Friends of Toppenish Creek

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 16, 2016

 

Contact: Jean Mendoza: 509-874-2798, jeanrmendoza@icloud.com

 

Investigation of the Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency

 

     Friends of Toppenish Creek is a 501 (C) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the rights of rural communities and improving oversight of industrial agriculture. FOTC operates under the simple principle that all people deserve clean air, clean water and protection from abuse that results when profit is favored over people. FOTC works through public education, citizen investigations, research, legislation, special events, and direct action.

 

     For many years FOTC has attempted to work with the Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency (YRCAA) to improve air quality in Yakima County, especially in areas near very large dairies.  But air quality is worsening.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the amount of ammonia emitted to the air in Yakima County in 2008 was 6,078 tons. In 2011 ammonia emissions were 8,054 tons. On behalf of the children and vulnerable people who live in Yakima County FOTC now seeks assistance at the state and federal levels.

 

     On Friday, June 10, 2016 FOTC sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Division of Civil Rights asking that agency to withhold further funding to YRCAA due to longstanding discrimination against people who live in the Lower Yakima Valley.

 

     On the same day FOTC sent a letter to the WA State Dept. of Ecology asking that agency to investigate and de-regulate YRCAA based on a failure to act in good faith and proof that YRCAA does not fulfill its mission, is ineffective.

 

     These are some of the motivations for these letters:

 

  1. If dairies were factories they would be required to report the massive amounts of ammonia and volatile organic compounds emitted to the ambient air. Some of these chemicals cause cancer. Others cause birth defects. All affect lung health.
  2. Yakima County has the highest rates of hospitalization for asthma, highest rates of hospitalization for myocardial infarction and the highest percentages of preterm births for all large counties in Washington State.  All these conditions have been associated with high levels of fine particulate matter in the ambient air. Yakima County is close to non-compliance with federal standards for fine particulate matter. Ammonia is a major precursor for fine particulate matter.
  3. The YRCAA created an Air Quality Management Policy and Best Management Practices for Dairy Operations policy in 2013 with the stated purpose “To clarify what constitutes ‘reasonable precautions to prevent’ emissions as required by WAC 173-400-040(3)”. FOTC believes that YRCAA does not have the authority or the technical expertise required to clarify state law.
  4. The Air Quality Management Policy and Best Management Practices for Dairy Operations policy was created behind closed doors without public input. The policy ignored the recommendations provided by citizens who commented after the policy was completed.
  5. There is absolutely no air testing involved in the Air Quality Management Policy and Best Management Practices for Dairy Operations policy and consequently no possibility of proving that air quality is changing. In order to invoke BMPs as solutions there must be objective measurements.
  6. The YRCAA does not investigate citizen complaints of air pollution in a timely manner and does not follow its own policies for investigation. It is ludicrous to test the air 48 hours after an event and state that there was no problem.
  7. The YRCAA does not provide written material in Spanish in spite of the fact that a significant portion of the population in the Lower Yakima Valley does not understand English or does not understand English well.  
  8. The YRCAA taxes the cities of Wapato, Toppenish and Harrah, as well as Yakima County for the 31,000 people who live on the Yakama Reservation. But the YRCAA provides no services to these people.
  9. In January of 2016 two local newspapers published an article entitled Study Finds Low Ammonia Emissions at Area Dairies. The publisher told FOTC that the YRCAA approved the article. It stated, “The Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency continues to work on improving air quality with local residents and businesses, including farms. Although research reveals small amounts of ammonia emissions from farms, experts say these emissions are insignificant and do not pose an overall threat to human health.” This statement is untrue, and harmful to the people who rely on a taxpayer funded agency for reliable health information.

 

     For these reasons and more FOTC believes that the YRCAA should be defunded and de-regulated. The Washington State Department of Ecology must investigate the agency and take over management of air quality in Yakima County. The EPA must intervene as a matter of environmental justice.

 

Friends of Toppenish Creek

 

_____________________________________________________________

 

PARA PUBLICACION INMEDIATA

16 de junio 2016

 

Contacto: Jean Mendoza: 509-874-2798, jeanrmendoza@icloud.com

 

La investigación de la Agencia Regional de Aire Limpio de Yakima

 

Amigos de Toppenish Creek (conocido como FOTC las siglas en ingles), es una organización de no lucrativo 501(c)(3) dedicada a la protección de los derechos de las comunidades rurales y para mejorar la supervisión de la agricultura industrial. FOTC funciona bajo el principio simple de que todas las personas merecen aire limpio, agua limpia y protección contra el abuso que se produce cuando el dinero se favorece sobre la gente. FOTC trabaja usando la educación pública, las investigaciones manejadas por los ciudadanos, análisis, la legislación, eventos especiales, y acción directa.

 

Por muchos años FOTC ha tratado de trabajar con la Agencia Regional de Aire Limpio (YRCAA, las siglas en ingles) para mejorar la calidad del aire en el Condado de Yakima, especialmente en las zonas cercanas a industrias lácteas grandes. Sin embargo, la calidad del aire está empeorando. Según la Agencia de Protección Ambiental (EPA, las siglas en inglés) en 2008 la cantidad de amoníaco emitido al aire en el Condado de Yakima fue de 6.078 toneladas. En el año 2011 las emisiones de amoníaco fueron 8.054 toneladas. De parte de los niños y las personas vulnerables que viven en el Condado de Yakima FOTC ahora busca ayuda en los niveles estatal y federal.

 

El viernes 10 de junio 2016 FOTC envió una carta a la División de EE.UU. Agencia de Protección Ambiental de Derechos Civiles pidiendo que la agencia retenga fondos para YRCAA debido a la discriminación que ha existido por mucho tiempo contra las personas que viven en el Valle Bajo de Yakima.

 

El mismo día FOTC envió una carta al Departamento de Ecología del Estado de Washington pidiendo que la Agencia desregular  e investigue  YRCAA basado en la falta de actuar de buena fe y prueba de que YRCAA no ha cumplido con su misión y porque no es efectivo.

 

Estas son algunas de las motivaciones de estas letras:

 

1. Si las industrias lácteas eran fábricas estarían obligados a informar las cantidades grandes de amoníaco y compuestos orgánicos volátiles emitidos al aire ambiente. Algunos de estos químicos causan cáncer. Otros causan defectos de nacimiento. Todo estos afectan los  pulmones.

 

2. El Condado de Yakima tiene las índices más altas de hospitalización por asma, índices más altos de hospitalización por infarto de miocardio y los más altos porcentajes de nacimientos prematuros comparado a los otros condados más grandes en el estado de Washington. Todas estas condiciones se han asociado con altos niveles de partículas finas en el aire ambiente. El Condado de Yakima está a punto de superar los estándares federales para las partículas finas en el aire. El amoníaco es una pieza fundamental para la materia participada fina.

