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WA State DOE

Citizens express concern over aspects of draft shoreline management plan

By Sue Forde and Lois Krafsky-Perry

The public, or at least about 80 of them, showed up for the public hearing at the Board of Clallam County Commissioners’ (BOCC) meeting on Dec. 12, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at the Clallam County courthouse, to share their thoughts and concerns about the proposed draft Shoreline Management Plan (draft SMP)  under consideration for Clallam County.  Many more citizens and groups have sent in comments by email or mail.

The meeting began with County Planner Steve Gray, reading a synopsis of what has taken place over the course of the past nine years for the plan.  He failed to mention the Seattle environmental firm, ESA Adolfson, who actually put the majority of the plan together for the county. Gray recapped the 9-year process, from the “visioning” aspect to the current draft.  He referred to using the “State guidelines,” which were revised in 2016.  He talked about the 200 foot buffers on each side which is from the high water mark (represented by the most outer vegetation line from the creek or river).  There are more than 50 pages of maps, he said, and over 200 pages of the draft plan.  Then he explained what each chapter covers.

The County Commissioners will review over 700 comments made regarding the shoreline plan, he stated, before making a decision as to how to move forward.  After Gray’s lengthy review, the meeting was opened to the public hearing. Continue reading

Sequim/Dungeness community listens to drought concerns

by Lois Krafsky-Perry
for Citizen Review
Posted Saturday, May 23, 2015

Water Drought Forum, Sequim WA, May 2015Sequim, WA – The Water Drought Forum was held in the Guy Cole Center at Carrie Blake Park Thursday, May 21, 2015 to a crowd of approximately 250 people, there to ask questions about their concerns. Instead, according to several people who attended, they were treated to a “dog-and-pony show” for the first two hours of the evening.

Scott Chitwood, Dungeness River Management (DRMT) Chairman, opened the meeting and announced, Here’s “what we may expect…may happen this summer.” Chitwood was former Natural Resource Director for Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. He complimented Shawn Hines, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe representative, for her work on water interests.

To see photos of the slideshow presentations, click here. Continue reading

Shoreline Master Plan: What has Clallam County got to lose?

by Pearl Rains-Hewett

Posted 3/21/2015

RCW 90.58.290
Restrictions as affecting fair market value of property.
The restrictions imposed by this chapter shall be considered by the county assessor in establishing the fair market value of the property.
[1971 ex.s. c 286 § 29.]



Follow the Money: WA State Dept. of Ecology Budget 2015

More of the Washington State taxpayers’ money is set to be spent by the Washington State Department of Ecology.  If you read to the end, you’ll note that that Department, in addition to water restrictions, is after woodstoves.

Click here for the 7-page budget overview >>>Cap Budget Ecology History

Clallam Shoreline Master Program – Comments and rights

Jan. 19, 2015

SMP [Shorline Master Program] Public Comment (159)

Clallam County Planning Commission

Public Forums

Pearl Rains Hewett


I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Clallam County Planning Commission, for recognizing the need for this additional  step in the SMP Update  process, and voting to provide the public forums  for us.

I have appreciation and respect  the dedicated members of Planning Commission that made the (4) regional, informal, public forums a reality. The choice of evening forums, and  having the presenters go to meeting at the four locations, allowed working people to attend.


I did attend two public forums

Jan. 8, 2015 Port Angeles Public Forum

The presentation was well done and applauded

Jan 14, 2015 Sequim Public Forum Was a mini- presentation


Jan. 8, 2015 Public Forum at the PA Senior Center

It was very encouraging to see our New County Commissioner Bill Peach, our new DCD Director Mary Ellen Winborn, members of the Clallam County Planning Commission and Home Rule Charter Commission  in attendance. It is vital to have our local representative, Involved in, listening to public questions, comments and the many concerns of our local citizens on the SMP Update.




Continue reading

Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project commentary & Objections

by Pearl Rains Hewett
Posted 1/11/2015

Comments-Objections to Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem “RESTORATION” Project (PSNERP)

I strongly oppose the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem “RESTORATION” Project (PSNERP) and, in my opinion, it should be irrevocably terminated immediately.





Subject: FW: Skagit CAPR Chapter: FW: submittal of PSNERP written comment

From: Kathy Mitchell
Date: Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 6:13 PM
To: <>
Subject: PSNERP Projects Comment


From: Roger Mitchell
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2015 2:56 PM
Subject: submittal of PSNERP written comment


Subject: FW: submittal For Clallam County  PSNERP written objection

From: Pearl Rains Hewett
Sent: Thursday, January 09, 2015
Subject: submittal of PSNERP Clallam County written objection


My PSNERP written public comments and objections PLUS…..

The fact that these ideas were churned out by the Puget Sound Partnership and by the Envisioning people at OSU, is no surprise.


My written comment on the SHADY? history of the Puget Sound Partnership

In May 2010, auditors found the partnership “circumvented state contracting laws, exceeded its purchasing authority and made unallowable purchases with public funds,” incurring “costs without clear public benefit.”

scroll down for more


My written comments on RESTORATION….. period

Behind My Back | RED FLAG WARNING Page 2

Apr 9, 2014 – EPA RESTORATION OF PUGET SOUND … the cost of an unfunded WA STATE RESTORATION “RAIN TAX” TO CLEAN UP PUGET SOUND? ….. Goggle for the full text of “Sue and Settle Sucks”


Behind My Back | The “RESTORATION” Shell Game

Jun 9, 2014 – A highly convoluted GAME OF RESTORATION that is involving the … HOW MANY NUTS CAN YOU GET UNDER ONE RESTORATION SHELL?


