In his editorial Twice Zero, the editor of Cascadia Weekly notes the recent Washington Supreme Court ruling against Whatcom County for not protecting public water, as required under Washington law. Additionally, he criticizes Whatcom County government for hiding behind a volunteer advisory Water Resource planning group as a substitute for executive action consistent with the law.
As the original Water Resources delegate for the environmental caucus, representing organizations that included North Cascades Audubon Society and the Whatcom County Land Trust, I couldn’t agree more. We were merely an advisory body from the outset.
When the Building Industry Association sabotaged Washington’s Growth Management law–by hiring agents to recruit vigilantes to threaten our constituency and the tribes–Whatcom County government embarked on a twenty-year journey of lawlessness. This outlaw behavior, which Whatcom Environmental Council opposed in numerous legal battles 1994-1996, was exacerbated by the lack of enforcement by the office of the Governor, who has the sole authority to withhold state funding until the county comes into compliance with the law.
Perhaps of interest to readers, the first Washington Supreme Court ruling against Whatcom County for failing to protect public water resources was in June 1994.