LETTER: ‘Let’s Talk about Arsenic and Lead in Soils…’
Dear SeaTac City Council,
Lets talk about arsenic and lead in soils given the wonderful presentation by the Department of Ecology (DOE) at the SeaTac Council Meeting 02/28/12 and how this most likely will go too far.
Step 1. Department of Ecology scares crap out of parents over trace amounts of lead and arsenic in park and school soils from legacy Arsarco Smelter or whomever/whatever.
Step 2. Taxpayers pay through the nose for testing everything and its brother on public lands and parks.
Step 3. DOE finds small patches (very small) that have higher concentrations of arsenic and lead and the grand solution is to plant grass (duh) and/or replace soil with “fresh” soil that is untested (per their own answers).
Step 4. Place signs in areas and print more expensive brochures to make sure everyone is adequately outraged/scared as to keep funding for arsenic/lead testing program and DOE can expand hiring/regulations.
Step 5. *OPTIONAL. Blame low test scores and school district failure/s on soil contamination.
Step 6. “ASK” homeowners and private property owners to test their own soil for arsenic/lead, at ~ $50 a pop (paid by the property owner), and log results into local, county, and state database.
Step 7. DEMAND as a prerequisite of any permit (building, remodel, etc.) that soil be replaced based on the previously collected data voluntarily provided in the “ask” part. Paid for again, of course, by the property owner. *New soil must be obtained from a government certified soil provider (coming soon).
Step 8. Require jurisdictions to hire permanent soil specialists as part of the GMA (Growth Management Act) and lay off a couple of cops and/or firefighters in case the jurisdiction can’t pay for the soil guy/gal.
Step 9. Bury any studies that contradict DOE findings.
Step 10. Find the next bugaboo/chemical and repeat all steps, inserting the name and substance of choice.
There is a more common sense solution. Wash your hands before eating and don’t wallow around in stuff that smells or looks funny. This still won’t protect you but you will feel just as good about it and not walk around in fear of your shadow. No one said the world is a safe/fair place and there are no guarantees that something bad will not happen to you intentionally or otherwise even if you can’t see it coming.
- Earl Gipson (the Cactus)
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