Dec 15, 2006

Governor Requests $220 Million for Puget Sound

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire has proposed a $220 million plan to clean up the Puget Sound over the next two years.

Gregoire is a former Washington Ecology Director, and told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that the Puget Sound is one of her top priorities.

The announcement comes after the Puget Sounds Partnership appointed by the Governor presented its final report on what needs to be done to reduce pollution. The report estimates the total clean up would cost nearly $9 billion dollars between now and 2020.

The plans for the sound include cleaning up over 60 sites contaminated by toxic substances within a half-mile of the sound, restoring salmon habits and shorelines to more natural conditions, cleaning up septic pollution and more.

According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Gregoire said she will ask the Legislature to form a new citizen-led panel to lead the cleanup effort and bring together public and private participants.

About $3 million of the money needed would come from the federal government, while $8.5 would come from the state’s general operating budget. The remaining money needed will come out of local toxics accounts and environmental funds and the state construction budget.