Environmental groups take county to court

Three environmental groups have launched a preliminary attack against regulations that Grays Harbor County officials have yet to even finish and the county commissioners have not yet approved, according to The Daily World of Aberdeen.

Seattle-based Futurewise and local groups Friends of Grays Harbor and Wildlife Forever filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Thurston County Superior Court asking the court to establish a broad-based, countywide building moratorium in every area that could be considered a “critical area” and compel the county to create new environmental regulations. The groups say the county is violating state law because it is more than a year late in establishing a critical-areas ordinance, which oversees building regulations for wetlands, aquifers, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas, frequently flooded areas and geologically hazardous areas.

Per state law, the county was supposed to have its critical-areas ordinance done by Dec. 1, 2008.

The lawsuit seeks a building moratorium on all “clearing, grading, draining, filling, dumping, discharging, shading, removing native vegetation, interference with native vegetation, building, or erecting or constructing structures within, over, under, and on the ground or water within 300 feet of all critical areas.”