyallup tribal member Chester Earl raises the concern of the danger these chemical plants pose due to their location along tide flats.

Chemical engineer Steven Storms is also against the chemical plants, bringing awareness to the hazards and pollutants surrounding the construction of a natural gas facility.

Allegedly, 50 people attended the protest outside the Puget Sound liquified natural gas facility gate, with another five people that chained themselves to heavy machinery.

The protesters inside the gate were arrested and held in Pierce County Jail, facing charges of first degree malicious mischief, first degree criminal trespassing and obstruction in the first degree. A Tacoma police department spokeswoman pointed out these are all considered felonies.

However, TDA only organizes non-violent protests. Organizers called this “non-violent acts of civil disobedience.”