 

3. En 2013, el YRCAA creo una policía “Las Pólizas y Prácticas Administrativas Sobre la Calidad del Aire Para las Operaciones Lecheras” con el propósito de "aclarar lo que constituye ' precauciones razonables para evitar' emisiones requerido por WAC 173-400-040 (3)". FOTC cree que YRCAA no tiene la autoridad o los conocimientos técnicos necesarios para aclarar la ley del estado.

 

4. Las Pólizas y Prácticas Administrativas Sobre la Calidad del Aire Para las Operaciones Lecheras fueron creado a puerta cerrada y sin tomar en cuento la opinión del público. Las pólizas ignoran las recomendaciones proporcionadas por los ciudadanos que hicieron comentarios después de que se completó la póliza.

 

5. No hay absolutamente ninguna prueba científica de aire en la Pólizas y Prácticas Administrativas Sobre la Calidad del Aire Para las Operaciones Lecheras por lo tanto no hay posibilidad de probar que la calidad del aire está cambiando. Para acogerse a las BMP como soluciones debe haber mediciones.

 

6. El YRCAA no investiga quejas de los ciudadanos sobre contaminación del aire en el momento oportuno y no sigue sus propias pólizas para la investigación. Es absurdo tomar pruebas del aire 48 horas después de un evento y decir que no había ningún problema.

 

7. El YRCAA no proporciona material escrito en español a pesar que una parte significativa de la población en el Valle Bajo de Yakima no entiende Inglés o no entiende bien el idioma Inglés.

 

8. El YRCAA les cobra impuestos a las cuidades de Wapato, Toppenish y Harrah, también al Condado de Yakima por las 31,000 personas que viven en la reservación Yakama. Pero el YRCAA no provee servicios a estas personas.

 

9. En enero de 2016 dos periódicos locales publicaron un artículo titulado Estudio Encuentra Bajas Emisiones de Amoníaco en la Area de Lácteos. El editor le dijo a FOTC que YRCAA había aprobado el artículo. El articulo decía: "La Agencia de Aire Limpio Regional de Yakima continúa trabajando para mejorar la calidad del aire con los residentes y negocios locales, incluyendo las granjas. Aunque la investigación revela pequeñas cantidades de emisiones de amoniaco de las granjas, los expertos dicen que estas emisiones son insignificantes y no ponen una amenaza sobre la salud de ser humanos. "Esta declaración es falsa, y perjudicial a las personas que dependen de una organización financiada por impuestos para obtener información de salud en el que pueden confiar. 

 

Por estas razones y otras, FOTC cree que deben de quitarle los fundos y desregular YRCAA. El Departamento de Ecología del Estado de Washington debe investigar YRCCA  y hacerse cargo de la administración de la calidad del aire en el Condado de Yakima. La EPA debe intervenir como un asunto de justicia ambiental.

 

