Monday, October 7, the curtain goes up on the next act in the long running Washington stormwater imbroglio. What is different this time is that five counties, twenty-five cities, and the Washington State Department of Transportation (“WSDOT”) oppose the Department of Ecology (“Ecology”). The last few years have seen Clark County and the private Building Industry Association carrying the load in this litigation, but after Ecology released its latest five-year permit, the additional local governments and WSDOT recognized the problems and joined the appeal.
In their briefs, Pierce County argues that “Ecology took a huge leap forward knowing there would be spectacular failures” of stormwater systems built to permit requirements. Snohomish County adds that the permit is “patently unreasonable.” King County asserts “that public safety, life cycle costs and actual feasibility are not given due consideration.”
Meanwhile, Ecology continues to argue that the financial cost of permit mandates have no legal relevance, as if local governments and property owners have pockets deep enough to withstand the replacement of spectacular failures.
The PCHB hearing is scheduled to last for three weeks, so stay tuned to this blog for updates.
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