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County sending letter to DOE on Dungeness water rule

July 5th, 2012 - 6:21am

(Port Angeles) -- Clallam County commissioners are sending another letter to the Department of Ecology on proposed new sweeping rules over water in the Dungeness Valley.

Commissioners this week approved sending the letter this week, a few days after a public hearing in Sequim in which nearly everyone who testified was against the DOE's plan.

County Administrator Jim Jones says the letter is part of a nine-point "discussion" that has gone back and forth between the county and DOE. The county has questioned a number of parts of the plan and how it would be implemented. If approved, it may be up to the county to enforce the rules through the permitting process.

Jones says he believes the DOE will take all testimony, including the county's, into consideration. July 9th is the deadline for Ecology to accept comments, and Jones feels the Department will draw up the rule sometime this fall.

Supporters of the new water rule say its needed to protect water for future development and fish in the Dungeness River.

Opponents say its is a property-rights grab and is built on flawed, old scientific data.

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