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Mitigation certificates now issued for Dungeness Valley well users

March 22nd, 2013 - 6:44am

(Sequim) -- Certificates showing property owners in the Dungeness Valley have bought new water credits are finally being handed out.

But the mitigation certificates also include a 150-gallon average daily use for a single-family home. That's an average taken from the city of Sequim and PUD water use of a two-person household over a year.

The certificates are part of the new Department of Ecology rule that requires new or updated well users in the Dungeness Valley get water "credits" from a water trust. The state has given the county money to cover purchasing the credits for indoor, domestic use.

But there was controversy over adding language to the certificate that showed a limit. In an interview with KONP's "Todd Ortloff Show", Clallam County commissioner Jim McEntire says he's concerned in the future the usage language can be misinterpreted by those who haven't followed the rule's implementation.

Department of Ecology officials say the language is needed to track the potential amount of water used. The certificate is only to cover domestic, indoor water use.

But DOE officials say they reserve the right to ultimately enforce water use through civil enforcement and fines.

The certificates were supposed to be handed out soon after the new Dungeness water rule went into effect in January, but have stalled mainly due to the limit-language issue.

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