Statement from Puyallup Tribal Council on the Electron Hydro sentencing of May 5, 2023

“We first want to thank Attorney General Bob Ferguson for his assistance in bringing some level of justice to the atrocities committed by Electron Hydro and its chief operating officer, Thom Fischer, when they polluted the Puyallup River by idiotically dumping crumb rubber into it three years ago.

Since time immemorial, the Puyallup people have lived, hunted, gathered and fished these lands and waters. Our hearts were heavy – and angry, disappointed and in disbelief – when we saw what Electron Hydro did to destroy what we have stewarded for so long. We are also disappointed by the case’s outcome. It may be the largest amount paid for an environmental crime in Washington state history, but the restitution to our Fisheries Department is pennies on the dollar for the damage done. Giving probation to Fischer for his role is a slap on the wrist. And the fine itself is small change to the owner.

We are not done. While the outcome of the criminal case was disappointing, the Tribe is co-party to civil litigation for violations of the Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act. 

We have been taught by our ancestors from generations to generations and will continue to teach for many more generations to respect, protect and preserve all these gifts that give us life.”