Bremerton to join in on pollution control lawsuit

Following a 25-minute executive session at the tail end of its regular business meeting, Bremerton City Councilors unanimously approved spending $20,000 to join 12 other cities in appealing a ruling by the state’s Pollution Control Hearings Board.

The appeal centers on Department of Ecology permits for stormwater discharge that the cities believe are too onerous on themselves and developers.

Public Works Director Chal Martin noted that Bremerton has made tremendous investment on environmental issues, including $50 million worth on sewer overflow systems. But, Martin said that DOE has been silent when it comes to working with cities on pollution control and permits.

“We got no response from our inputs at all,” Martin said. “I think a lot of cities from throughout western Washington feel the same way. We did respond under the official response period, as did many other jurisdictions, expressing concerns and got no answer from the Deptartment of Ecology.”

Councilman Roy Runyon said that more lobbying is needed with DOE in Olympia and that legislators should adopt rules requiring DOE to respond to comments and concerns submitted by municipalities. Runyon also, of course, supported the appeal to the hearings board.

“I think it’s a good investment,” Runyon said. “It’s worth the fight.”

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