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Group files petition to change Dungeness water rule

January 23rd, 2014 - 5:59am

(Sequim) – A local non-profit formed in the wake of a new water rule for the Dungeness basin has filed a petition to change it.

The Olympic Resource Protection Council this week filed a petition with the state Department of Ecology.

It is asking Ecology to reconsider how it plans to “reserve” groundwater for long range water use in the area. The petition also wants Ecology to take into account moves already made to restore stream flows in the area. The ORPC also wants Ecology to conduct a required maximum net benefits test, saying Ecology set in-stream flows in excess of the base flows for the area.

ORPC officials say they filed the petition given a recent state Supreme Court ruling that Ecology went too far in establishing a similar water rule in the Skagit River watershed.

ORPC has been critical of the Dungeness water rule, saying it brings “significant and unnecessarily costly impacts on Clallam County residents” seeking to develop their property.

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