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Clallam commissioners to send letter to state on Dungeness water rule

February 12th, 2014 - 5:34am

(Port Angeles) - Clallam County is sending a letter to the state Department of Ecology to take a closer look at the Dungeness Water rule.

But it's not a unanimous signing. Commissioners Mike Chapman and Jim McEntire will sign the document. Commissioner Mike Doherty voted against sending the letter yesterday.

The rule has been in place for more than a year. It puts in place new restrictions on well-water uses and also attempts to set up mitigation efforts to deal potential future water uses in the east end of Clallam County.

McEntire and Chapman agree DOE could help resolve longstanding uncertainties about the rule and its effects on property development.

Doherty says he thinks the rule is important as is and needs to be in place due to climate change and shrinking snowpacks on the mountains.

Commissioners were asked to enter the debate again after the local Olympic Resource Protection Council petitioned the DOE to re-examine the water rule after the state Supreme Court ruled the department may have overstepped on a similar rule for water use in Skagit County.

Meantime, Port of Port Angeles commissioners were also asked to weigh in. ORPC local counsel Kristina Nelson-Gross, told commissioners the court ruling has raised some important issues.

Port Commissioners haven't decided yet whether they will draft a letter, but said they would consider the request.

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