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“USGS Whistleblower Alleges Poor Lab Conditions, Water Pollution”

“A U.S. Geological Survey lab in Seattle leached pathogen-laced wastewater into a Seattle wetland, possibly endangering salmon and trout, and has attempted to fire an employee who blew the whistle on the lab, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

The USGS said it implemented an improvement program at the lab and has taken steps to prevent future contamination in its effluent. The agency denied that the contamination endangered any fish.

The whistleblower, USGS microbiologist Eveline Emmenegger, is alleging that the Seattle-based Western Fisheries Research Center maintains its animal containment biosafety laboratories poorly and released exotic and invasive viruses into the wetland in 2017 and 2018.

The center, operated by the USGS in the Sand Point neighborhood of Seattle, studies environmental factors affecting aquatic ecosystems and fish populations in the West, including salmon, trout and char.”

Bobby Magill reports for Bloomberg Environment February 25, 2020.