Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
New Negotiations Set to Commence in Upper Kittitas County Exempt Well Controversy
At the request of Gov. Chris Gregoire, Washington Ecology Director Jay Manning met with Kittitas County Commission Chair Alan Crankovich and, as a result, negotiations regarding an alternative groundwater management rule will recommence as early as next week.
Ecology's website has a page with some of the background on this issue.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Exempt Wells for Stock Watering
A useful summary of this matter, including links to key documents, can be found on Ecology's website.
Ecology is continuing to ask for legislative clarification of the scope of the stockwatering exemption in the groundwater code. Quoting Ecology's FAQ on the Easterday feedlot:
Several bills to amend and clarify RCW 90.44.050 were introduced in the 2009 session of the Washington Legislature. All of these bills died in session. An interim working group comprised of legislators and representatives of the dairy and livestock industries and Ecology staff will convene later this year in an attempt to draft a statutory amendment to be considered during the 2010 session of the Legislature.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Oregon State Senator Considers Selling Columbia Water to California
Nelson said he tends to look at Oregon's natural resources in trying to figure out how to pay for state programs. He said 90 percent of Oregon timber is off limits for harvesting, in explaining why he considers selling "surplus" Columbia River water.
In discussion with members of the audience, Nelson acknowledged more questions than answers on his idea. He said he knew of no precedents for such a sale of water. He mentioned that Oregon's ownership of the Columbia River extends to halfway across the channel. Among ways of getting water from the Columbia to the Southwest: a pipeline and/or rail cars.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Teck America, Inc. Enters Voluntary Cleanup Agreement For Black Sand Beach, Upper Columbia
"The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) and Teck American Inc. (Teck) in Spokane this week signed a detailed voluntary agreement to remove slag from a beach area on the Upper Columbia River known as Black Sand Beach. The slag, which has the appearance of black sand, is an industrial byproduct from a metals smelting facility operated by Teck Metals Ltd. (formerly Teck Cominco) in Trail B.C."
Friday, July 17, 2009
Upper Kittitas County Closed to New Groundwater Withdrawals
Emergency rule closes new groundwater withdrawals in upper Kittitas County YAKIMA – The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) will file an emergency rule that closes upper Kittitas County to all new groundwater withdrawals, the agency announced Thursday, July 16. After nearly two years of negotiations, Ecology was unable to gain a commitment from the Kittitas County Board of Commissioners that they were willing to move forward with a memorandum of agreement and alternative rule approach that would have limited the uncontrolled proliferation of so-called “exempt groundwater wells” in upper Kittitas County.