On March 8th, Olympia Urban Waters League submitted a legal appeal to the City of Olympia’s decision to issue a determination of non-significance(DNS) for the Westman Mill development.
This SEPA DNS should be rejected because the option of removing the stream from a half mile long culvert and restoring the estuary has never been seriously considered. The assumption made by City and Port has been that the site would be developed, an assumption that invalidated the ensuing process which has been fraught throughout with attempts to ignore, marginalize and mischaracterize community advocacy for restoration.
East Bay is considered impaired under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act because it contains too many nitrates and too little dissolved oxygen. The Estuary Restoration Act, administered under NOAA, states that estuaries are dynamic, productive and support important ecosystem functions including chemical and nutrient cycling and maintenance of biodiversity and biological production. The Westman Mill site is the area of intertidal exchange. This is the only place this exchange can be located. It can’t be remediated elsewhere. It needs to be structured as naturally as possible to be effective.
Nothing about this SEPA DNS addresses impacts on the impaired waters of the East Bay estuary or Indian and Moxlie Creeks, despite a preponderance of science affirming structural restoration as a necessary step to improving water quality.
BRIEF DOCUMENT PDF BELOW: