DuPont Approves Watershed Restoration Agreement (USA)

The DuPont City Council has authorized the city’s mayor to sign a settlement agreement allowing development of a plan to restore the Sequalitchew Creek watershed, including Edmond Marsh. The Settlement Agreement also allows CalPortland Co. (CalPortland) to apply for gravel mining and reclamation permits in areas adjacent to its existing mine. The City Council, by a vote of 5 to 1, has now joined in the accord – negotiated over a three-year period ending in 2011.

The City Council’s action was the final step needed to ratify the 2011 DuPont Settlement Agreement. The other signers are: the Nisqually Delta Association; the Washington Environmental Council; People for Puget Sound; the Tahoma, Black Hills and Seattle chapters of the National Audubon Society; the Anderson Island Quality of Life Committee (together known as the Environmental Caucus); CalPortland; the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology); and now the City of DuPont.

The agreement describes a process that the parties agree to follow to restore flows to Sequalitchew Creek using funds provided by CalPortland. The idea is to permanently protect Sequalitchew Creek and the ravine it flows through before emptying into Puget Sound. The agreement also establishes a number of conditions under which CalPortland may submit applications to access additional areas designated for gravel extraction under the City’s Comprehensive Plan and the State Growth Management Act. The agreement does not approve or authorize any mining. It only establishes the conditions under which the Environmental Caucus agrees not to oppose CalPortland’s applications. Both the restoration plan and mining proposal will undergo the normal review processes, including opportunities for public input. Any mining proposal will need to complete the entire regulatory process and meet all regulatory requirements in addition to being dependent on the successful development, environmental review, permitting and funding of the watershed restoration plan.

DuPont Mayor Michael Grayum said: “This comprehensive agreement is about our environment and our economy, both in our city and throughout the region. It’s not often that environmental leaders, industry, and a local government and regulatory agency come together to agree upon a process with enough checks and balances to protect the broader community interests and help restore the environmental condition of our watershed. We appreciate the many subject matter experts, neighbors, organizations and regulatory entities involved in this lengthy negotiation. Looking forward, we also appreciate the many others who will develop and implement the restoration plan for Sequalitchew Creek.”

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Dredging Today Staff, January 26, 2012;

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