Wyden defends NOAA move

Sen. Ron Wyden says Washington’s proposed NOAA site has greater hazards than Newport.

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Sen. Ron Wyden is defending the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s decision to move to Newport, following criticism from Washington state regarding the environmental issues with the Newport site.

Wyden says any hazards the Newport site may pose pale in comparison to those at Washington’s proposed site at the Port of Bellingham.

In a letter (noaa.pdf) sent today to U.S. Commerce Sec. Gary Locke, Wyden says that the Port of Bellingham “has an extraordinary amount of hazards to deal with” near the site where it proposed housing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s marine operations center.

Wyden noted 12 ecological cleanup sites on Bellingham Bay, two industrial properties contaminated with toxic chemicals and a SuperFund parcel in the area around Bellingham’s proposed site. Clean-up is yet to begin in some cases, and the environmental problems would “compromise the health and safety” of NOAA employees, Wyden wrote.

Read the full story at OregonLive.com.

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