_____________________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 16, 2016
Contacts:
Andrea Rodgers, Western Environmental Law Center, 206-696-2851, rodgers@westernlaw.org
Chris Wilke, Puget Soundkeeper, 206-297-7002, chris@pugetsoundkeeper.org
Helen Reddout, Community Association for Restoration of the Environment, 509-840-0335, hred1936@gmail.com
Jean Mendoza, Friends of Toppenish Creek, 509-874-2798, jeanrmendoza@icloud.com
Charlie Tebbutt, Law Offices of Charles M. Tebbutt, 541-285-3717, charlie@tebbuttlaw.com
Ecology's Draft CAFO Water Quality Permit Sacrifices Public
Health, Drinking Water, Shellfish Beds
SEATTLE – Yesterday, the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) issued a draft concentrated animal
feeding operation (CAFO) general discharge permit, replacing one that expired in 2011. Faced with the opportunity to
protect Washingtonians from industrial agriculture pollution, Ecology instead chose to ignore the recommendations of its
own scientists and bowed to "big ag," writing a convoluted, two-tiered draft permit that fails to protect our most
fundamental natural resource–clean water.
The 200,000 adult dairy cows in Washington state produce up to 20 million pounds of manure each day collectively. Too
much of this manure enters Washington’s surface and groundwater, causing significant public health and pollution
problems. For example, the Sumas-Blaine Aquifer in north Whatcom County, home to numerous industrial dairy farms, is
the major drinking water source for up to 27,000 residents. Ecology and the U.S. Geological Survey report 29 percent of
sampled wells in the aquifer exceed the nitrate maximum contaminant level (MCL), with 14 percent more than double the
MCL. Over-application of manure to fields as fertilizer is common practice and is estimated to contribute 66 percent of
nitrate inputs to these residents' water supply, and 58 percent of nitrate contamination in the Lower Yakima Valley, which
hosts the largest concentration of CAFOs in the state. Just last month Ecology issued a report confirming nitrate loading
due to over-application of manure from CAFOs "contributes significantly to groundwater nitrate contamination."
After being held hostage by the political influence of big ag during a five-year renewal process, the agency's proposed
permitting scheme does little to address this major source of water pollution. First, instead of issuing one permit that
prevents discharges of pollution to surface and groundwater, Ecology adopted big ag’s unsuccessful legislative attempt to
require a state-only permit for groundwater discharges. This regulatory regime does not require transparency and prevents
enforcement.
Second, Ecology disregarded the recommendations of its own scientific experts and did not require groundwater
monitoring as part of the permit, even though that monitoring is routine for industrial operations that discharge to
groundwater. Ecology has previously characterized groundwater monitoring as "the best indicator of risk."
Third, Ecology caved to big ag’s desire to avoid numeric manure application limits and limited soil sampling to two feet
instead of three feet, thereby inhibiting the agency’s ability to ensure CAFOs apply manure in a manner that protects
surface and groundwater.
Finally, Ecology illegally deferred to the Washington State Department of Agriculture, an agency with a proven track
record of failing to protect public health and prevent pollution from CAFOs, to determine which facilities should be
covered by a permit.
"It is truly unfortunate that Ecology has decided to disregard the science and develop a permitting scheme that fails to
protect the environment and public health," said Andrea Rodgers of the Western Environmental Law Center. "This
approach is yet another step backward and once again puts the burden on citizens to protect themselves from CAFO
pollution. We have readily available technological solutions to prevent the pollution and Ecology should be facilitating
those solutions, not standing in the way."
"Every citizen has a right to clean water. Pollution from industrial agriculture is choking our rivers, imperiling shellfish
and endangering salmon", said Chris Wilke of Puget Soundkeeper. "By removing citizen oversight, enforcement and
accountability, Ecology has done the ag lobby’s bidding, which does not bode well for our salmon or our waterways."
"After all these years, Ecology still doesn’t care about the people who suffer from CAFO pollution," said Helen Reddout,
president of the Community Association for Restoration of the Environment. "CARE has led the fight on behalf of the
public and the agencies have ignored the truth."
"In Yakima County, large dairies draw pure water from the deep aquifers for their cows and they pollute the shallow
aquifers that people use for domestic wells," said Jean Mendoza of Friends of Toppenish Creek. "Poor people can spend
over 5 percent of a family budget just for safe drinking water. The evidence is indisputable. Groundwater pollution comes
from the dairies. The groundwater feeds the Lower Yakima River, the second most polluted river in the state. This permit
must be stronger and enforceable."
Charlie Tebbutt, an attorney who successfully prosecuted a drinking water contamination case against three large dairy
CAFOs in the lower Yakima Valley, said "This proposed permit is nothing more than the stuff it is supposed to regulate.
Director Bellon has chosen to continue to put the health of tens of thousands of Washingtonians at risk, just like her
predecessors. It is shameful."
To protect Washington families, friends, and neighbors from being exposed to dangerous levels of nitrates, fecal coliform,
and other pollutants in their drinking water, Ecology must incorporate the following provisions in its final permit:
• Mandatory groundwater monitoring
• Science-based manure application requirements and restrictions
• Science-based riparian buffers for salmon-bearing streams
• Implementation of best technology for CAFO operations such as synthetically-lined manure lagoons and other
known and reasonably available technologies to eliminate discharges to surface and groundwater
Ecology is accepting public comments on the permit through 5:00 pm on August 17, 2016. Public hearings will be held on
Tuesday July 26, 2016 at 6:00 pm at Whatcom Community College and Thursday July 28, 2016 at 6:00 pm at the Yakima
Convention Center. Ecology will also be holding a webinar on the draft permit on Wednesday July 27 at 2:00 pm.
Background:
Washington is home to over 400 dairies, with an average herd size of 500 cows. Dairies with more than 500 cows
represent more than three fourths of the state’s production. The vast majority of these operations are CAFOs, in which
animals are not kept in grazing pastures, but packed together in barns and feedlots, standing in their own waste every day
of the year. An adult dairy cow generates 120 pounds of manure per day. The 200,000 adult dairy cows in Washington
produce up to 20 million pounds of manure each day, collectively. Much of this manure is getting into Washington’s
surface and groundwater, causing significant public health and pollution problems.
Agencies have found that all unlined manure storage lagoons leak at least 1,000 gallons per day per acre. There are
approximately 415 unlined manure storage lagoons in close proximity to the waters that feed Puget Sound, all of which
are contributing nitrates, fecal coliform, and other pollutants to the waters of the state.
Groundwater is the drinking water supply for approximately 60% of people who reside in Washington state. Several areas
of the state with high concentrations of CAFOs, including the Sumas-Blaine Aquifer and the Lower Yakima Valley, have
been found to have high levels of nitrates in drinking water. Nitrates are toxins. High doses particularly threaten pregnant
mothers, babies, and seniors, causing methemoglobinemia, or "blue baby syndrome," which can be fatal.
The Washington Department of Health, other agencies and tribal governments have confirmed that manure from dairy
CAFOs is largely responsible for the shellfish bed closures that have plagued Puget Sound.
In January 2015, federal district judge Thomas Rice found that Cow Palace Dairy, a large CAFO in the Lower Yakima
Valley, was creating a public health risk by over-application of manure and leaking manure lagoons. The judge found that
the dairy’s lagoons leaked a minimum of three million gallons per year, contributing to the contamination of nearby
drinking water wells. Local citizens and the Dairy agreed to strict operational changes to remedy the problems, and
Ecology has ignored these basic technological fixes.
Report:
Agricultural Pollution in Puget Sound: Inspiration to Change Washington's Reliance on Voluntary Incentive Programs to
Save Salmon
Maps:
Puget Sound lagoon distance from nearest water body map: http://bit.ly/1MZnLzz
Whatcom and Skagit Counties distance from nearest water body map: http://bit.ly/1SkvfzX
Whatcom and Skagit County lagoon excavation depth map: http://bit.ly/1feWygS
###

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

PARA PUBLICACION INMEDIATA

16 juno 2016

 

Contactos:

 

Andrea Rodgers, Western Environmental Law Center, 206-696-2851, rodgers@westernlaw.org

Chris Wilke, Puget Soundkeeper, 206-297-7002, chris@pugetsoundkeeper.org

Helen Reddout, Community Association for Restoration of the Environment, 509-840-0335, hred1936@gmail.com

Jean Mendoza, Friends of Toppenish Creek, 509-874-2798, jeanrmendoza@icloud.com

Charlie Tebbutt, Law Offices of Charles M. Tebbutt, 541-285-3717, charlie@tebbuttlaw.com

 

Proyecto de Ecología CAFO Calidad del Agua Permiso sacrificios públicos Salud, agua potable, bancos de mariscos

 

SEATTLE - Ayer, el Departamento de Ecología del Estado de Washington (Ecología) anuncio un permiso preliminar a sobre la alimentación concentrados de animales (conocido con las sigas CAFO en inglés) reemplazando el permiso que expire en 2011. Enfrentados con la oportunidad de  proteger los ciudadanos de Washington de la contaminación industrial de la agricultura, el Departamento de Ecología optó a ignorar las recomendaciones de sus propios científicos y cedido al lado del “gran agricultura (ag)” escribiendo un permiso muy complicado, negándonos el derecho más básico – agua limpia.  

 

Colectivamente, las vacas lecheras en el Estado de Washington producen hasta 20 millones libras de estiércol cada día. Gran parte de este estiércol entra en aguas superficiales y subterráneas de Washington, causando problemas en la salud del público y en la contaminación del agua. Por ejemplo, los Sumas-Blaine Acuífero en el norte del Condado de Whatcom, el hogar con muchos tambos industriales, la fuente más importante de agua potable para los 27,000 residentes. Ecología y el Servicio Geológico de EE.UU. reportan 29 por ciento de pozos muestreados en el acuífero superan el nivel máximo de contaminación de nitratos (MCL), con 14 por ciento más del doble de la MCL. La aplicación excesiva de estiércol a los campos como fertilizante es una práctica común y se estima que el 66 por ciento de los nitratos entrañan al agua de estos residentes, y en el Valle Bajo del condado de Yakima, como 58 por ciento de la contaminación por nitratos, la área con el mayor concentración de CAFO en el estado. Apenas el mes pasado Ecología emitió un reporte que confirma la carga de nitrato debido al sobre-aplicación de estiércol de las CAFO "contribuye significantemente la contaminación de las aguas subterráneas por caso de nitratos.”

