On the City of Yelm’s website under Public Notices, there is this:
DNS Case #ENV-09-0125-YL, City of Yelm 2009 Water System Plan
Adopt an updated Water System Plan for the City of Yelm
from where I quote,
“Determination of Non-Significance
File Number ENV-09-0125-YL
Description of Proposal: Adopt an updated Water System Plan for the City of Yelm.
Proponent: City of Yelm, Washington
Location of the Proposal: The City of Yelm water service area, which includes
portions of the existing Yelm City limits and portions of the Yelm Urban Growth Area.
Located in a portion of Township 17 North, Ranges 1 East and 2 East, W.M.
Lead agency: City of Yelm
The City of Yelm as lead agency for this action has determined that this proposal does not have a probable significant adverse impact on the environment. Therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will not be required under Section 43.21C.030
(2) (c) RCW. This decision was made after review of a completed environmental checklist and other information on file with the lead agency. This information is available to the public on request.
This DNS is issued under WAC 197-11-340 (2); the lead agency will not act on this
proposal for 14 days from the date below. Comments must be submitted by July 24,
Responsible Official: Grant Beck, Community Development Director”
SEVERAL ISSUES & QUESTIONS ARISE:
1. The City of Yelm has only issued a DRAFT Water System Plan for public review which still is listed as being posted on the city’s website homepage on March 23, 2009, when the actual date of posting was in June. See the “Draft Water System Plan – June 2009.”
2. The public has never been informed the city’s DRAFT Water System Plan has been approved by the DOH, nor has the public seen any review of parts of the plan by DOE or their comments that are communicated with DOH.
3. Therefore, how can the City of Yelm make this official DNS when the determination has not even been made official by the State Dept. of Health or (DOH) Ecology (DOE)? DOH & DOE are intertwined on this because DOH will not approve a city’s water system plan until they have a review and comments from DOE.
4. How can a City of Yelm Draft of the Water System Plan that has NOT BEEN APPROVED BY DOH, nor where the public has seen no comments from DOE now be made an official Determination of Non-Significance (DNS)?
Why & what is the purpose of doing that?
5. The City of Yelm’s DNS is NOT an official doc because this has NOT approved by DOH, period!
6. I direct your attention to
“Location of the Proposal: The City of Yelm water service area, which includes portions of the existing Yelm City limits and portions of the Yelm Urban Growth Area.”
Therefore, Council member Bob Isom’s statement saying,”I have every right to disregard JZ Knight, Ramtha and any of the so-called students who do not live within the city limits when they attempt to influence decisions of the city council” is mute, since the city’s plan “includes portions…of the Yelm Urban Growth Area ” outside of the city limits and by the city’s own admission, property owners in the Yelm UGA MUST be considered!
7. The public has only until July 24th to respond with comments to another ridiculous charade by Community Development Director Grant Beck on behalf of the City of Yelm.
DOES THE CITY OF YELM AND MR. BECK JUST THINK THEY CAN DO ANYTHING THEY WANT AND CALL IT OFFICIAL?
THEY MUST, AS THEIR BEHAVIOR TO CONTINUALLY CIRCUMNAVIGATE PUBLIC DISCOURSE IS AMAZING!
PLEASE WRITE YOUR DISGUST TO MR. BECK AND THE DOH & DOE.
EXPLAIN TO THEM THAT A Determination of Non-Significance – DNS (meaning, there is no significant environmental impact from the Water System Plan) is NOT official by DOH and therefore NOT acceptable:
Grant Beck, Community Development Director
105 Yelm Avenue West
Yelm, WA 98597
Water Resources Program Manager
Office of Drinking Water
Department of Health (DOH)
PLEASE WRITE BEFORE JULY 24TH!
UPDATE: July 16, 2009 4pm
Reply form Mr. Slattery-
“The Department of Health, not Ecology, approves water system plans. Ecology reviews some parts of the plans and provides comments to Health.”
Mr. Slattery is correct in that DOH will not approve a city’s Water System Plan unless and until DOE has reviewed and commented on parts of the Plan to DOH. What I have brought to the fore is that DOH has not approved the City of Yelm’s Water System Plan and the Draft of that Plan is what the city is going ahead to unilaterally approve, without approval from DOH.
Bottom line: The DOH does nothing until the DOE comments on Yelm’s Water System Plan. The public has seen no DOE comments nor any DOH approval!
Skirt around the issue all you want – Yelm does NOT have a DOH approved Water System Plan that has been presented to the public to-date.
THAT is unacceptable!
Mayor Harding said in his column in the NVN today that the city is attempting to secure additional water rights, though he says “this is a difficult task, compounded by outside interests who would stymie our efforts and stop all progress.”
Mr Harding, there are NO outside interests that are doing this. There are property owners within your city or Yelm’s UGA that have a vested interest in the environmental impact the City of Yelm Water Plan represents to them in the future, citizens who have stood up to voice their concerns amidst a city that continues to ignore the State processes to protect the public welfare – actions, if I may say so myself, that have brought this to light and have cast quite a “black eye” on how this city conducts its affairs in the well-being of the public they were elected to serve!
Mr. Harding, your city’s own Determination of Non-Significance states and I quote,
“How would the proposal be likely to deplete energy or natural resources?
It will not have a significant impact…
How would the proposal be likely to affect land and shoreline use, including whether it would allow or encourage land or shoreline uses incompatible with existing plans?
It will have no impact.”
WILL THE CITY OF YELM WATER SYSTEM PLAN WILL HAVE NO IMPACT ???
I don’t think so, Mr. Harding, nor does anyone else who takes the time to read it!
The City of Yelm is near it’s allocated water pumping capacity, so we will not see any green strips down Yelm Ave. this summer except in front of Safeway, which pays for watering their own front strip.
THAT speaks volumes!
And to Mr Graves, Editor/Publisher of the Nisqually Valley News, I say this:
You had a public service posting by the City of Yelm according to the city’s website, page 1
“Published: Nisqually Valley News, July 17, 2009”
about the Determination of Non-Significance, yet there was not one word of this story in your newspaper.
I conjecture that one of the reasons the Thurston County Commissioners decided to leave the NVN as the County’s newspaper of choice for public notices was the fact that your newspaper does little to nothing to cover in-depth key news for your readers about these public-notices issues. You discussed the County moving to The Olympian at a much higher price in your July 3rd editorial,
“Who reads the little Yelm weekly anyway?
The Thurston County Board of Commissioners is making big budget cuts in key areas, including in law enforcement services.”
Where was your front-page in-depth story today about the City of Yelm’s Determination of Non-Significance and open public comment period through July 24th?
And THAT speaks volumes…
As for your comment in your Op-Ed today about readers having the chance to “dunk” you “… to vent frustrations”, you dunk yourself every time you do not cover the City of Yelm’s policies with the same zeal that you do for Roy or Rainier, and continue to omit important Yelm issues. Nobody HAS to “dunk you” this Saturday at 11am at Yelm City Park at the Churches Linking Christ and Community for Family Fun Day, Mr. Graves, for you do that yourself regularly!