Thursday, July 30, 2015

Low Standards Come from Higher Places

You'll all be SO excited to read the following press release, which was sent out yesterday:
The City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant has earned the 2014 “Wastewater Treatment Plant Outstanding Performance” award from the Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE).  Of approximately 300 wastewater treatment plants statewide, ours is one of 127 that achieved full compliance with its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit in 2014.
Heather Bartlett, DOE Water Quality Program Manager, said, “It takes diligent operators and a strong management team, working effectively together, to achieve this high level of compliance.  It is not easy to operate a wastewater treatment plant 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, without violations.  This is the second consecutive year the Port Angeles Wastewater Treatment Plant received this award. Your excellent record is a credit to the dedicated operators who are responsible for operating this award-winning plant.”
The Plant passed all tests for compliance with effluent limits, monitoring and reporting requirements, spill prevention planning, pretreatment, and overall operational demands of the NPDES permit. 
I always pictured Hollywood as being a little more
glamorous than this...
I guess the DOE is hunky dory with the CSO overflows now? With the City's well-known leaky water pipes? With the City's underwhelming response to the drying up rivers and drought? With all those utility customers who can't pay their bills each month? Heck of a job, PA!
Yes, it's thanks to the great, thorough oversight like this that Port Angeles has become the modern, thriving and sustainable model city that it is. Because no matter how low the State sets the bar, the City will find a way to slither under it.
If Port Angeles is doing so well on wastewater issues...
How come these signs get so much use there?


  1. Oh, and since people are being sent to this blog after searching for "Dan Morrison Port Angeles," let's not forget to remind them that Dan Morrison is a land rapist. Thanks!

  2. we need to consolidate all the great searches of the last year.... gay sex port angeles!

  3. So in other words, we're number one in Number Two.


  4. Meanwhile, over at the Lincoln Theater....Which is STILL FOR SALE, by the way...Only about half a dozen people bothered to show up for the "bring out your board" meeting hosted by Scott Nagel and his wife, Karen Powell. (Who is now identified as "Consultant Karen Powell," don't ya know, in the photo caption in the PDN.)

    And the amount of pledges "raised" is still stuck at the mythical $175,000.

    And on and on and on. Nothing new, other than the ever-dwindling number of people who turn out for these sham/scam meetings. I guess since Port Angeles has invested millions of dollars in their own crock of shit (the Turd Tank), Nagel, Powell and Gentry are pathetically hopeful that somehow, someone is going to come along and put a fraction of that into their crock of shit.


  5. Port Angeles has sufficient challenges and unrealized opportunities without confusing issues. Give credit where credit is due. The award is merited. Wastewater is separate issue than industrial/urban runoff pollution, though admittedly the CSO brings the two together. Hollywood Beach without the $100 million harbor clean up is at risk for posting when any sediment is stirred up,

  6. Let's remember that it was the Dept of Ecology that supported Port Angeles in that Mega Multi-Million Dollar Boondogle, Glenn Culter's $50 million Turd Tank.

    Consider the impacts of their support, that enabled the city to build this waste of money. The streets downtown are still torn up, as they continue building it, impacting both businesses and residents downtown. Remember the pile driver a month or two ago, that shook building downtown day and night?

    The financial impacts? As the City Financial guy said recently, paying off this project means the city is pretty much "spent out" until 2039.

    Environmental impacts? All those millions of gallons of rain water now become contaminated with sewage, and have to be treated as such. More chemicals to disinfect the now hugely increased volumes of sewage. More electricity used to pump all those millions of gallons around. Marine environment subjected to more chemicals and contamination, as the treatment processes are reduced to get storm flows through the system fast enough.

    Yeah, great. The Dept. of Ecology really knows about doing a "good job".

    1. Ecology merely said it needs to be accomplished. Ecology had not input into the so-called solution chosen. They had no say on the city's decision to capture every drop of rain water that hits the city and treat it like sewage--that was Glen Cutler and this idiotic city council. Actually, it was the idiotic city staff who put this idea forward and of course the city council cannot say no to any spending decision. They can only say no to giving people a choice about putting poison in their water to keep them dumb enough to let them get away with the rape of the taxpayer again and again.

