October 8, 2013

Opening Statements at the Pollution Control Hearings Board

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Opening statements at the Pollution Control Hearings Board laid out the arguments of the numerous appellants.  The local governments argued that while LID techniques are effective in many applications, the MS4 Permit (“Permit”) lacks reasonable standards for when not to use them.  The appellants feel like the scale is tipped too far in favor of LID, especially in challenging circumstances where the likelihood of failure is substantial, and without considering cost and maintenance.  Of particular interest, the attorney for a coalition of local governments alleged that Ed O’Brien, chief permit writer for the Department of Ecology, said candidly at a public meeting that the Permit is a grand experiment and there will be some spectacular failures.

Puget Soundkeeper insists the Permit didn’t go far enough, and since LID has proven effective, it should be mandatory.  They believe that the flexibility in the Permit means very few LID projects will be built.  The Department of Ecology adopted a defensive tone and thinks the Permit gives the right amount of flexibility because LID isn’t mandatory, and developers can demonstrate infeasibility for a particular project.

Now the appellants begin presenting their witnesses. . .

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