 

Después de haber sido secuestrada por la influencia política de gran agricultura “ag” durante un proceso de renovación que duro cinco años, el permiso promovido por de la agencia hace poco para afrontar la tema importante de la contaminación del agua. Primero, en lugar de emitir un permiso que evita las descargas de la contaminación de aguas superficiales y subterráneas, Ecología adoptó el propósito legislativo sometido por la industria de agricultura que fallo que requerida un permiso por el estado para las descargas de aguas subterráneas. Este permiso no requiere transparencia y evita ejecución de la aplicación.

En segundo lugar, Ecología omitió las recomendaciones de sus propios expertos científicos y no requirió el monitoriamente del agua subterránea como parte del permiso, a pesar de que el monitoriamente es parte de la rutina para las operaciones industriales que descargan a las aguas subterráneas. Anteriormente, Ecología ha caracterizado el monitoreo del agua subterránea como "el mejor indicador de riesgo".

 

En tercer lugar, Ecología cedió al deseo de AG para evitar límites numéricos de aplicación de estiércol y limitó los muestras de la tierra a dos pies en lugar de tres pies, lo cual inhibe la capacidad de la agencia para asegurar que CAFO están aplicando el estiércol de una manera que protege la superficie y las aguas subterráneas.

 

Por último, Ecología diferido ilegalmente al Departamento de Agricultura, una agencia con un historial probado de no proteger la salud pública y evitar la contaminación de las CAFO del estado de Washington, para determinar qué instalaciones deben estar cubiertos por un permiso.

 

“Es verdaderamente lamentable que la Ecología decidido hacer caso omiso de la ciencia y el desarrollo de un esquema que no protege el medio ambiente y la salud pública", dijo Andrea Rodgers del Centro de Derecho Ambiental occidental. "Este enfoque es otro paso para atrás y una vez más pone la carga sobre los ciudadanos para protegerse de la contaminación CAFO. Tenemos soluciones tecnológicas fácilmente disponibles para prevenir la contaminación y  Ecología debe usar estas soluciones, no interponerse en el camino.” "Todos los ciudadano tienen el derecho a agua limpia. Contaminación por la agricultura industrial está asfixiando nuestros ríos, poniendo en peligro los mariscos y poniendo en peligro el salmón", dijo Chris Wilke de Puget Soundkeepers. "Al quitarle el control, ejecución y la rendición de la gente, Ecología hico el mandato de agricultura, que no es un buen augurio para nuestra salmón o las vías fluviales."

 

"Después de todos estos años, Ecología todavía no se preocupa por las personas que sufren por la contaminación CAFO," dijo Helen Reddout, presidente de la Asociación de la Comunidad para la Restauración del Medio Ambiente. "CARE ha llevado la lucha a favor del público y las agencias han ignorado la verdad."

 

"En el condado de Yakima, lecherías grandes atraen agua pura de los acuíferos profundos para sus vacas y contaminan los acuíferos poco profundos que la gente usa para pozos domésticos," dijo Jean Mendoza de Amigos de Toppenish Creek. "La gente pobre usar 5 por ciento de un presupuesto familiar sólo en agua potable. La evidencia es indiscutible. Contaminación del agua subterránea proviene de las industrias lácteas. El agua subterránea alimenta el bajo Río Yakima, el rio segundo más contaminado en el estado. Este permiso debe ser más fuerte y ejecutable".

 

Charlie Tebbutt, un abogado que tuvo éxito con un caso de contaminación del agua potable contra tres grandes CAFO lecherías en el Valle Bajo de Yakima, dijo: "Este permiso propuesto no es más que las cosas que se supone que debe regular. Directora Bellon ha optado seguir poniendo la salud de cientos de miles ciudadanos de Washington en riesgo, al igual que sus predecesores. Es una vergüenza".

 

Para proteger a las familias de Washington, amigos y vecinos de la exposición de nitratos a niveles peligrosos, coliformes fecales y otros contaminantes en el agua potable, Ecología debe incorporar las siguientes disposiciones en su permiso final:”

 

• Obligar el monitoreo del agua subterránea

• Requisitos y restricciones de aplicación de estiércol basadas en la ciencia

• Zonas de amortiguación ribereñas basadas en la ciencia para las corrientes portadoras de salmón

• Implementación de la mejor tecnología para las operaciones de CAFO, como las lagunas de estiércol alineados sintéticamente y otras tecnologías conocidas y razonablemente disponibles para eliminar los vertidos a la superficie y la ecología de las aguas subterráneas. Ecologia está aceptando comentarios del público sobre el permiso a las 5:00 pm el 17 de agosto de 2016.

 

Ecología está aceptando comentarios del público sobre el permiso hasta las 5:00 pm el 17 de agosto 2016. Las audiencias públicas tendrán acabo el martes 26 julio 2016 a las 6:00 pm en el Colegio Comunitario de Whatcom y el  jueves 28 de julio 2016 a las 6:00 pm en el Centro de Convenciones de Yakima. Ecología también llevará a cabo un seminario sobre el propuesto del  permiso, el miércoles 27 de julio a las 2:00 pm.

 

Historial:

 

En el estado de Washington hay más de 400 lecherías, con un tamaño medio rebaño de 500 vacas. Lecherías con más de 500 vacas representan más de tres cuartos de la producción del estado. La gran mayoría de estas operaciones son las CAFO, donde los animales no se llevan a los campos de pastoreo, pero solamente en los establos y corrales de engorde, de pie en sus propios desechos todos los días del año. Una vaca lechera adulta genera 120 libras de estiércol por día. Las 200.000 vacas adultas lecheras en Washington producir hasta 20 millones de libras de estiércol cada día, colectivamente. Gran parte de este estiércol se está metiendo y contaminando las aguas superficiales y subterráneas de Washington causando problemas grandes en la salud pública.

 

Las agencias han descubierto que todas las lagunas de almacenamiento de estiércol sin forro fugas a lo menos 1,000 galones por día por acre. Hay aproximadamente 415 lagunas de almacenamiento de estiércol sin forro en las proximidades de las aguas de Puget Sound, todos los cuales contribuyen nitratos, coliformes fecales y otros contaminantes a las aguas del estado.

 

El agua subterránea es el abastecimiento de agua potable para aproximadamente 60% de las personas que residen en el estado de Washington. Varias áreas del estado con altas concentraciones de CAFO, incluyendo los Sumas-Blaine Acuífero y el Valle Bajo de Yakima,  tienen altos niveles de nitratos en el agua potable. Los nitratos son toxinas. Las dosis altas ponen en riegos las madres embarazadas, bebés y personas mayores, causando metahemoglobinemia o "síndrome del bebé azul", que puede ser fatal.

