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Commissioner Romero's coffee at the Rainier City Hall this
morning was interesting. Prior to the meeting I spoke with Sandra about the
county's involvement with ICLEI and Agenda 21. She feigned ignorance to
Agenda 21 and we have a meeting later this week where I will see if she is
uninformed or is just playing dumb. Thurston County Prosecutor Jon Tunheim
spoke for 45 minutes about drug court, drugs and domestic violence. That
left 15 minutes for public input which turned immediately to property
rights, gophers and oak trees. We didn't solve anything, but we reached a
few more people with our message and Sandra promised to help several
landowners with their problems. The good news is that Rainier Councilman
Dennis Mcvey told me that Rainier and Tenino had no interest in joining the
August 27th - Cowlitz Basin
Watershed Update-Submittal #3
September 10, 2010
citizens attended the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board Planning Unit meeting
for the Cowlitz River basin on September 9, 2010 compared to almost 150 at the
August meeting. Unfortunately, many people think that the threat to our water
is over because the Dept. of Ecology suspended the Rule-making process. This is
far from true. The Planning Unit is looking at redoing the original plan to
give a new recommendation to the DOE. Then the Rule-making process will begin
again in 2011.
Speakers at the
meeting explained how setting an Instream Flow to protect fish creates a legal
Water Right. Any water uses coming afterward could be restricted or prohibited
if it affects the Instream Flow level. This is crucial because it could
potentially affect any new uses of water, including new wells, which may
be located near a river or stream with a set Instream Flow.
The Planning Unit
will now begin the process of trying to decide where Instream Flows might be
placed and what the set limits will be. They will also be trying to determine
how much water will be “set aside” or “reserved” for new water uses, which
will include allocations for new domestic wells.
The danger to us
lies in having the Instream Flows set too high, resulting in stronger
restrictions. It also lies in having the Reservations & Allocations set too low,
resulting in not having enough “available water” to develop our land and
Now is the time for
the people of the Cowlitz Basin to become proactive in this issue. The Planning
Unit will be accepting applications from those who wish to be involved in the
upcoming research and planning. More details will be coming. Questions &
comments are welcome.
360-496-1903 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Ecology Backs Down.
Lets rulemaking timeline expire (die) and
must re-start the process.
Excerpts from press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Aug. 27,
Department of Ecology Office of Communication and Education; P.O. Box 47600;
Olympia, Washington 98504-7600 printed on recycled paper If you have
trouble receiving this fax or have a change in your fax number, please call
Comment period closes for Grays-Elochoman, Cowlitz draft water rules
Comments will be incorporated into future rulemaking
Grays-Elochoman, Cowlitz basin rulemaking
Tuesday marks the close of a
four-month comment period on two water management rules proposed by the
state Ecology agency.
Ecology announced two weeks ago
it would let current rule timeline run out. This gives the local watershed
planning group more time to fine tune its recommendations that serve as the
basis for the draft rules.
Ecology says it will hold onto
all the comments received through August 31st.
When rulemaking starts again, these comments will be included and answer in
July 15th 2:00 PM (Thursday)
Water Meter Wars
citizens packed the meeting room on a
mid-week / mid-afternoon meeting. Most
drove one to two hours and took time off of
work (left). Paid Ecology staffer
fielding questions (right).
Building 207 - 4th Ave, Room 305
Kelso, WA 98626 (exit 39)
Our First Victory - Ecology
pressured to extend public hearings to
Our Message: Hell No!
It is our right as citizens to be secure
in our property.
Our Second (potential) Victory
- Ecology says it will remove metering
language WRIA 25 (yet
to be verified) of the proposed addition
to the code WAC 173-525 new section.
What's at stake: The
economic viability of rural families
across Washington State.
"(4) Ecology reserves the
right to require new and existing water
users to install, maintain, and report data
from a measuring device (water meter)..."
Their official responsehttp://www.ecy.wa.gov/news/2010news/2010-141.html
Read this & take
action >>>>> Proposed rule change (new
Ken Morse, OTP
News. The meeting location & time were
as inconvenient to the public as possible
yet angry citizens filled the room to
protest a proposed expansion of Ecology's
power to regulate water use include
"reserving the right" to meter private
At the meeting we learned that there is
no shortage of water in these
watersheds - which only
raised questions as to
why Ecology wants metering language &
new powers to regulate.
Ecology denied any intent to meter
It appears Ecology
intends to reserve 99% of the watersheds
water for salmon recovery.
Also very troubling - Ecology's proposal
initially allocated only about 27 new
homes would be permitted in each
watershed over about a 6-year period!
Ecology admitted this was
In a press release earlier in the day
Ecology claimed it will remove the water
WAC 173-525 is not adopted in rule, yet.
Citizens wishing to oppose the proposed
rule changes have until the end of
August. Update - apparently there
will NOT be another Lewis County meeting
- just the regular meeting in Kelso.
Special note - Ecology claims only 200
citizens attended the meeting in Morton
last month but a knowledgeable Morton
resident counted 450 outraged citizens
filling the bleachers and spilling out
on the floor in the Morton High School
The proposed rule is 173-525 WAC
"Water Resources management program for
the Grays-Elochoman Basin, WRIA 25.
(and also WRIA 26 for Cowlitz County)
In light of the continuing public outrage
Ecology's meetings we urge Ecology to
extend the comment period through
February of 2010.