Behind My Back | $14.8 Billion for Restoration

Jun 10, 2014 – … The “RESTORATION” Shell Game In the state of Maryland, their elected representatives, legislators, passed a $14.8 …. The “RESTORATIONShell Game.


Behind My Back | Bang for their buck? Restoration

Dec 3, 2014 – …… for planning, authorizing and implementing the RESTORATION SHELL GAME .



While we’re in the “RESTORATION” business I’d like a few things restored, too:

Behind My Back | American Restoration of Law and Order…/american-restoration-of-law-and-order/



Behind My Back | Senate Hearings on EPA

Sep 1, 2014 – GIVE “STATE’S SOVEREIGNTYBACK TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! ….. Is anyone in congress addressing the Restoration of “Law and …



read the complete text at

Behind My Back | The Bad News On Kilmer

Aug 31, 2013 – US. Reps Kilmer and Heck promise to continue the work of Norm Dicks on behalf of WETLANDS, SHORELINES By ROB CARSON — Staff writer …

“Everyone was scratching everyone’s back with this PUGET SOUND PARTNERSHIP,” said Republican state Sen. Mark Schoesler, who has been a vocal critic of the partnership. “They were banking on daddy Dicks to bring money home, and then his son squandered it.

In May 2010, auditors found the partnership “circumvented state contracting laws, exceeded its purchasing authority and made unallowable purchases with public funds,” incurring “costs without clear public benefit.”


I Pearl Rains Hewett, submit and concur, with the following PSNERP Projects comments.


From: Kathy Mitchell
Date: Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 6:13 PM
To: <>
Subject: PSNERP Projects Comment

C/O: Nancy C. Gleason



POB 3755

Seattle, WA 98124-3755

The PSNERP projects, especially those for Skagit County, must be abandoned; the enormous waste of tax dollars for these ill-conceived and harmful projects to precious farmland under the guise of flimsy reasoning and faulty assumptions is wrong.

The fact that the concept for these unneeded and unnecessary projects got this far, especially with such an outrageous price tag, is a disgrace. These proposed projects would necessarily cause ruination of thousands of acres farmland, and more than likely cause unforeseen and unintended consequences to those and adjacent lands.

Furthermore, in my opinion, the fact that these ideas were churned out by the Puget Sound Partnership and by the Envisioning people at OSU, is no surprise; both groups are well known for their inferior, ideology-based recommendations rather than sound work based on pertinent, fact-based science, on appropriate field work, and on site-specific work.  Since when do they ‘know all’ and ‘see all’ about what restoration really means for areas they really know nothing about?  As a classically trained geologist, I do know that the land is in a constant state of flux and that these people’s notions of exactly what ‘snapshot in time’ to use as this golden state of restoration is laughable.  Do we go back 30 years?  Go back 300 years?  Go back 3,000 years?  Go back 3 Million years? Erosion, sedimentation, and associated processes are dynamic – the land will change over time.

Finally, I am appalled and quite dismayed that the Army Corps of Engineers has had anything to do with this wasteful boondoggle.


Kathy Mitchell

1155 Chuckanut Ridge Drive

Bow, WA 98232


From: Roger Mitchell
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2015 2:56 PM
Subject: submittal of PSNERP written comment


Written Comment on Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project (PSNERP)

Roger H. Mitchell, Bow, Washington

I strongly oppose the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project (PSNERP) and, in my opinion, it should be irrevocably terminated immediately.


The entire premise for PSNERP is scientifically flawed, ideologically driven, and just another veiled attempt to socially engineer and control the lives of private property owners. At it’s best, PSNERP is a government make-work program; at it’s worst PSNERP is merely another chapter in irresponsible environmentalism run amok.

Procedurally, this proposed project has been seriously flawed. There are significant inconsistencies and discrepancies between’s website and the website at Discrepancies include different numbers of affected acres and in cost projections. If the goal was to confuse the public then, for once, government has succeeded. Why are we just getting to comment now on something that has been proceeding for years ? Why and how are we now being “steamrollered” into supporting this proposal in what appears to be a predetermined outcome that, once gain, bears little resemblance to the “consent of the governed?

The proposed project is at odds with RCW 36.70A – the Growth Management Act (GMA). PSNERP will cause destruction and loss of farmland and rural business that is contrary to GMA mandates.  Some ideologues have relentlessly made it more and more difficult for farmers to grow the crops that feed the rest of us. Why let PSNERP add to the decline of farmland, farming, and farmers ? Any PSNERP proposed project must show, in detail, how it complies with the GMA. Thus far, that demonstration of compliance has been disregarded, overlooked, or intentionally omitted in PSNERP proposals.

Among the many problems with PSNERP and its many clones is that the instigators are never held accountable for their mistakes and failures. They play with other people’s money or, in this case, other people’s properties. Essentially they have no “skin in the game”. Ten years from now, when PSNERP has failed to do anything positive, and has had numerous, negative, unintended consequences, do you think the current PSNERPers are going to say, “Gee; I’m sorry ‘bout that PSNERP thing and wasting that Billion dollars. Do you want your refund in cash or a check ?”


The EIS should be withdrawn. My preference would be to abandon this proposal and not waste another taxpayer dollar on it.

There needs to be a true cost/benefit analysis. We’re talking about potential misappropriation and misapplication of taxpayer dollars. Without an honest cost benefit study, the public cannot properly determine whether the proposed project is acceptable or worthy of full funding, partial funding, or, my personal favorite, no funding at all.

