A press release from Office of Rep. Marilyn Strickland.
Lakewood, WA– Today, Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland (WA-10) along with Representatives Jared Huffman (CA-02), Chair of the Natural Resources Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee and Katie Porter (CA-45), Chair of the Natural Resources Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee sent a letter to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service urging the agencies to investigate the effects of 6PPD-quinone, a highly toxic degradation product from tires and recycled rubber, on coho salmon and other salmonids, aquatic species, and watersheds in the South Sound and across the country. (Please find the full letter here.)
“The discovery that a chemical as ubiquitous as its chemical precursor in tires, 6PPD, may be contributing to widespread salmon mortality has profound implications for salmon recovery efforts. Given the dismal trajectory of West Coast salmon populations, your agencies should be working with great urgency to gain a better understanding of this threat and to take any necessary actions to address it.” the Members wrote in the letter.
The members go on to request a response to seven questions regarding how the agencies are evaluating the impacts of 6PPD-quinone and how they plan to monitor and address 6PPD-quinone as an environmental threat.
The letter is the latest in a series of efforts by Congresswoman Strickland to raise the profile of this issue. In August, Strickland called for funding to be included in the reconciliation package for research into the toxic chemical killing coho salmon. In July, Strickland introduced an amendment, which was included in H.R. 4502, the appropriations minibus package, highlighting the urgency of this issue. Strickland also participated in a House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing on this topic on July 15th.
Congresswoman Strickland has made environmental protection and restoration a priority throughout her first term in Congress. In June, the House passed the PUGET SOS Act of 2021 co-led by Congresswoman Strickland and Congressman Kilmer to enhance the federal government’s role and investment in the Puget Sound. This came shortly after Strickland and Kilmer secured a historic funding increase for Puget Sound restoration earlier that month from the House Appropriations Subcommittee. In April, Strickland led a letter to the Subcommittee, cosigned by nearly the entire Washington delegation, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio, and Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Raùl Grijalva requesting funding for the program at $50 million. Strickland also co-chairs the Puget Sound Recovery Caucus, founded in 2013 by Rep. Derek Kilmer and former Rep. Denny Heck with Derek Kilmer. The Caucus focuses on recovering Puget Sound through steps like preventing pollution from urban stormwater runoff, protecting and restoring habitat, and restoring and re-opening shellfish beds.