    2. You are only partially correct. Ecology did not dictate what solution to the problem of rain water flooding the sanitary sewers, and causing the overflows, but it sure supported the city in doing it. Even when it was pointed out that the city's option was wasteful, and increased negative impacts to the environment, the reps from Ecology said they didn't care, "just as long as the city does something". Hardly good management.

  7. Rainwater not the issue. Contamination occurs way before it hits sewage. Pesticides, fertilizer, animal and medical waste, and anything else that isnt "rainwater" becomes polluted runoff when it rains. It is our responsibility to clean up our mess, rather than understate our involvement, & vilify city.

    1. Wrong. It is all about rainwater.
      How much contamination occurs on rooftops? The vast amount of rainwater entering the sewer system is coming from the thousands of city roofs via direct connection of downspouts. Without that added rainwater from roofs, there are no sewage overflows.

      Except broken pipes, etc. But the millions spent by the city, and approved by Ecology, is caused by rainwater flooding the sanitary sewer system.

      This has nothing to do with understating our involvement, and it is correctly ALL about making the city accountable for all the impacts to residents, the environment, local businesses and taxpayer because of out right stupidity by the city, staff and people at Ecology.

    2. @ Anon 6:51

      I think you are trying to talk about "urban runoff", where rainwater falling on lawns, sidewalks and streets picks up contaminants, and becomes polluted, and then runs into area streams and creeks, and eventually the Strait.

      Yes, that is our mess, and we should be cleaning that up. But the $50 million CSO project, with it's famous Glenn Cutler Turd Tank isn't designed to address that problem. As "CSO", standing for "Combined Sewer Overflow" implies, is supposed to stop sewage overflows. Not clean up urban runoff.

      They could have passed an ordinance requiring all downspout connections be disconnected within 6 months, and solved the sewage overflow problem years ago. Would have cost a few hundred thousand, even if the city paid the residents of the 3,000 or so houses to do it.

      And with the tens of millions saved, all kinds of other projects, including addressing urban runoff, could have been undertaken.

      But as we see, Ecology approved a highly inefficient project that didn't address the source of the problem, and depleted the city's ability to do anything else for decades to come.

      And then gave the city this award.

    3. Anonymous 10:32 PM has it exactly right. The City's "plan" is to add to the problem, pay tens of millions to put in a system to "treat" the problem, then millions more to maintain the system to "treat" the problem...All without taking a single step to SOLVE the problem.

  8. I'm so glad the snarky photos are back. You're winning, CK!

  9. Here's a tip for all you King County residents that are (supposedly) flocking to Clallam County in order to escape the heat and your own air conditionerlessness: Buy an air conditioner.

    We got one this year, and installed it ourselves in about 15 minutes. Our little energy efficient model cost about $300 (including delivery), and, even with some pretty heavy use, we've only seen our utility bill go up a little. Ah, but our quality of life has improved dramatically.

    The upfront costs are probably about the same for a day trip to Clallam County, only an air conditioner is a gift that keeps on giving. So come on, King County folks, be smart about that carbon footprint you're going to make. If you're going to add to that footprint, why not do it in a fashion that will actually increase your quality of life? All you're likely to get out of burning the gas to get to and from Port Angeles is questions: "Why'd we come all this way? Is this all there is? Where are the rivers? Where are the people?" And, if you stay overnight: "Why are there syringes under my mattress?"

    1. CK, having been out and about all of yesterday and today, I'm here to tell you that Port Angeles continues to be a ghost town.

      The parking lots for the people going to Victoria were packed. The loading dock for the Coho ferry was packed every time I went by.

      Earlier, I was driving on 8th street, and I pointed out to my friend that we could see all the way to the end of 8th, because there was not a single car in front of us!

      Yes, there was "Joyce Days" today. There were more people in Joyce, than Port Angeles. At least for the couple hours of the parade.

      Drove out past Joyce, out to Crescent Lake, and back into town. Yeah. There were people out, but we never had to wait to cross or merge into the highway. For a long holiday weekend, there was an amazingly small amount of traffic out and about.

