Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

"City of Pullman to appeal Ecology’s stormwater permit; Despite appeal, city plans to accept grant"

More good news from today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
The Pullman City Council will appeal the Washington State Department of Ecology’s recently issued statewide stormwater permit, but will accept a grant intended to help it comply with the permit.

The council voted Tuesday to join other cities in the Association of Washington Cities network to appeal the permit to the state’s Pollution Control Hearings Board.

The permits, issued Jan. 17, are designed to manage the quality and quantity of runoff from development and to control stormwater discharges into sewer systems. The requirements are intended to reduce pollution and contamination of downstream waters.

Councilman Bill Paul supports the appeal, noting that he is against “the methodology being enforced” on the city. Pullman may have to contribute up to $15,000, depending on how many cities join the appeal.

Public Works Director Mark Workman urged the council to accept grant money offered by the Department of Ecology, despite the appeal.

The $75,000 grant will fund stormwater program implementation in Pullman. The money will partially pay for consultant agreements with Otak Inc. for development of a stormwater program that complies with the Department of Ecology permit. The city’s street fund will cover any additional costs.

“The clock is running on complying with the regulations,” Workman said. “One thing I’m sure of: Pullman will not be excused from the permit.”


The council also voted to expand the existing water system at the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport to a 600,000-gallon reservoir, which will be located between the airport and the Pullman-Moscow Highway. Workman said the water source eventually may be able to support some development in both the airport and highway corridors, although the initial project is primarily for adequate fire flow to the airport.

The council approved using a budgeted $200,000 to start the design process and begin acquiring property for the multi-year project.

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