For decades, the foundations of environmental law have crumbled under special interests. The land, air, water and climate degrade despite the activism and policies that led to Earth Day in 1970. This story rings true here in Olympia with the recent attempts to disillusion the public over Clean Water Act violations downtown.
If Capitol Lake had the benefits purported by David Milne, we would see clean water now. Instead we see a public and environmental health hazard. None of Milne’s publications, including “Capitol Lake: Protector of Water Quality in Budd Inlet,” state why the Department of Ecology is involved: violation of the Clean Water Act. Ecology has shown that the dam is the major cause. Milne does not even mention the Clean Water Act. It’s as though he is trying to make the violation disappear.
Department of Enterprise Services recently researched dredging for Capitol Lake. The report clearly states that no environmental benefit has been identified for lake management, and it would be expensive and difficult to permit. It also said the Deschutes estuary will have positive impacts on wildlife habitat and negative impacts on invasive species.
I thought it particularly interesting that, in listing the partnership that should come together for dredging, Milne neglected to mention the Squaxin Island Tribe. The Tribe will be involved, every step of the way.
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The Legislature has not failed to grant funds. It has realized that it cannot. Let’s not leave an environmental and financial burden for our children.