Let’s have a little chat about “restoration” and unanswered questions:



verb:  return (someone or something) to a former condition, place, or position.



noun:  the action of returning something to a former owner, place, or condition

So, I ask you, where are the answers to the following “restoration” questions ?

1.       Apparently there is a specific time and condition to which we should presumptively “restore”. How do we know that that chosen time and condition was, in fact, optimal or better in any way relative to the current time and condition ?

2.       Who actually knows the details and dynamics of that presumptively chosen optimal time and condition to which PSNERPers would have us restore to from current conditions ?

3.    Who gets to make the determination of what time and condition we are restoring to ?

4.       Even if the PSNERP proposal could be determined to be either good or bad, who has decreed who has the authority to decide for all of the rest of us whether the proposal is good?

5.       The issue is “restoration” projects; these projects do not exist in a vacuum — they affect other people, locations, and conditions as well. Worldviews, movements, and projects — these things all have consequences. What are PSNERP’s costs in resources (time & taxpayer dollars) and what other possible projects and programs will PSNERP preclude ?

6.       What are the unintended consequences of the proposed PSNERP projects ? Forces result from interactions. The proposed PSNERP projects are interactive forces. Newton’s Third Law of Motions reminds us that For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction. When you poke the balloon in one place it pops out in another. When PSNERP projects “poke” the balloon of status quo, what is going to pop out elsewhere as a result ?

7.       Does anyone at PSNERP realize that the earth’s geology, biology, and ecology have been in a constant state of change since their very inceptions and will continue to change for infinity ? How incredibly arrogant, condescending, and egocentric of some to think they can determine exactly what is “best” in terms of time or condition for any of these dynamic, natural processes.

8.       By what criteria has someone determined that current conditions are not “best” and has chosen the particular, proposed, “restore to” slice of time and conditions as better or optimal?

9.       Purportedly, PSNERP is, like detrimental instream flow rules, all about salmon. Why are some people so wrapped up in attempting to “protect” one particular species (salmonids) to the detriment of others ? Who chose salmonids over other worthy species (including humans) who are left to compete, unassisted and unprotected, in the Darwinian battle with the rest of us ? We call it, “life”.

PSNERP proposals have not provided good or acceptable answers to any of the above questions.


PSNERP is yet another exercise in governmental fallacious reasoning. Fallacies can be divided into categories according to the epistemological factors that cause the error:

The reasoning is invalid but is presented as if it were a valid argument

  • The argument has an unjustified premise
  • Some relevant evidence has been ignored or suppressed


The PSNERP proposal has all of these fallacies. But, just be sure, PSNERP also has the types of fallacies listed below:

False Dilemma

A proposal that unfairly presents too few choices and then implies that a choice must be made among this short menu of choices

False Cause

Improperly concluding that one thing is a cause of another.

Reversing Causation

Drawing an improper conclusion about causation due to a causal assumption that reverses cause and effect.

Unfalsifiability (Untestability)

This error in explanation occurs when the explanation contains a claim that is not falsifiable, because there is no way to check on the claim. That is, there would be no way to show the claim to be false if it were false. There is no null hypothesis.

And the environmentalist ideologue’s perennial favorite:

Scare Tactic

Terrorizing people in order to give them a reason for believing that you are correct.

By the way, while we’re “restoring”:

While we’re in the “restoration” business I’d like a few things restored, too:

I’d like my inherent, natural property rights restored.

  • I’d like my pursuit of happiness restored by not being constantly barraged with yet another manic, trumped up, Chicken Little environmental “crisis” that needs to be “mitigated”.
  • I’d like my Washington State government restored to what the state’s founders intended in

that calls for “consent of the governed”.

Will it help if I ask nicely ?

Please ! Stop wasting our time, money, and goodwill. PSNERP is wrong for many, may reasons; it should be irrevocably terminated immediately.

Continue reading

Levee setback discussion resumes with DRMT

Report from Pearl Rains-Hewett

Posted 1/11/2015

Source Dungeness River Management Team

and online documentation…

Partnership, Ecology, Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project (PSNERP).

Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project Selection and Design

Lower Dungeness River Floodplain Restoration: Project Overview and ACOE Levee Setback Feasibility Study Results (Cathy Lear, Clallam County and Chris Behrens, US Army Corps of Engineers)

Continue reading

Farm groups join opposition to Inslee’s cap-and-trade plan

Capital Press
Posted 1/6/2015
Several Washington farm groups have joined a campaign aganst Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposal to charge some companies for emitting greenhouse gases.


An organization formed to oppose Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s carbon-cutting proposal includes several agriculture groups.

The governor’s cap-and-trade plan would apply to at least 130 plants, including one fertilizer manufacturer and eight food processors, according to the state Department of Ecology. Continue reading

ORPC files lawsuit challenging Dungeness Water Management Rule

from ORPC website

Posted Jan. 6, 2015

December 31, 2014 – A Petition for Declaratory Judgment has been filed with the Thurston County Superior Court to determine the validity of the Dungeness Water Management Rule by the Olympic Resource Protection Council (ORPC).  ORPC has been critical of the rule because of its significant and  unnecessarily costly impacts on Clallam County residents seeking to utilize their properties in a manner that is consistent with established county land use designations and planning policies and with the private well exemption under Washington State water law. Continue reading

Skagit County backs couple’s right to use their well

Posted: Tuesday, December 2, 2014 6:00 am | Updated: 8:55 am, Tue Dec 2, 2014.

By Daniel DeMay | Skagit Valley Herald

Richard and Marnie Fox have a right to use the well on their Sedro-Woolley property, regardless of an instream flow rule that limits water use in the Skagit Basin, Skagit County said in a response filed last Monday in Skagit County Superior Court.

