Seattle Times op-ed exposes hypocrisy and double standard of city-based anti-farm activists


Where is the outcry against the massive sewage spill dumping raw sewage into Puget Sound?

Seattle-based environmental activists and legislators who jump to their tune are continually accusing farmers of massive pollution. But where are they when pollution that dwarfs anything they are complaining about happens in their backyards?

We’re talking about the massive spill of raw sewage into Puget Sound with the failure of the West Point treatment plant in Seattle.

We understand that accidents can happen. But when they happen to a dairy farmer and he spills even a tiny amount in a stream he is subject to enforcement action and possibly fines. One Whatcom farmer even had the EPA’s criminal investigation unit show up, packing a pistol, for a very small accidental spill that was already cleaned up.

Seattle-based environmental lawyers, like the one from Eugene-based Western Environmental Law Center, want to be able to sue farmers for even these small incidents and are appealing the Ecology’s new CAFO permit largely because of its protections against these kinds of lawsuits. But, where is their outrage against this massive spill that is causing far far greater damage to Puget Sound than anything they have complained about. I checked. Nothing on their website. Only a press release about their appeal of the CAFO permit.

Three state representatives including Whatcom County’s Vince Buys wrote an excellent guest editorial published in the Seattle Times. Here they point out the double standard of the activists and their elected followers (who most likely all live in the big cities) continually pointing out rural pollution while ignoring the much bigger problems of urban pollution.

In farm country, we suggest that these activists and legislators take the beam out of their own eyes before trying to take the sliver out of the farmers’ and rural residents’ eyes. But to translate for those who may miss the reference: stop your hypocrisy and double standards and start focusing on your own backyard where the bigger problems are.