This is probably the most important bill before the Senate as it relates to our county directly. As stated, this is not about banning net pens that exist, but allowing the counties to decide if they want them or not. As to the DOE statement that the SMP does not allow counties to ban water dependent businesses, they need to reread their own documents. Jefferson County has the right to prohibit mining on the shoreline, for example, and to determine whether a business is ‘water dependent’. Ecology has been squarely in the pocket of the Net Pen industry in this state, despite a growing body of evidence, just to the north of us in BC, that this industry is creating more problems than it solves. Anyone wishing to hear another side of this story, should watch or listen to the Dr. Lawrence Dill presentation that I documented a few months ago. The links to it are on the left side of the Blog, look left, and find Dr. Lawrence Dill in the Links catagories. Help make up your own mind with facts.
A bill that would allow coastal counties to ban marine aquaculture net pen facilities has an “uphill battle” ahead of it after a hearing in a state House of Representative committee in Olympia last week, said the North Olympic Legislator who is sponsoring it. State Rep. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, is sponsoring HB 1599, which would allow county governments to include outright bans of net pen fish-farming facilities proposed for shoreline areas in their state-required shoreline management plan updates. Jeremy Schwartz reports.