Department of Ecology News Release - April 13, 2015

Draft plan to clean up Deschutes watershed out for review
Comment on the cleanup plan through May 27

OLYMPIA – With Thurston County’s growing population, water quality in the Deschutes River has declined. As a part of continued efforts to restore water quality, the Department of Ecology has released a draft water cleanup plan for the Deschutes River, and is hosting public meetings as part of a comment period over the next six weeks.

The draft plan looks at the total maximum daily load of pollution that enters the river. This plan focuses on the river above Tumwater Falls and on freshwater streams flowing to Budd Inlet. A second phase will later look at water quality in Capitol Lake and Budd Inlet.

The report found a number of pollution factors contributing to a decrease in water quality, including warmer water temperature, high bacteria and sediment levels, and low levels of dissolved oxygen.

“With such a decrease in water quality in our own backyard, we are focused on a multi-faceted solution to restore the clean and cool water the Deschutes needs to support fishing, recreation and other public benefits,” said Rich Doenges, Water Quality section manager for the Department of Ecology’s Southwest Region. “The public’s input is critical to make sure this is a comprehensive approach to cleaning up the watershed.”

The draft report is available online, and printed copies are available at Ecology’s Southwest Regional office in Lacey at 300 Desmond Dr. SE, and at the Tumwater Regional Public Library at 7023 New Market Street.

Ecology is asking for public comment during an extended 45-day comment period from April 13 to May 27, 2015. Public comments must be received by 5 p.m. May 27, 2015.

The agency will hold two public meetings in Olympia and Tumwater:

After the comment period ends, Ecology will respond to the public’s comments, and issue the final report later in 2015. Then the second phase studying Capitol Lake and Budd Inlet can begin.

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Contacts:

Chase Gallagher, communications, 360-407-6239, @ECYSW