Venue changed for Dungeness water rule workshop

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SEQUIM — The site of next Thursday’s workshop for property owners seeking building permits under the new Dungeness water management rule has been changed.

The open house and workshop will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the John Wayne Marina meeting room at 2577 West Sequim Bay Road.

The event, co-hosted by Clallam County and the state Department of Ecology, originally was set for the Sequim Transit Center, 190 W. Cedar St.

“The change from a previously announced venue will save the county and Ecology the expense of paying for the use of a meeting room,” Ecology said in statement.

A one-hour open house will be followed by a two-hour workshop on mitigation water credits and the building permit process — and is expected to provide new information on procedures for obtaining water mitigation credits.

The state Department of Ecology’s Dungeness Water Rule for the eastern half of Water Resource Inventory 18, or WRIA 18, sets minimum in-stream flows, which is the amount of water needed to provide for downstream use, to protect present and future water supplies for marine habitat and human usage and consumption.

The rule requires that new groundwater withdrawals be offset or mitigated, with mitigation credits — water rights or portions of water rights — obtained before permits can be issued for new homes and building projects in the rural areas affected by the rule.

It came into effect Jan. 2, though the process had not been completed for purchasing the required water credits.

Rules in place?

That is expected to be remedied by Thursday, the date of the Sequim workshop, said Dan Partridge, Ecology spokesman.

“Most certainly, the procedure will have been worked out by then,” Partridge said.

Ecology has been working with Clallam County to establish the Dungeness Water Exchange, commonly called a “water bank.”

The Washington Water Trust is in charge of selling the water mitigation credits from a “water bank” it will manage through June 30.

People with site-specific questions are encouraged to attend the Thursday open house and workshop to discuss their issues one-on-one with the county, state and Washington Water Trust, Ecology said.

The workshop will include a presentation, followed by questions and answers.

Ecology also is providing Clallam County with a $100,000 grant to provide financial assistance for building permit applicants who seek mitigation credits for indoor household water uses. The grant provides funds for the first six months of 2013.

Well owners with a building permit issued or new water use established before Jan. 2, the effective date of the rule, do not need to meet the mitigation requirements.

Property owners with questions on how to comply with the new Dungeness rule can contact:

■ Clallam County Department of Community Development for information on building permit procedures — 360-417-2317.

■ Washington Water Trust for information on the Dungeness Water Exchange — 206-675-1585, ext. 101.

■ Ecology for water-use requirements of the new Dungeness rule — 360-407-6058.

Last modified: January 10. 2013 5:23PM
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