Department of Ecology News Release - February 16, 2016

Water strategy proposed for Icicle Creek watershed
Chelan County, Ecology ‘scoping’ environmental impact statement

CHELAN COUNTY – A strategy to boost water supplies for fish, irrigators and domestic users is being advanced by the Icicle Creek Work Group after months of negotiations and collaboration.

Toward that end, Chelan County and the Washington Department of Ecology’s Office of Columbia River are jointly overseeing the preparation of a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate the potential impacts associated with the overall water strategy.

The public is invited to provide input on the “scope” or what issues should be considered in the environmental impact document to be drafted this spring.

The Icicle Creek Water Resource Strategy was developed by a diverse group of stakeholders, representing local, state and federal agencies, tribal, environmental, agricultural and domestic interests.

The work group identified several water management projects designed to benefit streamflows in late summer and early fall and institute efficiencies to protect all water uses in the basin. Currently, water availability is tight especially when fish and irrigators need it most.

“Icicle Creek needs more reliable water flows for fish recovery work to be successful, especially in years of drought,” said Washington Fish and Wildlife regional director Jim Brown, workgroup steering committee chair. “An important goal of the Icicle Strategy is to develop water projects that will meet multiple community values and achieve a real win for fish, and for people.”

Ecology and the county cooperate under an agreement called a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that governs how they cooperate as “co-leads” for the EIS, under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).

The SEPA checklist and additional information on the Icicle strategy can be found on Chelan County’s Natural Resources Department page. A “scoping” open house is scheduled for 4-8 p.m. Wednesday, April 20, at the Leavenworth Fire Hall, 228 Chumstick Highway, Leavenworth.

Written comments will be accepted until May 11, 2016, and may be addressed to:

Chelan County Natural Resource Department
Attn: Mike Kaputa, Director
411 Washington St., Suite 201
Wenatchee, WA 98801

or

email at Mike.Kaputa@CO.Chelan.WA.US.

Contacts:

Mike Kaputa, Chelan County Natural Resources director, 509-670-6935

Joye Redfield-Wilder, Ecology communications, 509-575-2610; @ecyCentral