Department of Ecology News Release - January 2, 2013

13-001

UPDATE: Jan. 17 workshop for Dungeness building permit applicants changed to John Wayne Marina in Sequim. (1/8/2012)

Clallam County, Ecology schedule Jan. 17 workshop to help building permit applicants comply with Dungeness rule

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) and Clallam County will co-host a public workshop Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, to help property owners obtain mitigation water and apply for building permits under the new Dungeness water management rule that took effect today.

The new water management rule protects water supplies for current and future uses in the Sequim area for the benefit of people, community development, agriculture and fish. The rule requires that new groundwater withdrawals be offset or mitigated from the effective date of the rule. Mitigation credits (water rights or portions of water rights) must be obtained before permits can be issued for new homes and building projects in rural areas affected by the rule.

To help building permit applicants meet the new mitigation requirements, Ecology is working with Clallam County to establish the Dungeness Water Exchange, commonly called a “water bank.” The Washington Water Trust (WWT) will operate the exchange. Mitigation certificates issued by the exchange ensure new water uses will not harm stream flows.

Ecology is also providing Clallam County with a $100,000 grant to provide financial assistance for building permit applicants who seek mitigation credits for indoor household water uses. The grant provides funds for the first six months of 2013.

Well owners with a building permit issued or new water use established before today (Jan. 2), the effective date of the rule, do not need to meet the mitigation requirements.

Clallam County and Ecology will co-host an open house followed by a public workshop for building permit applicants from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, at the Sequim Transit Center, 190 W. Cedar in Sequim. People with site-specific questions are encouraged to attend the open house and discuss their issues one-on-one with the county, state and WWT. The workshop will include a presentation followed by questions and answers.

Beginning today, property owners with questions how to comply with the new Dungeness rule should contact:

###

Media Contacts:

Dan Partridge, 360-407-7139, dan.partridge@ecy.wa.gov

Linda Kent, 360-407-6239, linda.kent@ecy.wa.gov

For more information:

Dungeness Water Management (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wr/instream-flows/dungeness.html)

Ecology’s social media (www.ecy.wa.gov/about/newmedia.html)