      Thinking maybe it was because it was a hot Saturday summer day, we went out to the new beaches of the Elwha Delta. Two or three clumps of people. Lots of available parking.

      So, after hours out and about for the last two days, I can tell you: it is a ghost town. In all my years here, I've never seen anything like it.

    2. Thanks so much for your "roving reporter" comments. They do run counter to the line coming out of the mouths of the usual suspects...

    3. Any King County or Seattle residents who make the trip out here will quickly realize there is little for them here, and will rush back to their city of culture, films, food, and fun.

    4. This is not a holiday weekend.

    5. Anonymous 9:24...Are you saying that Port Angeles needs the bump of a holiday weekend to draw visitors? Or are you saying that there's no need to make the trip on just a normal weekend? What is your point?

    6. He or she is responding to the 10:44 post which called this weekend a holiday weekend.

    7. I guess the fact that it is one of BCs biggest summertime holiday weekends doesn't count? Monday is "BC Day", and the ferries have been packed since Friday, when people started taking off.

      But, living in Port Angeles means we don't have to be aware of what else is going on, right next door, delivering thousands a day right down town?

    8. Even Joyce Days seemed less attended than previous years. Less people, fewer venders, smaller parade.

      Which actually is fine with me. I enjoy it because it's small. The Irrigation Festival, Lavender Fest, etc is okay, but it's nice to have a more relaxed event occasionally.

      Besides, they still sold out of pies. :)

  10. what is happening on weekends to draw people here? Nothing.

  11. People living or visiting here do not have expectations to find culture, foodie or cinematic or experiences. If they do, they didn't do their homework prior to arrival. Hiking, fishing, kayaking, sailing, gardening, sailing, diving, SUPing, surfing-now we're in the right place.

    1. I am sure our local economy really benefits from all the tourists coming here

    2. And, the place is still a ghost town. So, this might be the "right place" for something, but nobody seems to know what that is, and they all seem to be going elsewhere by the thousands to find it.

      Because, it is still empty streets and sidewalks everywhere I look, around town.

    3. The thousands are not seeking a downtown-they have their own.

    4. And that's the thing. We're not a shopping destination, we're an experience destination. And we're not utilizing that.

      I know we're not a destination for the big stores, but I've always wondered why REI or Cabella's or something doesn't have a store here somewhere. Then again, Olympic Mountaineering had to close so maybe all these tourists are buying all their gear elsewhere.

      Likewise with Race Street. We have tons of the tourists running up Race to Hurricane Ridge. Except for McPhee's, there are no stores or restaurants up there to take advantage of that. Good for McPhee's, but I would think a route like that would be packed.

      Then again, tourists going along 101 to Lake Crescent, Ruby Beach and everything else out west pass along a pretty dismal part of Lincoln St to get to their destination.

      Again, not shopping area, experience area...

  12. I took a guest to Sol Duc a week ago and it was packed up there - no parking at the resort and parking almost full for the trailhead. Lake Crescent was packed too. However on the way back I drove the loop around front and first downtown to show them "downtown" and the only cars and people were at the Next Door gastropub. This was on a Saturday. Nothing to see here.

  13. I don't think the streets, sidewalks and stores in Port Angeles need to be packed with tourists. Living in a quiet town is really nice, actually.

    The reason to complain is that the so-called leadership keeps spending millions of tax dollars on "economic development", saying they want to build up the area and create more jobs. THEY want it busier.

    If we all are happy with the ghost town we have, then where is the problem? Yeah, periodically we get the rah-rah Revitalize people who show up here to try to convince us things are really booming in Port Angeles, and I think they really are trying to convince themselves, more than anyone. If they think things are great, who am I to argue?

    Empty streets are a lot easier to drive through.

    Obviously, the people driving by Port Angeles planned ahead, and brought most everything they want with them. Being two hours drive from the I-5 corridor means people can come out for a day in nature, and drive home by dinner time. No need to stay in gritty Port Angeles and look at oil tankers in the harbor.