Thursday, July 31, 2008

Growth Management Act and the Shoreline Management Act: An Important Land Use Decision From The State Supreme Court

In a 5 to 4 decision issued today, the Washington Supreme Court held that critical shoreline areas in the state are now to be regulated under the rules and procedures of the Shoreline Management Act, not the Growth Management Act. The dissent argues that this is only to happen when the Department of Ecology approves new shoreline master plans.

This short, opaque opinion (10 pages for the majority and 5 for the dissent) is going to have wide-ranging effects.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ecology and the Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association Enter Into A Voluntary Regional Agreement

Department of Ecology
"Ecology and the Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association (CSRIA) have entered into a Voluntary Regional Agreement (VRA) as provided for in RCW 90.90.030. The purpose of this VRA is to provide new water for the issuance of drought permits to existing interruptible water rights holders and new water rights on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. This VRA provides that the issuance of these new water rights cannot reduce or negatively impact stream flows in the months of July and August (April through August for the Snake River). To meet this standard of protection, Ecology and CSRIA will pursue conservation, storage, acquisition and other opportunities to provide new water to offset new withdrawals during the summer months."

Friday, July 25, 2008

New Water Cop in Town

The The Chronicle OnLine reports that Tom Perkow has been appointed by the Department of Ecology to oversee water use by rights holders in the Columbia River Basin. Tip to Mr. Perkow: check for under utilitization on certificates. Use it or lose it is still the law in this state.

"End is near[er] for Hanford's K East Basin"

Annette Cary, writing in the TriCity Herald, reports on significant progress in remediating the highly radioactive K East Basin facility at Hanford. The K East Basin is very close to the Columbia River.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Section of King County's Clearing and Grading Ordinance Struck Down by Court of Appeals

In an opinion filed July 7, 2008, the Court of Appeals, Division 1, struck down part of King County's clearing and grading ordinance (KCC 16.82.150, Clearing standards for individual lots in the rural zone) because it imposes an in kind indirect "tax, fee, or charge" on development, in violation of state law (RCW 82.02.020).

Kevin Hanson of The Enumclaw Courier Herald writes on the political fall out of the decision and reports that Supervision Sims says the county will appeal the decision.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Nisqually River Council

Rob Carson has an interesting article on the Nisqually River Council, and its cooperative approach to regulation, in the Admittedly, a special case, but interesting nonetheless.

Oregon Objects to Dam Plan

The SeattlePI, via AP, reports that the State of Oregon has filed a "supplemental complaint" challenging the salmon protection provisions of the dam operating plan agreed to by the BPA and the Tribes(see entry for April 7 below). The article is sketchy on details.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Water Storage in The Yakima River Basin

The Yakima Herald-Republic Online reports that public turn out was light at a Department of Ecology meeting to discuss Black Rock and other alternatives for water storage in the basin.