Money wins over environment

Once again we see that Snohomish County government never saw a dollar it didn’t like. This time the approval of a mindless motocross enterprise in a pristine area where the adjacent property owners will have to endure noise, fumes, crowds and irreversible environmental damage. In this case, however, the only citizens that may be killed or injured are the willing participants in a mechanized gladiatorial combat that others will apparently pay to see. All for the profit of one.

We’ve also seen the county fold on new regulations for logging in landslide-prone areas. We are told that the farcical checklist to obtain a logging permit is good enough for needed personal and environmental protections. Oh, and you can take 110 percent of what you are permitted, as well. No problem. Certainly never mind the financial, physical and mental suffering of those who are near the “project” or whose communities may be engulfed in minutes. As we hear now from Turkey, “accidents happen — get over it.”

You want a gravel pit? — sure go ahead. And destroy the water table while you are at it. And the taxpayers can clean it up afterward, including the illegal waste dumped there under cover of darkness. As long as your company meets its financial goals, the county is with you always.

The county also supports oil and gas pipelines. If a few residents are killed, that is a small price to pay for lower prices at the pump. Recently, we heard on the nightly news that a pipeline company has extolled the virtues of a community obtaining jobs cleaning up oil spills, so this is a good thing.

Commercial development and fill in a floodplain? Fine with the county. It is your land and they do not want to be sued. Better to wait for the mega-suit that comes later when the applicant/owners sue the county for letting them build there. Sound familiar?

Coal trains? The County ignores the dust you have to sweep off your porch every day; I’d look more to the dust in your lungs. Be thankful that wasn’t an oil-train; those will also increase now, and the ensuing explosions and fires will make the dust inconsequential. As you sit in your car, engine running while they pass, you can contemplate that.

Once these environmental insults start, they do not go away. The county sides with the money. Paid experts can be found to support any desired position. The only truth is the obvious damage afterward. The county continues to look the other way as we witness the best of our irreplaceable land, water, and environment disappearing in a glut of industry, development and greed.

David Damkaer


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