The document is in response to the Foxes’ motion asking the court to force the county to issue a building permit — an action the county has not taken because a Department of Ecology rule appears to say there is no legal access to water in much of rural Skagit County.

In the response, the county argues that Ecology removed a paragraph from the draft 2001 instream flow rule before publication that would have allowed rural landowners to continue the use of permit-exempt wells for single homes.

Continue reading

Gov. Inslee proposes new water-quality rules

Posted July 9, 2014

From WA Farm Bureau Newsletter

Today, Gov. Jay Inslee announced his policy direction to the Department of Ecology to adjust state water quality standards related to fish consumption and cancer risk.

Washington Farm Bureau has been very concerned that the new standards would disproportionately impact agriculture. While the exact impact of the yet to be developed rules and accompanying legislation remains to be seen, we will continue to fight for reasonable standards based on sound science and a reasonable risk standard. Our bottom line is that any proposed “solution” not impair the economic viability of agriculture or reduce agriculture’s capacity to provide healthy food for the local community.

In his announcement, Inslee directed Ecology to use the following general framework: raise the average daily fish consumption assumption from the current rate of 6.5 grams to 175 grams (roughly equivalent to eating 16.5 pounds of Washington fish per month); apply a “1-in-100,000” (10 to the -5) rate of cancer risk for approximately 70 percent of currently regulated chemicals (making standards significantly more restrictive related to those chemicals); provide variance tools to help regulated point source permit holders comply with the new requirements; and introduce “toxics reduction” legislation to broaden Ecology’s regulatory authority over “upstream” non-point / non-permitted chemicals and pollution sources, including an alternatives assessment process to ban toxic chemicals of concern.

The exact impact of the yet to be developed rule and accompanying legislation remains to be seen, but Washington Farm Bureau will continue to ask the state for assurance that these new regulations will not impair the economic viability of agriculture or reduce agriculture’s capacity to provide healthy food for the local community. 

See the governor’s press release here.




Inslee takes new approach to create meaningful, effective state clean water standards

July 09, 2014

Media Contact:

Jaime Smith
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office

Sandi Peck
Department of Ecology

Inslee takes new approach to create meaningful, effective state clean water standards

Gov. Jay Inslee today announced his proposed update to the state’s water quality standards, saying he worked until he found a solution that advanced the values of human, environmental and economic health.

The federal Clean Water Act requires states to establish water quality standards used by state regulators to set limits for certain pollutants discharged by permitted dischargers such as local governments and some businesses. Washington’s current standards were set in 1992 and focus on controlling pollution coming out of large pipes from large facilities. Inslee said the standards are out of date and the federal approach to clean water is inadequate to address today’s threats to clean water.

“It is clear to me that Washington state needs to reach beyond the confines of our historical regulatory approaches and recognize how water pollution has changed in the 40 years since the Clean Water Act became law,” Inslee said. “Forty years ago we were fighting big pipes spewing toxic contaminants into our water. We’ve come a long way since then in getting that kind of pollution under control. Today the majority of toxic pollution comes from chemicals that are used to make so much of what we use today, from the brakes on our cars to the flame retardants in our furniture.”

The primary purpose of the Clean Water Act is to ensure water is safe for its intended uses. The standards — which apply to just 96 out of tens of thousands of chemicals in daily commerce — include calculations for multiple factors, including theoretical cancer risk rates and how much fish Washingtonians consume. The federal government provides some leeway to states in determining these numbers, which have been the subject of public debate.

Current standards assume Washingtonians consume 6.5 grams of fish per day, or about one serving per month. There is widespread agreement that many people in the state consume much more fish than this, but disagreement about whether the new rule should account for the highest-consumers — such as Native Americans or those who fish for recreation — or a lower average number. The higher the fish consumption rate, the more stringent water quality rules become for businesses and local governments.

The current standards also assume a theoretical cancer risk rate of 10-6, meaning that if a person were to eat a 6.5 gram serving of fish from Washington waters every day for 70 years, he or she would have a 1 in 1 million chance of developing cancer.

“Many people have seen the mandate to update our water quality standards as a choice between protecting human health or protecting the economy. I reject that choice because both values are essential to our future,” Inslee said.

Inslee’s proposal updates Washington’s water quality standards to be more protective of those who consume 175 grams of fish per day — an increase from one serving per month to one serving per day — with a 10-5 cancer risk rate. In every case where this cancer risk rate would result in less protective standards than we have today, current standards will be maintained. In fact, of the 96 chemicals regulated under the rule, about 70 percent will have new, more protective standards.

A separate approach will be used for arsenic, a naturally occurring element in waters throughout the state. Because the current standard for arsenic is set below levels that occur naturally in much of our surface and ground water, the governor proposes using the federal drinking water standard for arsenic.

“Washingtonians’ actual risk to cancer and other harmful effects will be reduced by this proposal,” Inslee said. “We are making our waters cleaner and safer.”

The governor also proposed new implementation rules that will make it possible for businesses and municipalities to comply with the more stringent requirements.

But Inslee said the state must also act on the many toxic chemicals from other unregulated sources that the Clean Water Act doesn’t address. Inslee said he is calling on the Legislature next year to pass a toxics reduction bill as part of the state’s submittal to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“We could set standards at a thousand grams per day with a cancer risk rate of 10-20, but it still wouldn’t do anything to protect our children from exposure to too many toxics that cause neurological and reproductive damage,” Inslee said. “This toxics reduction bill gives us the tools to tackle pollutants at their source and make meaningful improvements in the health of our water, our fish and our children.”

