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Now we have a federal 'good old boy/girl' backroom deal attempting to avoid paying for the cleanup of poisonous, toxic chemicals affecting our life, our wildlife and the future of our world

PORTLAND TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - The $1 billion cleanup of the Willamette River Superfund site can't proceed until baseline studies are completed, but there is political jostling over the past polluters the Trump administration favors to oversee those studies. Do you recall letters I and others wrote some time back about the Superfund (toxic waste) which is being proposed for the St. Helens waste water ponds? We now have a new wrinkle in this twisted tale.

It seems President Donald Trump has appointed a new head to the Environmental Protection Agency. His name is Scott Pruitt and he has been a partner to those in the oil industry.

Since Pruitt took office, the EPA and a large group of the Portland Superfund site polluters have written a secret agreement that could result in the long time polluters having less responsibility in the cleanup process.

Both the Oregon Department of Environment Quality and American Native have objected that they were not part of this group.

The "secret" group — Pre-RD (remedial design) — has now been identified by the Portland Tribune: Arkema is French owned and manufactured DDT on the Willamette River for years (see "Polluters in the driver's seat for Superfund cleanup plan," Steve Law, Nov. 8, 2017); Evraz Oregon Steel is a Russian-owned manufacturer; Exxon/Mobile appears to be part of a group known as the "Marine Group," which apparently hides the true identities of one or more companies.

These companies have created some of the most polluted places along the Willamette River.

Why should we be concerned? Because the Willamette flows into the Columbia River and both continue past nearly every city in Columbia County.

So, here we are, with a federal "good old boy/girl" backroom deal attempting to avoid paying for the cleanup of poisonous, toxic chemicals affecting our life, our wildlife and the future of our world. All backed by the Trump Administration.

Where do these people believe their descendants and ours are going to live? Oh, that's right — it's all about jobs and money.

I want to express my thanks to my friend who brings me copies of the St. Johns Review and to the Portland

Tribune who lets me read online and to the Columbia County Spotlight who publishes my letters to the editor.

All are incredibly good sources for the truth.

Thanks for reading.

Nancy Whitney

St. Helens

Editor's note: The Spotlight and Portland Tribune are sister publications and part of the Pamplin Media Group. Copies of the Portland Tribune are available at the Spotlight office, located at 33548 Edward Lane, Suite 110, Scappoose.

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