The pervasive reliance on automobiles within society exacerbates environmental degradation in low-income and communities of color, notably in Native and tribal communities. The leaching of Tread Wear Particles (TWP), including the detrimental 6PPD-quinone (“6PPD-q”), into waterways, significantly impacts aquatic ecosystems. This issue is especially impactful for endangered species, like the coho salmon, that hold profound cultural significance for indigenous tribes in the Pacific Northwest, for example, the Nez Perce Tribe believes that the fate of the salmon and people are linked.[1]

The scientific foundations of 6PPD-q's impact on salmon through bioaccumulation and biomagnification highlights its environmental justice implications. This article presents a survey of relevant legal cases and regulations concerning tires, pollutants, and salmon protection, followed by an examination of potential ways to prevent further harm, including ending 6PPD use or legislating innovative solutions. It acknowledges the limited remedies for past damages and considers potential avenues for future compensation through toxic torts. Additionally, the article explores industry-driven solutions, such as the tire industry's efforts to reduce 6PPD-q pollution and the implications of the Safer Products for Washington act. It then discusses the importance of enforcing tribal treaty rights and exploring ecological barriers and filtration methods, with the ultimate goal of advocating for the mitigation of the adverse impact of 6PPD-q pollution on native communities and salmon populations in the Puget Sound region.

[1] Dan Landeen & Allen Pinkham, Fish & Fishing in Nez Perce Culture 1 (1999).



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