Action on Battelle Study Should be Deferred

Testimony of  Karl Duff at the Public hearing 23 May 2011 Kitsap County Shoreline Inventory and Characterization Report.

Honorable Commissioners,

I recommend you vote to defer action on the item to approve the Batelle East Kitsap Shoreline Inventory and Assessment Study.  Justification for this delay is as follows: 

(1)   There is evidence of collusion between Washington Department of Ecology (DOE) and the environmental group “Futurewise” in which Futurewise, in public forum declared it was requested by DOE to ensure “Kitsap County got it right” on the SMA update.  Such collusion should be subject to the Commissioners’ fact-finding and investigated prior to making the study an official resource in support of County policy.

(2) DOE has destroyed much of its credibility by falsely proclaiming to the San Juan   County Commissioners that no other county has expressed concern(s) over non-conforming properties being created by SMA updates.  (Mr. Eric Stockdale’s video recorded statement to this effect is available if desired.)

(3)   The guidance from Futurewise was explicitly stated to include increasing shoreline buffers width to 150 feet. The County is on record as having never been able to defend shoreline buffers in excess of 35 ft. and declared in 2004 that there was no science to justify salt water buffers in excess of 35 ft..

(4)   There is strong evidence that the work in the document is emphatically not science, having not been peer reviewed and failing to demonstrate data correlation on the less than dozen instances (among many hundreds of sites) where correlation was even attempted.  There are attempts on-going in which the quality of the science reported is being objectively assessed by independent scientists that could be publicly available in only another month.

(5)   Kitsap County is accumulating an increasing number of large debts and potential debts associated with mismanagement and erroneous decisions regarding land use.  (I can think of three examples off-hand in which multi-millions of dollars are facing the County in judgments.)  It would be prudent to restrain perpetrating yet other actions which could result in judgments against the County.

I therefore recommend that the Commissioners move at this time to defer the proposed action by 90 days.

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