2018-Feb & Mar: Organizing for Whatcom County – Citizen Journalists Report

In News, Organizing for Whatcom County, Wake Up Whatcom by commonnw

This week, Feb 27th – March 1st, has been brutal with meetings!

Tuesday Feb. 27th:

We started the day on Tuesday Feb. 27th, at the PUD meeting at 8:00 am -9:30 am, discussion centered on ESSB 6091; Whatcom County Council daytime and evening meetings ran from 10:30 am until 1:15 am Wed. morning; the Whatcom County Council (WCC) included a special one hour presentation by the attorney for Cascadia Law Services, Rodney Brown. Mr. Brown’s presentation focused on ways that WCC could potentially limit commerce activity at the Cherry Point industrial area and avoid legal troubles.  After a long presentation and much public testimony, the WCC extended the Cherry Point moratorium again, limiting expansion and growth of Phillpips, Intalco and BP. During the daytime meetings the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) gave a presentation on potential sites for Offroad Recreational Vehicle (ORV) trails and a park, to be sited on DNR Timberland.

The DNR has thousands of acres of open timberland that they are willing to share, help plan and administer, for off road vehicles to use.

At the beginning of the Council’s evening meeting the WCC pulled the ORV / DNR projects from the county docket of potential projects. Not to be deterred, the many people who had showed up to testify at the evening’s public comment stayed. This led to an open public testimony in the evening that lasted many hours, many ORV’ers spoke for the inclusion of this project to the docket and many residents spoke against the project, and many were still testifying when we left the WCC meeting at 11:30 pm, WCC turned it down.

Wednesday Feb. 28th:

The WRIA 1 – Planning Unit (PU) met. At this meeting the Dept. of Ecology reminded the members that they have 388 days per ESSB 6091, to complete a Water Plan Update, showing no impact on the Nooksack Basin, from exempt wells for the next 20 years.  The PU passed a flowchart of the work to be done with the direction of the PU  and County Staff Team to provide technical resources and help, as needed. A flow chart of the work was modified and passed by consensus.  Governance and Funding Committee will meet on March 14, at Building Industry Association of Whatcom County (BIAWC).

Thursday Mar. 1st:

The new Watershed Management Board (WMB) met. At this meeting the representative from the Lummi Business Council, emphasized they are interested infish and their water rights.’ They emphasized that they are not interested in participating on the issue of ‘exempt wells.’ The flow chart passed WMB, also.  Whatcom County Exec. Jack Louws, kept the meeting focused and adjourned after 1 hour.

~ Common Voices – Citizen Journalists