NEWS: Dept. of Ecology agrees to Pike storm water pilot program


Feb. 21, 2013

CONTACT: Ashley Wilson, Public Information Officer – (360) 786-7761 Rep. Liz Pike – (360) 786-7812

Dept. of Ecology agrees to Pike storm water pilot program

Last month, Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas,introduced legislation to authorize an alternative storm water management approach that would effectively and efficiently achieve state and federal requirements.

In a letter dated Feb. 21, 2013, Washington State Department of Ecology Director Maia Bellon agreed to Pike’s approach and said the agency would work to implement the goals and outcomes as outlined in Pike’s original legislation, House Bill 1237.

“This is a big win for Clark County government. I was very glad and also honored to receive this hand-delivered letter directly from our new Ecology director today.  This letter basically allows Clark County to begin working with Ecology right now to develop the pilot program outlined in my bill, said Pike. “We don’t have to take our chances with this bill being killed in a Rule Committee in any of the fiscal committees or in one of the chambers. It’s about the best outcome we could have hoped for.”

The letter assures DOE’s water quality program is committed to working with Clark County staff and interested citizens to develop an alternative storm water pilot program.  Additionally, the letter explains that under the County’s current municipal storm water permit, Ecology has the authority and willingness to allow Clark County to move forward with a workable alternative.

Pike introduced the bill earlier this year after working with stakeholders from Clark County government, members of the local building industry and representatives from Washington’s environmental community.  The bill would have offered equal environmental protection but decreased regulations to encourage private sector job growth.

“City and county governments have no choice but to pass on the cost of expensive storm water compliance projects.  These rules end up being a huge barrier to new businesses and expanding businesses in Southwest Washington,” said Pike.

HB 1237 was referred to the House Environment Committee chaired by Rep. Dave Upthegrove.  In written comments he stated the positive outcome for Clark County’s approved storm water pilot program was a direct result of Pike’s tenacity on the issue.

Rep. Pike’s hard work on this issue has resulted in the same outcome as if the bill had passed,” said Upthegrove.

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