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DOE denies petition to amend Dungeness water rule

March 19th, 2014 - 6:21am

(Olympia) – The state Department of Ecology will not reopen a rule concerning water use in the Dungeness Valley.

DOE this week denied a petition from the local Olympic Resource Protection Council to amend the year-and-a-half old water rule.

ORPC asked Ecology to reconsider how it plans to “reserve” groundwater for long range water use in the area. The petition also wanted Ecology to take into account moves already made to restore stream flows in the area. The group says it also 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.

Several local groups and government leaders had also asked the state to consider the petition.

But in a letter, Ecology said it felt there were already adequate mechanisms to address the concerns. Department officials say the concerns should instead be taken up with an advisory council set up in conjunction with the water exchange for the Dungeness Valley.

ORPC maintained it doesn't seek to get rid of the water rule, but instead try to make sure there is better certainty for possible future growth in the east end of Clallam County.

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