Tacoma natural gas plant met with protests

KING 5's John Langeler reports.

TACOMA, Wash. -- Inside the Greater Tacoma Convention Center, officials from Puget Sound Energy were wholly confident their liquid natural gas plant project was fine. It had gone through public and environmental review, plus gotten approval from city hall.

"It's been through two years of permitting process," said spokesman Grant Ringel.

Nonetheless, a public forum Monday night was set up to educate concerned citizens, many of whom were wearing red and protesting the project outside.

"We just think it's very unsafe and it shouldn't be this close to a population center," said Tracy Martinez with the group RedLine Tacoma.

"We just don't feel like the information that PSE has submitted is sufficient," she added.

PSE has already started preliminary construction on the $300 million plant, which would liquefy and freeze natural gas for transportation to Alaska.

The plant would be located in the Port of Tacoma and is scheduled to open in 2019.

When asked if anything could be done to stop the project, Ringel stopped short of saying "no," only adding, "The reason we're here tonight is to provide additional information for those who felt like they needed additional information."

Opponents want PSE to provide a supplemental environmental review, to take into account a host of other factors they believe were ignored.

"They should do real studies," said Martinez, "Not just things that make good sound bites."

Copyright 2016 KING


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