Inslee’s toxic reduction package is based on five key elements:

  • Immediate action by the state departments of Health and Ecology to identify actions to combat PCBs, phthalate plasticizers, toxic flame retardants and zinc.
  • Removal of toxic chemicals from consumer products where they are causing pollution and safer alternatives are readily available.
  • Elimination of specific sources of problem chemicals in polluted watersheds.
  • Investment in more monitoring and research related to improving how we identify pollution sources and development of new prevention and cleanup strategies and technologies.
  • Accountability and transparency measures to ensure resources are being prioritized effectively and measurements of progress are reported to the public and Legislature.

Inslee is directing the Department of Ecology to issue a preliminary draft rule no later than Sept. 30. He will submit legislation to the Legislature in 2015 and will make a decision on whether to adopt the final rule only after seeing the outcome of the session. He will ask the EPA to consider the benefits of the full package in determining federal approval of Washington’s clean water standards.

“I believe this approach honors our commitment to keep our children healthy and protect those who regularly eat fish, and doesn’t create ineffective and undue requirements on a small number of businesses and governments,” Inslee said. “I look forward to working with legislators, businesses, tribes, health care professionals and others to ensure we do the right thing for Washington state and work together for successful implementation of this integrated plan.”

Policy brief:

Ecology’s Scientific Water Twaddle

Commentary by Pearl Rains Hewett 

Posted 5/20/2014

Ecology (DOE) scientific evidence on the water cycle?

What a load of gibberish, nonsense, rubbish, garbage, gabble, twaddle, claptrap

Exactly? What parts of the scientific water cycle does Ecology (DOE) not understand?


Historical water cycle fact (biblically recorded)

Ecclesiastes 1:7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; to the place from where the rivers come, thither they return again.

Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Continue reading

Group to sue state agency on water rule

Peninsula Daily News Sunday April 6, 2014

By Joe Smillie
     SEQUIM—The Olympic Resource Protection Council plans to sue the state over a rule that governs water in the Dungeness Valley.
     The group agreed Thursday night to pursue a lawsuit against the state Department of Ecology in hopes it will force the agency to review the Dungeness Water Rule.
     They have enlisted Seattle attorney, Sarah Mack, according to council President Greg McCarry.
     The cost of the case, likely to be filed in Thurston County Superior Court, is estimated to be $100,000 to $150,000, McCarry said.  Continue reading

Spokane, WA: Landowners concerned over new Ecology river rule

Matthew Weaver | Capital Press
The Washington Department of Ecology is developing an instream flow rule to protect water in the Spokane River. There’s supposed to be little impact to agriculture, according to the department, but local landowners are concerned the new rule will constitute a taking of private property without compensation.

The Washington State Department of Ecology’s proposed rule to protect instream flows in the Spokane River has landowners concerned about potential takings of property without compensation. Continue reading

Bill passed helps ‘environmental protection’ turn into a lucrative business

Posted 3/18/2014
In the dark of night, while most folks were sleeping – oblivious – a piece of legislation that only had its “first reading” in Olympia twelve days ago passed by a vote of 93-5. This little slip of a bill, a mere three pages, will kick the principles of justice and liberty as we know them closer to the proverbial cliff.

      That sounds mighty dramatic, maybe over the top.  What’s this bill about?

Waal…  HB 2454 is a bill that paves the way for “water quality trading” in Washington State. Painted as accommodating and innovative, and dressed-up as so many bills are nowadays in predictable, wolf in sheep’s clothing buzzwords like “voluntary” and “market-based,” the legislature is setting up tables in the temple of environmental justice for the sale of Get Out Of Jail Free cards.  Instead of nabbing those who pollute, and correcting real problems appropriately, this bill says:
Continue reading

Pay raises given to more agency directors

Posted 2/16/2014

by Brad Shannon
The Olympian

Gov. Jay Inslee granted pay increases to three more state agency directors Feb. 1, bringing to nine the number of cabinet agency leaders who received raises in the past six months.

Increases in the 2 to 3 percent range went to Maia Bellon at Ecology, Joel Sacks at Labor and Industries and Carol Nelson at Revenue.


Bret Daugherty, adjutant general of the Military Department also received a 1 percent raise on Jan. 1, but his pay is set by statute. Continue reading

Is Dept. of Ecology being certain, predictable, and fair?

February 6, 2014

Washington’s State Environmental Protection Act (SEPA) is designed to protect our natural environment, and for over three decades projects of all types have been reviewed under that law in a process that is supposed to be fair, consistent, and free of politics.

Now the state Department of Ecology is changing that process, and the rules that have governed environmental review for years, because the agency seemingly  doesn’t like the idea of shipping one product (coal) out of Washington State. The decision to subject a bulk commodity terminal project in Whatcom County to a more expansive “global review,” one that will examine impacts not just within our state’s borders but across the globe, has many groups concerned – even ones which do not have a stake in the coal debate.

A new coalition made up of business, agriculture, labor unions, and port concerns launched yesterday, calling itself Keep Washington Competitive. Coalition members are worried that Ecology will begin using SEPA as a cudgel against products it doesn’t like. Continue reading

Water Rule Implementation meeting offers little in way of solutions – why do we need it?

Posted 1/15/2014

The Water Rule Implementation Forum met at John Wayne Marina on Jan. 15, 2014, starting at 12:30 p.m. 

(Editor’s Note: This rule essentially covers Clallam County East of Morse Creek and has significant and costly impacts for property owners needing a new well or those owners who would like a change of use for their existing well.

