Bassett v. Dep’t of Ecology, 438 P.3d 563 (Wash. Ct. App. 2019)
The Dungeness River in the Olympic Peninsula flows 32 miles from the Olympic Mountains north into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The river and its watershed are home to numerous species of salmon and trout, including endangered Chinook and summer chum salmon, steelhead, and bull trout. Water from the Dungeness watershed has been scarce for decades and critically low stream flows in the summer and fall have proven detrimental to recovery of endangered fish populations.
In 2005, the Elwha-Dungeness Planning Unit enacted a watershed plan, seeking to address the situation and make water management recommendations to the Department of Ecology (DOE) for regulation of the Dungeness Basin.
In November 2012, DOE promulgated an administrative rule (Dungeness Rule) that regulated the use and appropriation of all surface and groundwater in the watershed. The Dungeness Rule established minimum instream flows (MIFs) for the Dungeness River and its tributaries, required mitigation and metering for all new water appropriations, including permit exempt wells (PE wells), and closed the basin to new surface water withdrawals for part of the year.
Clallam County property owners Magdalena Bassett and Denman Bassett, and the Olympic Resource Protection Council (ORPC), a non-profit corporation who seeks to balance environmental protection with private property rights, (collectively “plaintiffs”) challenged the Dungeness Rule in superior court, claiming that it failed to meet procedural and substantive Administrative Procedures Act (APA) requirements. The court upheld the rule and the plaintiffs appeal.
DOE neither exceeded its statutory authority nor violated any required rulemaking procedures. In addition, the Dungeness Rule is not arbitrary and capricious. The Court affirms.
Notice of availability: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA; We are advising the public that we have prepared a pest risk analysis that evaluates the risks associated with the importation of fresh citrus fruit (pomelo, Nanfeng honey mandarin, ponkan, sweet orange, and Satsuma mandarin) from China into the continental United States. Based on the analysis, we have determined that the application of one or more phytosanitary measures will be sufficient to mitigate the risks of introducing or disseminating plant pests or noxious weeds via the importation of fresh citrus fruit from China. We are making the pest risk analysis available to the public for review and comment. Info HERE
Notice: Rural Utilities Service, USDA; The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, published a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) in the Federal Register on Monday, August 6, 2018 (83 FR 38273) announcing funding availability, soliciting letters of intent for loan applications, outlining the application process for those loans, and setting forth deadlines for applications from eligible entities under the Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP). Since the publication of the NOFA, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) became law on December 20, 2018, and included statutory changes affecting RESP. The purpose of this notice is to inform the public of changes made to RESP pursuant to section 6303 of the Farm Bill. Info HERE