Opinion

Rethink the need for Water Rule

 

About the proposed Department of Ecology Dungeness Water Rule:

The Department of Ecology’s new proposed Dungeness Water Rule goes way too far. It lacks common sense and proper accountability. 

These new rules raise more questions than answers about our future water rights and uses.
 
Decreased property values

This new rule will have a detrimental effect on property values and future development. I understand the need for and believe in sensible water management. The current system is working well and does not need change. 

Salmon

A few people are saying these new regulations are going to help salmon by keeping the river from drying up. Some of the river flow has likely increased due to the closure of numerous irrigation ditches over the last 30 years. The river is not going to dry up. This is simply ridiculous!

The salmon issue is complex and not going to be solved by pushing more water down the river. The salmon problem is a result of poor decisions by various state and federal agencies over many years. 

Getting the sport fishermen, commercial fishermen, tribes, Canadians, state fisheries and other government agencies on the same page is the only real solution that is going to truly help save the salmon.

Over-regulation

We are constantly seeing more and more new government regulations, many of which make it harder for people to make ends meet and stifle business. 

If government agencies continue to burden taxpayers with more and more senseless rules such as the proposed Dungeness Water Rule, we will soon see a “forever stagnant” economy — no jobs, no businesses and no source of funding for government agencies and programs. We all lose. 

This regulation will adversely affect a lot of people.

Lack of public support

An estimated 300 people attended the public hearing in Sequim on June 28. There were over 35 speakers voicing opposition. The only person at the hearing who spoke in favor of the new proposed rule was another state employee. 

The City of Sequim, Sequim Association of Realtors and Port Angles Business Association are all opposed to the proposed rule. The overwhelming majority of both people in attendance at the meeting and in the general population are clearly against the proposed rule. 

I believe that the Department of Ecology needs to responsibly listen to and represent the wishes of the People. I urge the Department of Ecology to do the right thing and dismiss the proposed rule.

For more information about this issue, go to sequimwater.com.

Contact Ann Wessel Department of Ecology with your comments:

Department of Ecology
1440 10th St., Suite 102├ó┬ĘBellingham, WA 98225
email: awes461@ecy.wa.gov
Phone: 360 715-5215

Andy Sallee is a Sequim resident.
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