An environmental attorney licensed in the State of Washington, I am also a geomorphologist with an abiding interest in land and water, and how these react to human use and development.
Posted on February 13, 2012
Land in the USA not located in the east or Texas is divided into 6 mile-square townships by the Public Land Survey System. The townships are further divided into sections one mile square. These sections can be further subdivided.
Gary D. Libecap of the Hoover Institution argues that this system strengthens and protects property rights, thereby promoting economic development...
Posted on February 09, 2012
In a decision released today, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit begins its opinion with the following.
This case represents a gross abuse of the judicial process. Just when Defendants-Appellees United States Forest Service and Joseph P. Stringer (USFS), and Intervenor-Defendant Arizona Snowbowl Resort Limited Partnership (ASRLP) had successfully defended an agency decision to allow snowmaking at a ski resort on federal land all the way to the United States Supreme Court, ?new? plaintiffs appeared...
Posted on February 05, 2012
On January 31, 2011, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a decision and an amended opinion on Washington's election laws as they pertain to financial contributions by PACS for or against ballot measures.
We address the constitutionality of three provisions of Washington election law as applied to the political committees that support and oppose ballot measures...
Posted on February 02, 2012
Nope, not according to Division 3 of the Washington Court of Appeals. In a decision issued today the court reviews the current law of nonconforming structures and substantive due process in Washington.
Sun-Tides Mobile Home Park is located in the floodway of the Naches River...
Posted on January 29, 2012
As an attorney and a geomorphologist interested in stream restoration, I wonder about liability for a restoration project if it damages property. Stream restoration is a popular and growing activity. Be it to improve habitat or other worthy goals, what happens if a restoration goes wrong -- or is at least accused of going wrong? What if, for example, a claim is made that the stream restoration project is causing increased flooding? Could happen...
Posted on January 27, 2012
Yesterday, Division II of the Court of Appeals withdrew its prior opinion in Olympic Stewardship Foundation v. Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board, 4027-6-II, and issued a new opinion. The new opinion finds that the County properly applied "best available science" in requiring retention of vegetation in valley bottoms with migrating river channels...
Posted on January 27, 2012
Not Washington, but interesting:
BP tried and failed to get a piece of Transocean's $750M insurance coverage: Order(InsuranceActions).pdf Note the language from the Drilling Contract at p. 40:
Article 24 of the Drilling Contract allocates responsibility for pollution risks between the
?Contractor? (Transocean) and the ?Company? (BP):
Posted on December 11, 2010
Annette Cary, writing in the News Tribune reports that, in my paraphrase, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has lost patience with the NRC commissioners playing politics with the Yucca Mountain issue.
Posted on September 23, 2009
David Lester, writing in the Yakima Herald-Republic reports on the Attorney General's opinion on Ecology's authority to restrict new exempt wells.
YAKIMA, Wash. -- The Washington Department of Ecology has legal authority to forbid new water wells, including the small, individual wells being tapped for new homes in Kittitas County, concludes an opinion from the state Office of the Attorney General...
Posted on August 25, 2009
Prof. Campana, the Aquadoc at WaterWired, reports on a bill being worked up in the US House of Representatives that aims "To provide for the sustainable use of the Nation's water resources through the coordinated planning of water resources and water infrastructure, and for other purposes...
Posted on August 15, 2009
Dave Lester, writing in the YAKIMA HERALD-REPUBLIC, reports on a meeting held August 13th before the county commissioners. Ecology Director Manning attended and spoke. Apparently, the Attorney General will be rendering an opinion in September on the matter.
Posted on August 12, 2009
Annette Cary writing in the News Tribune reports that a potential settlement has been reached in the 2008 lawsuit brought by the state to speed up the remediation of the underground storage tanks. Public comments will be taken before a consent decree in entered.
Posted on August 10, 2009
On June 17, 2009,the US District Court for the Eastern District of Washington ruled that tribes are not "persons" under CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. Section 9601(21). The Court therefore granted the Tribe's Rule 12(b)(6) motion against Teck Cominco's counterclaims in Pakootas v...