Those who will be affected include those owning property in WRIA 18 West (up to West of the Elwha River), where the WRIA 18 East rule will likely serve as a template when a similar rule is imposed there in the near future, and those who own property not directly affected by the rule whose property taxes will increase to make up for the decrease in assessed value and property taxes of “water have not” properties affected by the rule.)

The following report from the forum is by Marguerite Glover:

There were only had two members of the “public,” in the audience. Both of them arrived an hour or more after the start of the meeting–Bob Forde and Mark Couhig. I did tell the group that Pam Cameron (local farmer/landowner) said that the Water Exchange should be providing mitigation certificates for stock watering, from a well. Mike Gallagher said that Amanda Cronin (Washington Water Trust) was working on that–and, it should become available, in the near future. 22 mitigation certificates have been issued, with about 3 or 4 of those being for outside watering. Continue reading

Study: New Water Quality Standards Would Cost Billions, Produce Little Benefit

‘Fish Consumption’ Issue Could Mean $200-a-Month Sewer Bills — Business, Local-Government Organizations Sound Alarm as Ecology Seeks Standards No One Can Meet

By Erik Smith 
Washington State Wire

Boise Cascade’s Wallula mill: Pulp and paper industry would be sharply affected.

OLYMPIA, Dec. 10.—$200-a-month sewer bills, anyone? Business and local governments are sounding a new warning about a Department of Ecology plan to impose water-quality standards so tough no one can meet them, releasing a study that points to staggering costs and not much environmental benefit.

Impact would be in the billions of dollars, yet the results still wouldn’t comply with the new state rules, says the report from HDR Engineering. Perhaps more important, the water really wouldn’t be that much cleaner. In fact, if you start totting up the greenhouse-gas emissions the policy would cause and other potential environmental harms, you get the idea the state might be trading one problem for another.

The study, commissioned by the Association of Washington Business, the Association of Washington Cities and the Washington State Association of Counties, calls attention to an issue that brings apocalyptic visions to the statehouse. By the end of 2014, the state Department of Ecology plans to adopt new rules for surface-water discharges that either would be the most stringent in the country, or else would be tied for first with Oregon. The groups say compliance costs would be so enormous the state ought to think twice. Their argument comes with a dollop of self-interest, of course, but it raises an interesting point. The agency can’t challenge the study, because it hasn’t done a cost-benefit analysis of its own. Nor is it likely to. Continue reading

Controversy over Whatcom Co. water wells

The Bellingham Herald

Posted 11/29/2013

BELLINGHAM, WASH. — Conservative property-rights advocates are worried about proposed restrictions on wells they fear could mean the end of the rural way of life in Whatcom County.

The well controversy arose after environmentalists challenged county rules that they believe don’t do enough to protect water resources.

In response, the state Growth Management Hearings Board issued a ruling that could block property owners from drawing water from their wells, if the basin where they live is closed to new water rights. The county has appealed the ruling to the state Court of Appeals. Continue reading

Citizen’s group challenging GMA ruling in San Juan County

Posted 10/8/2013

by Jeff Rhodes
for The Olympia Report


Members of a local citizens group have filed an appeal in Superior Court of recently adopted updates to San Juan County’s Growth Management Act, claiming their aim is to block development entirely rather than address the potential impact of specific projects.


San Juan County, WA – Believing that the San Juan County Growth Management Board failed to address several critical and fatal flaws in its December 2012 Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO), both Common Sense Alliance and the Taggares Co. on Wednesday filed petitions for review of the board’s decision in Superior Court.

The court will be asked to stay the Growth Board order to remove the pressure of any compliance deadline.

At issue is whether the CAO was written in such a way as to address the effects of of specific development — as the law requires — or as an obstacle to all development. Continue reading

Defending Citizens’ Water




Bottom Line

Failure to use or comply with EPA’s best Available science for American Family water usage?



Clallam County REPRESENTATIVES complete disregard of EPA family and individual WATER USAGE DOCUMENTATION?

EPA The average American family uses more than 300 gallons of water per day at home.

EPA Each American uses an average of 100 gallons of water a day at home. Continue reading

EPA Plus DOE Cost?


Proposed Chapter 173–98 WAC In this case?  IS The moneys all gone? on DOE administrative costs before a single PENNY trickles down to benefit (LOAN) to the people?


Thank you for responding on the EPA.

Your comment
As the EPA moves forward on regulations it is important that they are in the national interest and that there is a greater BENEFIT than COST associated with them.

What is? Was? the intent of congress in providing federal EPA capitalization grants for projects that are consistent with the the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1251-1387?

Indeed, was it the intent of congress? for WA State DOE to use federal funds to create an even LARGER controlling WA state administrative GOVERNMENT entity where the DOE administrative COSTS exceed the benefits to the people of WA State? Continue reading

Ecology: Lemire ruling confirms authority

Capital Press

Posted 8/18/2013

The Washington State Supreme Court’s 8-1 ruling against a Dayton, Wash., rancher reaffirms the Washington Department of Ecology’s authority to take action to prevent pollution to waters of the state, the department spokesperson says.

“It’s an affirmation of an authority we already thought we had,” said Kelly Susewind, water quality program manager. “It really means no change in the way we do business. We will continue to work with landowners and producers, preferably in a collaborative manner.” Continue reading

The Sequim-Dungeness “Water” Issue

Commentary by Steve Marble

for Citizen Review Online

 Posted 8/4/2013


Sequim, WA – In early July the Washington Realtors gave classes in Sequim and Port Townsend for Realtors and other interested parties to bring them up to speed on the new rules governing water use in the Dungeness basin and Eastern Jefferson County. The first half of the class was presented by Washington water attorney, Bill Clark. Participants were treated to the genesis of the water laws that brought us to where we are today.


