Monday, August 24, 2009

The Sustainable Watershed Planning Act

Prof. Campana, the Aquadoc at WaterWired, reports on a bill being worked up in the US House of Representatives that aims "To provide for the sustainable use of the Nation's water resources through the coordinated planning of water resources and water infrastructure, and for other purposes." It's early days yet, but this bears watching.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Report of Meeting on Emergency Well Closure Rule in Upper Kittitas County

Dave Lester, writing in the YAKIMA HERALD-REPUBLIC, reports on a meeting held August 13th before the county commissioners. Ecology Director Manning attended and spoke. Apparently, the Attorney General will be rendering an opinion in September on the matter.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Deal On Hanford Cleanup Reached to Settle State Lawsuit

Annette Cary writing in the News Tribune reports that a potential settlement has been reached in the 2008 lawsuit brought by the state to speed up the remediation of the underground storage tanks. Public comments will be taken before a consent decree in entered.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tribes Not Liable Under CERCLA

On June 17, 2009,the US District Court for the Eastern District of Washington ruled that tribes are not "persons" under CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. Section 9601(21). The Court therefore granted the Tribe's Rule 12(b)(6) motion against Teck Cominco's counterclaims in Pakootas v. Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd., No. CV-04-256-LRS, --- F.Supp.2d ----, 2009 WL 1796808 (E.D. Wash. June 19, 2009). Jessica Ferrell of Martin Law Group has a good discussion of the case. Links to documents in the case can be found at Turtle Talk, the blog for the Indigenous Law and Policy Center at Michigan State University College of Law.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Ecology Clarifies Its Emergency Closure Rule in Upper Kittitas County

"The Department of Ecology (Ecology) has clarified its current groundwater closure in upper Kittitas County with the filing of an amended emergency groundwater rule.

"The amended rule makes it clear that people with vested building permit applications or issued building permits in the upper county as of July 16, 2009, are not subject to the groundwater closure and may use permit-exempt wells.

"A vested building permit application is one that has been completed and submitted to the county, and issuance of a permit is expected.

"The amended rule was signed Friday, July 31, 2009, and is effective for a maximum of 120 days. A map of the affected area is available on Ecology’s web site at: Under the amended rule, metering will be required for all uses of the groundwater exemption for residential purposes."