Posted on August 09, 2009
"The Department of Ecology (Ecology) has clarified its current groundwater closure in upper Kittitas County with the filing of an amended emergency groundwater rule.
"The amended rule makes it clear that people with vested building permit applications or issued building permits in the upper county as of July 16, 2009, are not subject to the groundwater closure and may use permit-exempt wells...
Posted on July 26, 2009
On Friday, July 24, the Department of Ecology announced it will be renewing talks with Kittitas County concerning its recently announced emergency rule. . Quoting Ecology:
At the request of Gov. Chris Gregoire, Washington Ecology Director Jay Manning met with Kittitas County Commission Chair Alan Crankovich and, as a result, negotiations regarding an alternative groundwater management rule will recommence as early as next week...
Posted on July 25, 2009
Updating a previous entry on the Center for Environmental Law and Policy's (CELP) opposition to Easterday Ranches' proposed use of exempt groundwater for a new feedlot in Franklin County: On Jan. 8, 2009, Ecology denied CELP's petition for a declaratory order based on Easterday's right to decline to be a party to the proceeding...
Posted on July 23, 2009
The East Oregonian reports that state Senator David Nelson made the suggestion while addressing the Rotary Club in Pendleton. Quoting the paper:
Nelson said he tends to look at Oregon's natural resources in trying to figure out how to pay for state programs...
Posted on July 20, 2009
"The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) and Teck American Inc. (Teck) in Spokane this week signed a detailed voluntary agreement to remove slag from a beach area on the Upper Columbia River known as Black Sand Beach.
The slag, which has the appearance of black sand, is an industrial byproduct from a metals smelting facility operated by Teck Metals Ltd...
Posted on July 17, 2009
Emergency rule closes new groundwater withdrawals in upper Kittitas County
YAKIMA ? The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) will file an emergency rule that closes upper Kittitas County to all new groundwater withdrawals, the agency announced Thursday, July 16...
Posted on December 28, 2008
The Center for Environmental Law and Policy (CELP) recently filed a Petition for Declaratory Order, seeking to have the Department of Ecology find that the stock-watering exemption of RCW 90.44.050 does not apply to feedlot operations. The petition takes direct aim at a 2005 Attorney General opinion to the contrary...
Posted on November 26, 2008
The Tri-City Herald reports:
"The state of Washington will file a lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in an attempt to force the Department of Energy to meet new deadlines to empty radioactive waste from underground tanks and treat it."
Posted on October 27, 2008
Michael Milstein reports on the Army Corps' withdrawal of a permit for a commercial dock on the Columbia River after the Port of Arlington, Oregon, completes 70% of the the structure, because the site is a usual and accustomed fishing station of the Umatillas...
Posted on September 11, 2008
The Seattle Times reports that a lawsuit has been filed in federal court to stop Glacier Northwest's mine on Maury Island in Puget Sound. Plaintiffs are People for Puget Sound, the Washington Environmental Council and Preserve Our Islands.
Posted on August 23, 2008
This coming Monday, 8/25/08, at their regular which begins at 7 pm, the Kitsap County Commissioners will hear an appeal of the Hearing Examiner's decision. Christopher Dunagan reports
on the issues in the Kitsap Sun.The meeting agenda is here (see page 6).
Posted on August 13, 2008
The indefatigable Annette Cary, writing in the Tri-City Herald, reports on the NRC's review of DOE's progress in getting the vit plant up and running. I hope Ms. Cary plans on writing a book about Hanford -- someday.
Posted on July 31, 2008
In a 5 to 4 decision issued today, the Washington Supreme Court held that critical shoreline areas in the state are now to be regulated under the rules and procedures of the Shoreline Management Act, not the Growth Management Act. The dissent argues that this is only to happen when the Department of Ecology approves new shoreline master plans...