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Last fall, while harvesting the garden, our neighborhood was assaulted by the usual entourage of people speeding to the hatchery. Though I had hoped to avoid going there yet again to ask people to drive respectfully, the Escalade blowing through, obviously late, was the last straw. Upon my arrival, the new ODFW biologist was giving a heartwarming speech to a room full of adults regarding Tom Rumreich’s wishes for a classroom for the children so that they could look out the window and watch the wildlife. I listened respectfully to the spiel of bullshazy. First, I’m not sure to what wildlife he was referring as they have exterminated most of it. Second, if Tom really wanted a classroom, then why did they force an illegal facility where land use laws prohibit a classroom.

Because they are not required to follow the law.

During the permitting process for the hatchery, many false statements were made on their application to Department of State Lands (DSL) who takes applicants at their word. One of many examples, an applicant stated that, “no fish have been observed spawning in this stream reach." They are not required to prove this statement. Our neighborhood knows this was a false statement because we live here and certainly have witnessed many salmonids spawning there.

DSL conveniently lost submitted evidence, public testimony, video, pictures and a 17 page neighborhood petition against the facility.

When a regulatory agency stands to gain from a project, the people are muted. The same will be true for LNG. These permitting agencies cannot be trusted if big money is involved. DEQ has never initiated fines or citations of pollution and violation of laws committed by hatchery operators every year.

The exorbitantly expensive permitting process is a joke and waste of taxpayer money. I wonder how many false statements have been made by Pembina on their DSL application. A vote of the people affected is the only fair and economical solution.

Many legitimate oppositions have been stated (danger/proximity to people, use of eminent domain, increased fracking, etc.), but I have yet to see one state the obvious: exporting LNG will only raise the price for American consumers.

We’ll be lining the gas bags’ pockets as usual, and dealing with the aftermath if we don’t demand a vote. Who will hold them accountable? Not the regulatory agencies, this we know first-hand.

Nicole Examilotis

Coos Bay

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