 

El Departamento de Salud, otras agencias y gobiernos de las tribus de Washington han confirmado que el estiércol de las CAFO lácteos es en gran parte responsable de la supresión de camas para cría de moluscos que han afectado a Puget Sound.

 

En enero de 2015, el juez federal Thomas Rice decidió que la lechería, Palacio de Vacas, una gran CAFO en el Valle Bajo de Yakima, estaba poniendo en riesgo la salud pública por causa de aplicación de estiércol y fugas de las lagunas de estiércol. El juez consideró que las lagunas de la leche filtraron un mínimo de tres millones de galones por año, lo que contribuye a la contaminación de pozos de agua potable cercanos. Los ciudadanos locales y la lechería estuvieron de acuerdo con los cambios operativos estrictos para remediar los problemas, y Ecología ha ignorado estas soluciones tecnológicas básicas.

 

Reporte:

La Contaminación Agrícola en Puget Sound: La Inspiración para Cambiar la Dependencia de Washington Sobre los Programas de Incentivos Voluntarios para Proteger Salmón

 

Mapas:

Puget Sound: Mapa de Distancia de Lagunas a las Aguas Más Cercanas: http://bit.ly/1MZnLzz

 

Whatcom y los Condados de Skagit; Mapa de Distancia de Lagunas a las Aguas Más Cercanas: http://bit.ly/1SkvfzX

 

Whatcom y el Condado de Skagit: Mapa de Lagunas de Profundidad de Excavación: http://bit.ly/1feWygS

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 An Open Letter to Washington State Legislators

Friends of Toppenish Creek

 

November, 2015

Dear Legislators, 

     We are citizens from the Yakima Valley who see a great divide between words on paper and the reality surrounding us. We are not attorneys but we consider ourselves sufficiently educated to read the laws and identify problems. We are worried.

     Washington State government has a fiduciary responsibility to protect state resources for future generations. Washington State government has an executive responsibility to enforce the laws of the land. Washington State government has a constitutional responsibility to treat all citizens equally and not favor one group over others. In spite of these facts . . .  in Yakima County the environment, quality of life, and public health are degrading before our eyes. Here is the evidence.

 Air Quality:                                                                              

     According to the Environmental Protection Agency 6,078 tons of agricultural ammonia was emitted to the air in Yakima County in 2008. This is ammonia from livestock. (U.S. EPA, 2008). If these operations were factories they would be required to report the emissions. Although Yakima County is large, most of this ammonia was emitted in the Lower Yakima Valley where over 110,000 milk cows and 200,000 head of ancillary livestock are confined in barns and lots.  When operators flush manure from the barns they have to turn on huge fans to blow out the fumes, otherwise the animals would die.

     By 2011 the EPA estimates that Yakima County ammonia emissions increased to 8,054 tons. The next largest emissions come from Grant County with 4,651 tons. The Department of Ecology and the Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency refuse to perform air monitoring for ammonia or for hydrogen sulfide. Both of these chemicals are toxic air pollutants according to WAC 173 – 460. In addition we have a particulate problem. When the wind blows stacks of drying manure become fecal dust.

Special Privileges:

     In Washington State implementation of the Clean Water Act with respect to dairies has been taken from the Department of Ecology and given to the Department of Agriculture. WSDA’s mission is to promote agriculture, not to protect the waters of the state. No other industry receives such special treatment.

     Tax payers support the WSDA Dairy Nutrient Managements Program with over $1.2 million per year. This funding was increased for the next biennium. Tax payers are spending $2.3 million on the Lower Yakima Valley Groundwater Management Area just to begin creating a plan to address water pollution. Tax payers pick up the tab for farmworker health, for associated sanitary issues, for environmental studies, for drilling new municipal wells, for Darigold tax breaks, for marketing projects, and for infrastructure. The continuous flow of five axle manure trucks damages country roads and adds more air pollution. Drivers do not even have to obtain truckers’ licenses.  In our valley when a truck filled with manure spills the contents on public roads Yakima County sends out a crew at tax payer expense to clean up the mess. There is no penalty for spilling manure next to children who are waiting for a school bus.

Dairy Nutrient Management Program

     For better or worse Washington State relies on soil testing rather than groundwater monitoring to minimize seepage of nitrates to the groundwater. Nitrates are highly soluble, a health hazard at high concentrations and are used as an indicator of groundwater pollution. The WSDA Dairy Nutrient Management Program states, “As far back as 2005, DNMP set soil level targets at 30 parts per million (ppm) in the first foot of soil (at the end of harvest). Soil nitrate levels at or above 45 ppm in the first foot generates a conversation about nutrient application rate, source, timing, and place. If three out of the last five years’ worth of records have soil nitrate levels at or above 45 ppm, DNMP takes the first step down a compliance path.” The DNMP goes on to say “If soil tests are above 15 ppm nitrate – N in 25 – 36 inch depth, reduce nitrogen applications.” This sounds wonderful on paper. In practice, even though Dairy Nutrient Management Plans require soil testing, many, many operators simply do not test. When they do test they apparently feel no obligation to act on the results.

   a. Here is a 2015 e-mail from Chuck Timblin to George Boggs, two DNMP employees from Whatcom County.

 

George,

I also included a copy of the standard cover letter that was provided to the dairy operator along with the assessment; in addition to the assessment, the farm plan map and wsp spreadsheet were also updated for every farm assessed. Not one producer ever contacted me to have their DNMP updated. Some practices called for in the assessments were installed but most weren’t. I also included one Planned Conservation Practices document; while the producer signed the plan and the board approved it (nearly 3 years ago), to my knowledge not one practice called for in the plan was every implemented .

 

     This information was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act in May of 2015. Links to copies of the DNMP documents are:

 

   b. The only manure digester in the Lower Yakima Valley is owned by George DeRuyter & Son. This digester was largely built with public monies. It does nothing to reduce nitrates in the manure. Recently DeRuyters announced that the digester was not making enough profit. They asked for and received around $3 million in Yakima County assistance and buy-in to change the operation to a natural gas generation project. Between 1995 and 2012 this dairy received over $130,000 in farm subsidies. (Environmental Working Group, 2013)

     Meanwhile George DeRuyter & Son continuously pollute the land and water by over applying manure to crops. Here is a table with nitrate levels for 2013 from fourteen fields they own.

