Activists blocked the three gates at the construction site of Puget Sound Energy’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant on the Tacoma Tideflats on Monday as the self-identified “water protectors” vow to step up demonstrations of the facility over environmental and safety concerns.

The latest action came after two of six protesters who chained themselves to a construction auger last summer were found not guilty of trespassing and obstruction charges following a jury trial and two other protesters climbed a crane for nine hours to stop construction, albeit temporarily. A group of protesters also blocked the gates for several hours last week by climbing onto tripods they had erected to block the roadway into the construction site.

The estimated 200 protestors at Monday’s “Block the Gate” demonstration included members of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Redline Tacoma, Tacoma Direct Action and other environmental groups. The action halted construction at the site for much of the day, before Tacoma Police officers broke up the demonstration. Two were arrested for misdemeanor charges and later released, pending formal charges.

PSE wants to build the $310 million facility to provide a lower-emissions alternative to diesel used by container ships, namely nearby TOTE ships to and from Alaska. The eight million-gallon facility would freeze natural gas so that it becomes a liquid for use in container ships as well as provide storage of natural gas for use by PSE gas customers during extreme weather spikes.

The Puyallup Tribe has fought against the plant for years, dating back to challenges of the plant’s environmental review over questions of how construction at the former Superfund site could potentially leach toxins into the waterway and threaten salmon runs.

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  1. Thank you for posting about the protest. The over-reaction by the Tacoma police who showed up in full riot gear was really discouraging. The protest was very respectful, peaceful and even included prayers for the victims and families of the terrible Amtrak train wreck. The threat of rubber bullets, teargas, billy clubs, shields, etc. was a far contrast to the Puyallup Tribal women doing a prayer song. It seems as if the police were trying to create a response by their threatening military actions. Still, the protesters broke up peacefully when threatened with arrest. I guess it required 20 or 30 policemen in full riot gear to arrest an elderly man and woman on a misdemeanor charge of blocking a public road.

  2. I, Richard Frank, would be homeless and an applicant for Representative position 40. Today is frosted grass lawns Prudue Bay is artic barren cold like outside Olympia, Washington.,

    All the power and disasters, I, side with do a better design.
    My friends on hilltop neighborhood, some staff of the (county), not borough,
    Seen accidentally a real, hot.
    Well this would be.
    The Tribal people me and all, want your support well the resources yet.
    You float in the resources keep the hot accident, in the Puget Sound Bay.
    Say NO, till you see Elliott Bay tanker
    Corporate sea vessels waiting their cargo pumps to destruction bay rail yards. SEE. Sbips come and go, oil or real modern powers them. That many on shore tanks are very potent, we seen the huve fire at the steel mill. Torn down for a University of Washington business street high rise.

    Build a float, out there in the Tacoma,
    Bay. Pipeliners united do a lasting safe development.

    Your all smart Alaskan people we are Smart Washington people.
    Do it for America.
    Want a real picture pf the gate way to Alaska in Tumwater Olympia.
    I will get you and me a pic.
    Me, born and raised of Juneau, Alaska.
    Father and Mother, Mr. and Mrs Richard and Mary Frank.

    Good Luck….

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