Department of Ecology News Release - January 8, 2013

13-009

Jan. 17 workshop for Dungeness building permit applicants changed to John Wayne Marina in Sequim

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) and Clallam County have changed the meeting place for their public workshop in Sequim on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013. The workshop is for property owners seeking building permits under the new Dungeness water management rule.

Clallam County and Ecology are co-hosting an open house followed by the workshop for building permit applicants from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Jan. 17 at the John Wayne Marina meeting room, 2577 West Sequim Bay Road in Sequim. The change from a previously announced venue will save the county and Ecology the expense of paying for the use of a meeting room.

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 Jan. 2, 2013, 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 has been working with Clallam County to establish the Dungeness Water Exchange, commonly called a “water bank.” The exchange will be operated by the Washington Water Trust (WWT). Mitigation certificates issued by the Exchange ensure new water uses will not harm stream flows.

People with site-specific questions are encouraged to attend the Jan. 17 open house and workshop to discuss their issues one-on-one with the county, state and WWT. The workshop will include a presentation followed by questions and answers. 

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 Jan. 2, the effective date of the rule, do not need to meet the mitigation requirements.

Property owners with questions how to comply with the new Dungeness rule should contact:

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Media Contact:

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

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

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

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