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Final Dungeness water rule to be signed Friday

November 16th, 2012 - 11:19am

(Port Angeles) -- The state Department of Ecology will sign a controversial water rule for the Dungeness Valley today.

But the public won't get a chance to see exactly what the final rule looks like until next week.

Clallam County officials were contacted earlier this week by DOE officials indicating the final rule will be signed, but even the county won't get to see it for three days. DOE rules say the agency must wait three days before it is opened to the public. The day before Thanksgiving will mark the public unveiling of the rule.

County commissioner Mike Chapman says there are still a lot of questions the county has on the final rule.

The county will still have to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the state for implementing the rule since many of the tasks, such as building permits, fall under the county's jurisdiction.

It's not known yet if the rule will contain specific language that would set up a different method of mitigation for new well water users in the Sequim area. DOE and county officials came to an agreement in principle on the change earlier this year. The rule has been more than a decade in the making and is intended to deal with what some experts say is declining water supplies in the Dungeness Valley and protecting salmon runs.

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