Dept of Ecology Wasting Millions of Tax Dollars

Testimony of Tim Matthes for the Public Hearing 23 May 2011 Kitsap County Shoreline Inventory and Charactorization Report.

May 27, 2011

Honorable Commissioners,

Please include this letter as my additional testimony on the Shoreline Inventory and Characterization Report.

On May 23, 2011, at the County Commissioners meeting, I stated in my oral testimony that the Department of Ecology has caused millions of wasted tax dollars and thousands of man hours fixing a problem that they now admit was nowhere near as disastrous as first reported. I have attached an article to prove my point. Faulty information and the resulting decisions can and do cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

Kitsap County is now poised to make a costly and environmentally disastrous decision based on faulty information. The information that I speak of is the Battelle Report. This is the foundation that the Shoreline Inventory and Characterization Report has been based upon.

Notice I did not say science. I said information because this report does not qualify as a scientific based document.  For over a year Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners has testified to the problems with that Battles report. Their testimony is on record for you to read.

Your Department of Community Development has systematically disregarded their testimony. The facilitator that is representing you in the update  process has likewise refused to discuss the points that have been raised.  I implore you to go back in the record and re-think the information provided by staff and the SMP update . Remember that when you vote yea you are personally accepting responsibility for the far reaching decisions and future costs that will be associated with the update.

Please, do not approve the Shoreline Inventory and Characterization Report as recommended by staff. Instead, send it back to the staff and the taskforce. Tell them to look at these complaints and make corrections to this critically important part of SMP document. Do not build our house on sinking sand!

Respectfully, Tim Matthes


Department of Ecology Corrects its Past Reports
Now Says Pollution Run-off is Much Less than Estimated Previously 

The state Department of Ecology today released its third and final report on toxic chemicals in Puget Sound.  The final report, Control of Toxic Chemicals in Puget Sound – Phase 3: Data and Load Estimates, is part of a series using scientific data to look at the level of toxics entering Puget Sound.

The final report, however, shows a significant decrease in the total amounts compared to earlier reports, especially in pollution levels tied to petroleum products.

The data from the new report makes it clear how inaccurate the previous reports were. Ecology has already admitted these errors when they issued a revised addendum to the Phase 2 report.  These errors have led many, including Washington Policy Center, to question their value as tools to “inform” the policy debate around Puget Sound Restoration.

The first two toxic loading reports, Phase 1: Initial Estimate of Loadings and Phase 2: Improved Estimates of Loadings from Surface Runoff and Roadways, were used by the Puget Sound Partnership to build and promote the 2008 Action Agenda, the state’s roadmap to protecting and restoring Puget Sound.

According to Ecology’s website, the goal of the three-phase toxic loading reports is to use science “to inform decisions about actions to restore the Puget Sound.”

“The major revisions in this new report on stormwater run-off show how the politics have gotten ahead of the science,” said Brandon Houskeeper, a Policy Analyst with Washington Policy Center. “The previous numbers were used to justify a particular approach to Puget Sound cleanup. We hope the Partnership will explain how they are going to adjust their approach given the latest science.”

“The state is already started down the path of revising the Agenda, but that work and process is not reflective of the findings from the final loading report,” continued Houskeeper. “It appears that the cart is still in front of the horse. The key question for policymakers now is to ask how the new scientific data will inform the state’s current policies and process.”

(Washington Policy Center)


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