The City of Shelton Commissioners voted "yes" for the consent approval for the MOU in connection with the Urban Growth Expansion Area. There are several issues with this MOU that have serious considerations.
#1 "The city will be the lead SEPA agency, and prepare a 'Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement' prior to filing the application with the County." There is no definition for what a Programmatic EIS means. Steve Goins was asked for a definition and if I understand it correctly, it is an EIS that requires guidelines for certain kinds of projects( unspecified). If a proposed project falls within the parameters of this guideline no further environmental will be required or ALLOWED. So if a particular type of heavy industry is proposed for this area, and whether it fits the guide lines or not we are stuck with it. The whole thing is so vague that it would be very difficult to have an intensive investigation of its appropriateness.
#2This was completely ignored. The CARAs (CRITICAL AQUIFER RECHARGE AREAS) have not been mapped. The County is waiting for GRANT money to pay for this. This is very important as the CLASS I CARA is extremely, highly susceptible to contamination. This is our drinking water.A CLASS I CARA is not an appropriate site for heavy industry.
#3 Green Diamond and Hunter are two of the parties with the City and County as the other two. Quote from the terms:" The City will hire the consultant and take the opinions of the other two parties into account before making its decisions regarding the scope of the review or which consultants to hire."
"At this writing, Green diamond is putting final touches of the MOU. Legal review is pending."
QUESTION: How can Green Diamond be writing the MOU and together with Hunter be allowed to help decide who the consultant will be, and deciding the scope of the review? I could not find anywhere in the SEPA Handbook, where anyone other than an County or City official with Ecology oversight handles an EIS. This is a conflict of interest. As far as I know neither of these two entities were ever elected to either the City or County Commission.
It appears that the only type of business that is ever considered or sought, is heavy industry. This type of business always has severe environmental issues. This County has been inundated wit pollution and contamination which has been left for us to pay for the cleanup. The cost of cleanup is very, very expensive. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. It is time to consider other options and get out of the rut.
The October 31 Mason County Journal had a column on another sewer charge hike. One of the costs mentioned that would have to be paid is $47,500 for "the of the city's Urban Growth Expansion Area." Is it logical at this time to add this on top of the bills that must be paid? The County will also have to pay this amount but that is another hornet's nest problem.
Patricia Vandehey, Shelton