Department of Ecology News Release - April 8, 2019

First comment period opens on future water use in Nooksack watershed

The Nooksack River near Bellingham
BELLINGHAM  –  The Department of Ecology has opened the first comment period on a streamflow rule amendment that will accommodate rural growth and protect water supply needs for fish in the Nooksack watershed. 

The comment period is part of the rulemaking process on streamflow restoration efforts. The watershed includes most of western Whatcom County and a small portion of Skagit County. 

Ecology is asking for feedback on the preliminary drafts of the rule amendment language and the rule supporting document.

Anyone wishing to comment on the draft language can do so through Ecology’s online comment form, or by mail to: Annie Sawabini, Department of Ecology, Water Resources Program, PO Box 47600, Olympia, WA  98504-7600. 

Ecology will host three public open houses as an opportunity for informal conversations about the preliminary drafts. These open houses are additional opportunities to discuss the rulemaking ahead of the formal rule proposal and hearings planned for this winter.
April 22 open houses
•    1:00 – 3:00 p.m., Ferndale Library, 2125 Main Street, Ferndale, WA
•    6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Lynden Library, 216 4th Street, Lynden, WA

April 23 open house
•    9:30 – 11:30 a.m., Ecology’s Padilla Bay Reserve, 10441 Bayview Edison Rd, Mt Vernon

This rulemaking process is tied to the 2018 streamflow restoration law that requires offsetting 20 years of future water consumption by new wells for homes built in the watershed. The rulemaking process began in February 2019 and is to be completed by Aug. 1, 2020. To accommodate the public through every step of the process, there will be several opportunities for public engagement and comment. 

For more information, visit Ecology’s website on the Nooksack watershed plan rulemaking.


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Contact information

Ty Keltner
Twitter: EcyNorth