Field ID #

1ft  NO3 ppm

2 ft NO3 ppm

3 ft NO3 ppm

Organic Matter

7569

12

7

5

3.40%

7570

19

24

14

3.50%

7571

9

4

3

2.70%

7572

184

166

173

3.30%

7573

263

254

263

1.60%

7574

47

82

102

2.50%

7575

31

74

76

1.90%

7576

161

161

139

3.40%

7577

25

28

27

2.40%

7578

49

38

22

2.20%

7579

39

38

31

3.20%

7580

168

125

95

3.20%

7581

10

7

8

2.00%

7582

37

32

21

1.90%

 

     Note that 10 out of the 14 fields had nitrate levels above the 15 ppm level at three feet. Where is WSDA? What are they doing about this situation? The data is from 2013 – this has been going on for a long time, under the watchful eye of the WSDA Dairy Nutrient Management Program.   

   c. Another way to look at risk for pollution is to assess how many pounds of nitrogen are applied to each acre of cropland. As a rule of thumb growers should apply no more than 250 pounds per acre. At most they might apply 300 pounds per acre for triticale.  Anything in excess of this number leaches to the groundwater. According to their nutrient management plans dairies test soil prior to planting and only add nitrogen fertilizers and manures in amounts that plants can utilize, i.e. agronomic rates.

   The Cow Palace is another large facility in the Lower Yakima Valley. It is one of the cleaner dairies and dairy inspectors have actually congratulated this facility for doing a good job. Here is a snapshot from one 75 acre Cow Palace field:     

     In September, 2012 the field had 280 lbs. /acre nitrate and 32lbs. /acre ammonium in the top foot of soil, and 245 lbs. /acre nitrate and 9 lbs. /acre ammonium in the second foot of soil for a combined total of 525 lbs. /acre residual nitrate and 566 lbs. /acre total available nitrogen.  Phosphorous levels were also excessive.

     In October, 2012 Cow Palace planted triticale in this field. Cow Palace added more manure in October and again in November. The crop yield was about 6.2 tons per acre.

     Cow Palace did not do required testing for residual nitrates in the spring but they applied at least 11,400,000 gallons of manure during 2013. Cow Palace did not test manure for nitrogen content but used an estimate of 1.5 pounds per 1,000 gallons. Records show that the range for nitrogen concentration in Cow Palace lagoons and ponds is 1.67 to 33.7 lbs. /1,000 gallons.

     In September, 2013 the field had 304 lbs. /acre nitrate in the top foot of soil, 221 lbs. /acre nitrate in the second foot of soil and 229 lbs. /acre in the third foot of soil. There was 754 lbs. /acre nitrate in this field at the end of the 2013 growing season and much, maybe most, of that nitrate leached into the groundwater.

     There is an 85 foot deep well down gradient from the Cow Palace where nitrate levels have risen from 190 mg/L in 2013 to 234 mg/L in 2014. Safe levels for drinking are 10 mg/L.

     More complete data for the Cow Palace Dairy is available from court documents in the recent litigation CARE and CSF v. Cow Palace. The dairy lost this case because they did not follow their own nutrient management plans. See http://charlietebbutt.com/cases.html

     Between 1995 and 2012 the parent company for the Cow Palace received over $358,000 in farm subsidies. (Environmental Working Group, 2013)

   d. The Lower Yakima Valley Groundwater Management Area is conducting deep soil samples for fields in the target area in order to better understand the movement of nitrogen through soils to groundwater. In the spring of 2015 forty eight fields were sampled. This was not random sampling. The only fields that were tested were those that growers and producers volunteered. Here is a table with results for corn/triticale (double cropped) and for alfalfa. Remember that anything below three feet leaches to the groundwater and that the extreme upper limit for crop uptake is 300 lb. /acre.

Sample

Crop

Nitrate #/Acre

         
   

1 foot

2 foot

3 foot

4 foot

5 foot

6 foot

Total

                 

2035

Corn/Triticale

55

56

56

103

110

93

473

2036

Corn/Triticale

90

47

31

23

12

6

209

2037

Corn/Triticale

50

106

226

183

149

72

786

2038

Triticale

116

137

108

45

17

7

430

2040

Corn/Triticale

41

25

13

36

88

68

271

2041

Corn/Triticale

4

3

3

4

6

12

32

2050

Corn/Triticale

18

9

21

43

61

51

203

2058

Corn/Triticale

119

986

892

694

407

287

3385

2063

Corn/Triticale

227

337

424

528

   

1516

2064

Corn/Triticale

52

26

43

26

   

147

2067

Corn/Triticale

19

97

197

115

40

27

495

2068

Corn/Triticale

7

35

137

115

   

294

2070

Corn/Triticale

37

26

63

83

51

38

298

2076

Corn

182

87

150

73

248

30

770

2077

Corn/Triticale

26

22

26

25

35

41

175

2078

Corn/Triticale

49

89

86

156

172

111

663

2079

Corn/Triticale

9

66

127

173

98

108

581

2080

Corn/Triticale

15

15

27

44

   

101

2081

Corn/Triticale

75

48

40

42

32

24

261

2082

Corn/Triticale

41

22

55

70

58

74

320

                 

2039

Alfalfa

45

104

93

131

314

360

1047

2042

Alfalfa & Triticale

29

28

12

7

8

5

89

2042

Alfalfa & Triticale

32

16

6

3

13

16

86

2044

Alfalfa

29

152

457

623

706

409

2376

2045

Alfalfa

29

4

20

22

13

31

119

2047

Alfalfa

113

466

913

951

626

252

3321

2072

Alfalfa & Grass

39

20

21

15

21

24

140

2073

Alfalfa

36

35

31

38

   

140

2074

Alfalfa

75

55

68

97

94

26

415

 

 

Fourteen out of the twenty nine fields listed above, approximately half, had a total of over 300 pounds of nitrate per acre prior to planting. What is the WSDA nutrient management program doing about this over application?

                                                 

   e. Thirty-eight percent of Washington dairy cows live in the Yakima County. Sixty four percent of the dairy owned land in Washington State where manure and fertilizer are over applied is in Yakima County. How does WSDA address this problem? It appears that they focus their efforts on other parts of the state and look the other way when it comes to the Yakima Valley.

 

     Here is a table for 2004 to 2013, derived from a 2014 WSDA presentation. It compares the Dairy Nutrient Management Program’s attention to dairy problems statewide with Yakima County. Please look closely and think about all the fields above where manure was over applied. WSDA sent a grand total of 72 warning letters to Yakima County dairies during this nine year period.

 

   

State

Yakima Co.

% of total done in Yakima Co.

