State House Confirms CSA On Right Track
On February 22nd
the State House of Representatives passed HB 1113
(House Bill) that requires the Department of Ecology to identify peer-reviewed science, scientific literature, and other sources of information being relied upon before taking significant agency action related to certain DOE programs.
The House Bill is a bi-partisan effort to ensure that state agencies use the highest scientific standards before enacting rules that impact landowners and business owners, and to bring more accountability and transparency to government. CSA applauds their efforts. The ultimate passage of this bill by the Senate would support CSA’s efforts to require San Juan County’s CAO and SMP to include peer review and risk assessment studies.
Current available information is insufficient to support the need for proposed risk mitigation measures in the Wetland and Fish and Wildlife Habitat Conservation Areas sections of the CAO. Dr. Tim Verslycke, of Gradient Corp. reviewed our County’s then-proposed ordinance and opined that “commercial kits to analyze chemical concentrations” were used and “are no substitute for properly conducted monitoring studies using standard analytical methodologies.” In addition, there are no physical oceanographic studies describing our local marine waters contained in San Juan County’s “Best Available Science” (BAS).
The House Bill now before the Senate reaffirms that the concerns of CSA regarding BAS are valid and on point. San Juan County needs to step back and not proceed further with the CAO and SMP initiatives until the quality of information can be relied upon to be of the highest scientific standards, peer reviewed, local and relevant.
Common Sense Alliance works toward informing County citizens. Website discussions regarding this subject are available in the Library on our CSA website.