“The Water Resources Act of 1971” was an overly broad bill passed by the legislature which allows (not requires) Department of Ecology to set instream flows by agency rule “to provide for preservation of wildlife, fish, scenic, aesthetic and other environmental values and navigational values”. Ecology’s heavy handed approach in Kittitas County caused the Commissioners to, in essence, tell Ecology to stuff it. Unfortunately the Washington Supreme Court sided with Ecology. Kittitas County was humbly required to do Ecology’s bidding. Continue reading

State audit finds $14,000 in fraudulent purchases at Dept. of Ecology

By Jordan Schrader — Staff writer
The Olympian

Posted 8/4/2013

Olympia, WA – A state audit released today found at least $14,664 in fraudulent purchases on state credit cards controlled by a then-employee of the Department of Ecology.

The employee, who was a secretary supervisor in the Washington Conservation Corps, was sentenced to 30 days of electronic home monitoring last May after a conviction for second-degree theft.

Peta Crites, of Olympia, made an Alford plea, in which a defendant doesn’t admit guilt. She agreed to pay her former employer $2,500. Continue reading

Bureau of Reclamation approves $5 billion integrated water plan

by David Lester

Posted 7/19/2013

An ambitious and expensive plan to meet future Yakima River Basin water needs for people and fish has passed a milestone.

The road ahead, however, will be long and will require substantial public and private investment to make it a reality.

The federal Bureau of Reclamation has adopted the potentially $5 billion proposal as the approach it intends to pursue over what could be the next 30 years if Congress provides authorization and funding.

Earlier this month, the agency issued what’s called a record of decision backing the seven major elements of an integrated plan — a mix of surface and groundwater storage, fish passage, land and habitat protections, water conservation, water marketing and operational changes. Continue reading

Property Rights Are Not Secure in Washington State


By Preston Drew, President,
Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights

Posted 7/6/2013


In 2008 the Washington State Court of Appeals threw out the most controversial section of the 2004 King County Critical Areas Ordinance, which was a provision that called for the set aside of as much as 65% of a rural landowner’s property when applying for a land use permit. The Supreme Court then refused to hear King County’s appeal, thus rendering the Appeals Court decision settled law. Yet the King County administration refuses to change the code to reflect the Appeals Court decision. When queried recently the reply was “Oh, we just don’t enforce that clause”.

Why? Aren’t county officials obligated to have the code reflect the law? Continue reading

Ecology looks to reduce Palouse River temperatures

Capital Press

Posted 5/20/2013

Public comment on a Washington Department of Ecology plan to reduce water temperatures in the main stem of the Palouse River will continue through June 14.

Elaine Snouwaert, water quality specialist for the department, said the river is too warm for fish and other animals.

Snouwaert said alterations to the river, extra sediment and removal of vegetation have contributed to the increase in the water temperature.

Part of Ecology’s plan includes implementing agricultural best practices to reduce soil erosion and runoff. Continue reading

Water Management was “meant” to be local…

My comment on the Clallam County Comissioner’s April 29, 2013  “Water” work session

by Pearl Rains-Hewett

Posted 4/29/2013.

As of February 22, 2013 “LOCAL” Water Management Program (for WRIA 18 Clallam County)


Background: In 1998, the Watershed Planning Act was enacted to establish a process for local groups to develop and implement plans to manage and protect local water resources and rights. Continue reading

Waiting For The Water Master

Posted on

I AM COLLECTING RAIN WATER (catch as catch can)

(to see if I have violated a WA State Water law) Continue reading

Kittitas Co., WA: Water bank funding in question

By MIKE JOHNSTON senior writer 
Daily Record News

Posted April 16, 2013

State funding for water banks in Kittitas, Yakima and Benton counties may require its own last-minute legislation or could be delayed to the 2014 session, a state lawmaker representing Kittitas County said this morning.

The three counties are seeking $2 million in state capital budget funds to establish their own water banks, in cooperation with the state Department of Ecology, to encourage rural housing development.

The funds would allow the counties to purchase existing, senior surface water rights in the three-county Yakima River basin.

The local governments would each run their own programs to sell portions of the rights to those wanting to drill new groundwater wells for rural housing.  Continue reading

Dungeness Water Rule: Control of the water – control of the people

Posted 4/16/2013

Following is a recap of information and commentaries as posted by Pearl Rains-Hewett, Clallam County activist, with opening comments by Dr. Karl Spees.  You might see similar “rules” and/or regulations taking place in your area.

Clallam County, WA –
This is a long collection of abuses by our elected officials and their surrogate the DoE. It is enough to keep you busy for a while.
Rest assured while your orchards, vegetable gardens, and livestock are deprived of water not by limited supply but by bureaucratic overreach, the Cedars of Dungeness Golf Course (owned by the Tribes who do not have to conform to this water monopoly madness) will remain green and well watered. Continue reading

Resistance grows due to heavy-hand of CAO | Guest Column

by Gordy Peterson
for San Juan Journal
APRIL 5, 2013 · 5:59 PM

San Juan Islands, WA – I enjoyed reading Judge John Darrah’s guest column “Deconstructing the CAO Campaign,” Journal, pg. 7, April 3.

It may help him understand the “Anti’s” if he had an inside look into the movement.

I’ve been embedded in what I call the “Rural Resistance” for about 25 years. At times I’ve felt alone but now there are many of us.

I’m certainly not the leader. This movement is made up of very independent folks who don’t follow orders very well. We do not receive grants like the Friends (Friends of the San Juans) who are paid to lobby for more government authority over land use. Well-funded State agencies like DOE and Puget Partnership are also allied against us. Continue reading

WA: Ecology buying water rights from irrigators at pennies on the dollar to “sell back” at a profit?