Routine Inspections

2519

385

15%

 

Other Inspections

1698

151

9%

 

Investigations

269

54

20%

 

Documented Discharges

72

3

4%

Not the same as reported discharge

Potential to Pollute

534

98

18%

 

Land Applications – Field & Outside NMP

       

Discharges

25

2

8%

 
 

Penalties

4

0

0%

 
 

Orders

2

0

0%

 
 

Not. Of Correction

19

1

5%

 

Potential to Pollute

103

14

14%

 
 

Penalties

0

0

   
 

Orders

3

0

0%

 
 

Not. Of Correction

22

4

18%

 
 

Warning Letters

78

10

13%

 

Land Applications – N. Balance & Records

       

Discharges

0

0

   

Potential to Pollute

232

55

24%

 
 

Penalties

1

2

200%

?    This is their data

 

Orders

2

0

0%

 
 

Not. Of Correction

18

3

17%

 
 

Warning Letters

211

50

24%

 

Collection, Conveyance, Storage of Manure

 

Discharges

45

1

2%

 
 

Penalties

13

0

0%

 
 

Orders

7

0

0%

 
 

Not. Of Correction

23

1

4%

 

Potential to Pollute

164

19

12%

 
 

Penalties

0

0

0%

 
 

Orders

0

0

0%

 
 

Not. of Correction

31

7

23%

 
 

Warning Letters

133

12

9%

 
           

 

Unfair Burden

     Approximately 85,000 people live in the part of Yakima County south of Union Gap. Experts tell us that we are not statistically significant until that number is 100,000. The average age and median income are lower than those for most of the state and for the rest of Yakima County. Some knowledgeable people estimate that 70% of farmworkers are undocumented. Children and the undocumented cannot vote. The undocumented cannot obtain health insurance under the Affordable Care Act . . . . But, depending on your perspective, that can be a good thing. This population is highly unlikely to complain.

     People who are familiar with working conditions in other industries understand the concept of a forty hour work week. This is not the case in agriculture. When a worker arrives at a warehouse early in the morning he or she understands that the work lasts until the boss says it is time to quit. If someone complains or calls in sick they lose their job because, “They don’t really want to work.” If a school calls a working mother to pick up her sick child she cannot leave. If she leaves it means, “She doesn’t really want to work.”

     When farmworkers organize a church breakfast the meal starts at five so the workers can be in the fields by six. Workers leave their cell phones on during church services so they can respond to calls. During harvest the job is seven days a week, 12 to 16 hours a day. At the end of the day parents want and need to spend time with their children. Family is the reason people work so hard. They do not have time to attend the endless and fruitless meetings that supposedly protect the groundwater and public health.

     How many of us, even those privileged with higher education, are willing to choose  the difficult reading and in depth study required for participation in these discussions? We, who write to you on behalf of ourselves and our neighbors, have spent thousands of unpaid hours and thousands of dollars from our own accounts studying these issues, attending meetings and sharing honest information from a part of Washington State that is suffering severe pollution. If we were not retired we would not be able to do this frustrating work.

Response from the Attorney General’s Office

     In April of 2014 Assistant Attorney General Phyllis Barney from the WA State Attorney General’s Office talked to the Regulatory Workgroup for the Lower Yakima Valley Groundwater Management Area. An attorney for environmental groups was not allowed to attend but Darigold sent their attorney, Steven Rowe. He actively monitored Ms. Barney’s responses.  We later asked Ms. Barney what recourse ordinary citizens have when our wells are polluted or run dry due to actions by industrial farms. Her reply was, “They can sue.” This was the sum total of her reply, “They can sue.”

Request

     Please remember: Washington State government has a fiduciary responsibility to protect state resources for future generations. Washington State government has an executive responsibility to enforce the laws of the land. Washington State government has a constitutional responsibility to treat all citizens equally and not favor one group over others.

     When you think about global warming, please think about the impact of concentrated animal feeding operations. Problems with reactive nitrogen and agriculture are real (Sutton et al, 2011; Dubrovsky et al, 2010; Science Advisory Board, 2010; Tomich et al, 2012; United Nations High Commissioner). A large portion of those problems in Washington State are concentrated in the Lower Yakima Valley.

     When you think about the proposed Department of Ecology National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit and you hear arguments for weakening this rule remember the data presented here. This is our best opportunity to avoid terrible costs and burdens to tax payers for cleaning up polluted aquifers. We can learn from the California experience without repeating it here. (Harter & Lund, 2012)

     When you have an opportunity to revise RCW 90.44.050 so that dairies cannot withdraw unlimited amounts of water from declining aquifers think about our words and the state responsibility to protect all citizens including future generations. (WA DOE, 2011)

     When you have an opportunity to strengthen air quality regulations remember the ammonia and hydrogen sulfide in Yakima County.

Respectfully,                                                                          

 

Jean Mendoza – Executive Director

3142 Signal Peak Road

White Swan, WA 98952

 

 

 

References:

Dubrovsky et al. (2010) Nutrients in the Nation’s Streams and Groundwater, 1992–2004. US Geological Survey, Circular 1350. Retrieved from http://groundwaternitrate.ucdavis.edu/files/138963.pdf

Environmental Working Group (2013) Agricultural Subsidies Yakima County. Retrieved from http://farm.ewg.org/top_recips.php?fips=53077&progcode=totalfarm&regionname=YakimaCounty,Washington

Harter, T., & Lund, J. (2012). Addressing Nitrate in California’s Drinking Water: Executive Summary. Addressing Nitrates in California's Drinking Water. Retrieved from http://groundwaternitrate.ucdavis.edu/

Science Advisory Board 2011) Reactive Nitrogen in the United States: An Analysis of Inputs, Flows, Consequences, and Management Options, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved from http://groundwaternitrate.ucdavis.edu/files/138962.pdf

Sutton et al. (2011) The European Union Nitrogen Assessment. Retrieved from http://www.nine-esf.org/ENA-Book

Tebbutt Law Offices (2015) CARE v. Cow Palace Retrieved from http://charlietebbutt.com/cases.html

Tomich et al. (2012) The California Nitrogen Assessment. Retrieved from http://asi.ucdavis.edu/programs/sarep/research-initiatives/are/nutrient-mgmt/california-nitrogen-assessment/intro-to-the-california-nitrogen-assessment

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) (2012) Report on the Future of Sustainable World Food Production. Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/docrep/015/an894e/an894e00.pdf

United Nations High Commissioner, (2011) Drinking Water and Sanitation in the United States, United Nations. Retrieved from http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/18session/A-HRC-18-33-Add4_en.pdf

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2008) Air Emissions Inventory. Retrieved from http://www3.epa.gov/ttn/chief/net/2008inventory.html

U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (2011) Air Emissions Inventory. Retrieved from http://www3.epa.gov/ttn/chief/net/2011inventory.html

Washington State Department of Agriculture (2014) Dairy Nutrient Management Program. Retrieved from http://www.yakimacounty.us/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/528

Washington State Department of Ecology (2011) Stock Water Exemption under the Groundwater Code. Retrieved from http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wr/rights/easterday.html

 ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________


A Recent History of Native America and the European Expansion on the Columbian Plateau 

Pre-Contact: Prior to the arrival of the Europeans between 50,000 and 150,000 Native Americans lived on what is now called the Columbian plateau which encompasses 13,000 square miles of land in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia between the Cascade Mountains to the west and the Rocky Mountains to the east. The many tribes and bands lived a nomadic life governed by the cycles of nature as they harvested the plentiful salmon, along with native plants and game. Life was structured around family and spirit life which included a Creator and the relationship between people and the earth.   

1680: Pueblo Indians in New Mexico revolt. As a result horses are available to Natives. 

1710: Horses arrive on the Plateau.

1775: First outbreak of small pox along the Pacific coast.

1778: Captain James Cook explores the Washington and Oregon coast.

1782: Small pox strikes the interior tribes.

1792: Captain Robert Gray explores the mouth of the N’chi Wana and names it the Columbia after his ship.

1805: Lewis and Clark travel down the Snake and Columbia Rivers on their journey of exploration. 

1807-1808: A wave of “distemper” spreads over the interior.

1807-1820’s: The Hudson Bay Company, the Pacific Fur Company, and the Northwest Company set up trade relations in the region.

1824-1825: An epidemic of smallpox strikes the region.

1830-1833: Malaria strikes the lower Columbia and the Willamette Valley. Ninety percent of the Native population in the Willamette Valley dies.

1834-1843: Arrival of Protestant and Catholic missionaries. During this period Christianity is well received in the region. Schools and farms are established by the missionaries.

1842: The first immigrants arrived on the Oregon Trail. The number of settlers increases rapidly over the next few years and some of the missions change their focus to serving the new homesteaders.

1846: Scarlet fever strikes the Cayuse Indians.

1847-1848: A measles epidemic strikes the region.

1847- 1848: The Cayuse War after missionaries Marcus and Narcissa Whitman along with 13 other whites are killed. The Cayuse perceive a relationship between the missionaries and the new diseases.

1848: Gold is discovered in California.

 1853: Washington territory is separated from Oregon territory. Isaac Stevens is named Governor and Indian Agent. General McClellan and the army survey the region for a new railroad. Smallpox attacks again.

1854-1856: Governor Stevens travels throughout the region signing treaties between tribes and the United States government. In 1855 he calls a council at Walla Walla in which the Yakima, Umatilla and Nez Perce sign treaties under threat of extermination. The area is immediately opened up to white settlement in spite of the fact that the treaty has not been ratified.

1855: Gold is discovered in Washington and Idaho.

1856-1858: The Yakama Wars.

1859: The treaties are ratified. 

1863: The Nez Perce reservation is reduced from 7.5 million acres to 750,000 acres.

 1865: The U.S. Civil war ends.

1865-1883: The Methodist Reverend James Wilbur serves as Indian Agent to the Yakamas. President Grant assigns this reservation to the Methodist church.

1871: The end of treaty making.

1872: The various reservations are assigned to Religious Societies 

1877-1878; The Nez Perce War. The Nez Perce elude three U.S. armies as they attempt a retreat to Canada. They are captured and marched to the Oklahoma Indian territory in mid-winter.

1890: End of the “Indian Wars”. The Native population had been reduced to 5% or less of the Pre-Columbian total in North America.

1880-1980: A policy of assimilation and acculturation was set up within the United States and Canada in the form of a system of boarding schools for Indian children. Mortality was high in the boarding schools often reaching 50% or greater.

1885: Umatilla Reservation reduced in size.  

1887: The Dawes Act. (Allotment Act). Reservations are no longer held as tribal property. Land is assigned to individual families and as such can be sold to white settlers.

1906-1907: Violent conflict on the Yakama reservation over the sale of allotted lands. The Jones Bill attempts to allow sale of 60 acres from each Yakama’s eighty acre allotment. The attempt is thwarted.

1914; Allotment rolls closed.

1924: Indian Citizenship Act gives Natives the right to vote.

1934: The Johnson-O’Malley Act provides for education, health and welfare.

1934: The Indian Reorganization Act provides for tribal self-government.

1938: The beginning of dam construction on the Columbia and Snake Rivers.

1944: The National Congress of American Indians founded in Denver, Colorado.

1946: Indian Claims Commission established to end Indian Land Claims.

1950’s to 1960’s: Efforts to terminate relationship of tribes to the U.S. government and to no longer recognize Indians as Indians.  

1954: Indian Health Service transferred from the Dept. of the Interior to the Public Health Service within the Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare.

 1968: American Indian Civil Rights Act is passed.

1968: American Indian Movement formed to protest treatment of American Indians.

1969: In Sohappy v. Smith the courts grant “a fair and equitable share of all fish . . to Indian fisherman on the Columbia.”

1972: Pahto (Mt. Adams) returned to the Yakamas.

1974: The Boldt decision defines treaty fishing on Puget Sound.

1975: Indian Independence Act passed.

1978: The Native American Religious Freedom Act passed.

1978: The Indian Child Welfare Act.

1983: Cook’s Landing Indians convicted of illegal fishing in “Salmon scam” sting operation.

1987: Salmon scam defendants acquitted.

2000: The Governor of Washington State intervenes to prevent the Yakama Nation from enforcing a ban on alcohol sales on the reservation.

 

References:

Akwesane Notes 1977. “Killing our Future: Sterilization and Experiments.”  Akwesane Notes 9:4-7.

Carpio, M. (1995), “Lost Generation”: The Involuntary Sterilization of Indian Woman. MA Thesis, Arizona State University.

Cebula, L. (2003). Plateau Indians and the Quest for Spiritual Power. University of Nebraska Press. Lincoln.

Churchill, W. (2004). Kill the Indian, Save the Man. City Lights Books. San Francisco.

Hunn, E.S. (1990). Nch’i Wana, “The Big River”. University of Washington Press. Seattle

Jaimes, M.A. (ed.) (1992). State of Native America. South End Press. Boston.

Jarvis, G.M. (1977). Theft of Life. Akwesasne Notes. Sept.

Lawrence, J. (2000). The Indian Health Service and the Sterilization of Native American Women.  American Indian Quarterly 24, 3:400-419.

Prucha, F.P. (2000). Documents of United States Indian Policy. University of Nebraska Press. Lincoln.  

Relander, C. (1986). Drummers and Dreamers. Pacific Northwest National Parks and Forests Association. Seattle.

 

 

 

 


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