Letter to the Editor:

Posted 3/30/2013

As a Realtor and property owner in Skagit County I’ve followed the Skagit water wars closely.  I am also a property owner, dependent on irrigation water in Okanagon County where I have been involved in DOE/Tribal lawsuits for 20 years.

This is a state wide issue that goes far beyond any local jurisdiction.  In Eastern Washington water shortages are not created by government agencies or tribes attempting to move forward their political agendas.  They can be a reality.  Therefore most water rights are secured by deed and superior to any claims by the State or DOE.

In these cases Ecology and the Tribes have brought in federal Regulators to assist, and even though the water is an actual right, the State is still able to take it from the landowners.  They just continue to sue, when they lose on In Stream Flow because of the senior water rights of the landowners, they start with the  Endangered Species Act.   Eventually they either wear the people out or defeat them economically so they can no longer fight back. Continue reading

Facts versus fears: DDT


Posted 3/29/2013

Extract from the American Council on Science and Health publication “Facts Versus Fears” – Edition 3, June 1998. ©American Council on Science and Health – all rights reserved.

DDT, 1962


DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) was first synthesized in 1877,1 but it was not until 1940 that a Swiss chemist discovered that it could be sprayed on walls and would cause any insect to die within the next six months, without any apparent toxicity to humans.2 DDT’s effectiveness, persistence, and low cost (only 17 cents per pound) resulted in its being used in antimalarial efforts worldwide. It was introduced into widespread use during World War II and became the single most important pesticide responsible for maintaining human health through the next two decades. The scientist who discovered the insecticidal properties of DDT, Dr. Paul Müller, was awarded the 1948 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.3

Continue reading

Whatcom Co., WA: Water Planning Hijacked, Needs Council Attention

Posted 3/16/2013

Whatcom Excavator

Yesterday, the county water district caucus of the WRIA 1 Planning Unit transmitted a letter to Whatcom County Council.  That may sound boring, but WE think it’s important and something everybody should see.   Why?

The letter describes in clear terms how water laws affect everybody.  It explains what’s supposed to happen.  Then it lays out how agencies and planners have basically run away with the process since 2009.  A lot of people have been dumped – citizens with wells, private water associations, the county’s public water districts, and even small cities in large part – even though the Watershed Planning Act (RCW 90.82.10) says:
Continue reading

Editorial: Clallam County “Dungeness Water Rule” – Get It In Writing

from Pearl Rains-Hewett

Posted 3/26/2013



Compare the Dungeness Water Rule to the ongoing water battle in Skagit County, and perhaps you’ll begin to see a pattern. (Much of this material is from’s website, an organization that is fighting for the right of farmers and people to use water) – Ed.

Skagit County

As signers of the 1996 Memorandum of Agreement, they agreed on a community based approach for reduced well usage in order to safeguard water for fish and protect their interests. Instead, their actions and intentions have excluded the community and led to a constitutional taking of water for their gain. If you read the 1996 MOA, this agreement was NEVER intended to eliminate people’s rights to wells.

As PUD General Manager Bob Powell mentioned last Tuesday evening, the water for farmers and rural landowners “somehow disappeared” in the final 2001 Instream Flow Rule. The only attempt to rectify this disappearing act was the 2006 Amendment. While problematic in its own right, it did allow Ecology to set aside some extra water in the “overriding consideration of public interest” (OCPI). The Swinomish and Anacortes are suing to invalidate this extra water resulting in their attempt to control of our watershed. Because of their mayor, Dean Maxwell, Anacortes taxpayers are inadvertently paying to not only take your water away, but taking over 6,000 other neighbors availability to water as well. Please pass the message along and let the taxpayers know how their money is being spent! Continue reading

A legal water question, about “saved water and instream flows”

Open letter from Marguerite Glover

Posted 3/19/2013

Dear Clallam County Commissioners, Clallam DCD Director Sheila Roark Miller, Senator Jim Hargrove, Representative Kevin Van De Wege, and Representative Steve Tharinger:


In light of this statement, found  in the Water Quantity portion of the Elwha-Dungeness Watershed Plan (adopted in June, 2005), 

“At an average water use rate of 350 gallons per day (see discussion of water use rates below), and assuming the higher number (5,616) of residential exempt wells, water demand would be approximately 2 MGD (million gallons per day), or 2,200 AFY (acre-feet per year). If these wells were all in perfect hydraulic continuity with WRIA 18 streams this would equate to a 3 cfs withdrawal spread across all streams in the WRIA (in proportion to well density in each subbasin). However, a general rule of thumb is that 70 percent of residential use returns to groundwater via septic systems, so the net combined effect on all streams in the WRIA would be on the order of 1 cfs or less.” Continue reading

Agenda 21, The Wildlands Project, and the Earth Charter concerns local citizens

by Lois Krafsky-Perry
for Citizen Review
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Port Angeles, WA – A meeting held by the Republican Women of Clallam County (RWCC),  was attended by approximately 40 people, Monday March 11, at the Monterra Clubhouse.
After the regular meeting, a video was shown  with Michael Shaw, founder of Freedom Advocates, who shared information relating to  Agenda 21, followed by a powerpoint presentation from Taking Liberty, produced by Environmental Perspectives Inc.
A live presentation was then made by local businesswoman, writer and editor Sue Forde, who spoke about how Agenda 21, The Earth Charter and the Wildlands Project relate to local concerns.  She also answered questions from the attendees.   Continue reading

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