Initial NECAP Meeting, June 21, 2011

Post date: Jul 16, 2012 6:05:34 PM

June 21, 2011

Northeast Camano Aquifer Protection

NECAP was formed because our drinking water on Northeast Camano Island is endangered!

The drinking water supply may be contaminated by the seawater overflow of Leque Island. The island you drive over to get on Camano Island.

Chuck Lindsey of Associated Earth Sciences, the Juniper Beach Water District’s hydrogeologist, has noted that such overflow could result in the catastrophic irreversible contamination of our aquifer. This concern was supported by messrs. Sumioka, Savoka and Tourney USGS hydrogeologists when asked by Camano Water Systems Association to consider the impacts of seawater overflow on the possible westward movement of mainland groundwater that could provide recharge to the northeast Camano aquifer.

It was because of these contamination concerns that JBWD in 2003 requested that Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife withdraw the already funded Camano portion of the WDFW project to remove recharge protective dikes from both Camano and Leque Islands. In withdrawing such projects WDFW assured the District that before it undertook any future dike removal that affected area groundwater the Department would complete a thorough extensive on-site hydrogelogic study to prove that such action would not result in the contamination of our federal and state protected sole source drinking water supply.

One can understand our concern when in 2009 we were informed that such study had not been completed even though WDFW was redirecting seawater overflow onto north Leque Island through a breached dike and was proceeding with the removal of protective dikes on south Leque Island. Since the fall of 2009 WDFW has refused JBWD and CWSA requests to repair their breach, stop such contaminating overflow and complete the agreed to groundwater study before proceeding with their contemplated dike removal projects. In light of WDFW’s continuing refusal to comply with numerous federal state and county laws and regulations protecting our drinking water supply we are faced with the necessity of taking legal action to require that WDFW repair the dikes, stop the groundwater contamination, comply with all applicable laws and complete the agreed-to study before proceeding with any Leque Island dike removals.

Recognizing our collective concern with regard to the protection of our groundwater on June 21, 2011 we held a community meeting where we reviewed our efforts over the last two years in pursuit of a cooperative resolution and the new required legal options and estimated cost in achieving regulatory compliance. In attendance at the meeting was the District’s hydrogeologist, Chuck Lindsey and attorney Peter C. Ojala who we retained to pursue the noted court action in protection of your water supply. We were fortunate in being able to retain Mr Ojala in that his undergraduate studies focused on geology and hydrogeology.

Although our interest has been focused on groundwater issues we have been working with two other parties who have agreed to share in our legal cost who will also be at the meeting to answer questions. These groups are the Snohomish County Farm Bureau concerned about the loss of farmland and compliance with the county’s land use zoning regulations and the Washington Waterfowl Association concerned about the protection of recreation use, waterfowl management and WDFW’s disregard of initial property sale agreements.

As on-site data collection has already confirmed groundwater contamination there is urgency in pursuing protection through court action as soon as possible. It is estimated that if each of us using water from our limited area aquifer contributed $200.00 dollars we should be able to cover initial legal cost and achieve such protection in Superior Court.

CWSA and JBWD have set up a special account with Whidbey Island Bank entitled “Northeast Camano Aquifer Protection” (NECAP) to receive your contribution. This legal fund will be administered by CWSA and JBWD.

Your check in the amount of $200.00 dollars to NECAP and mailed to P.O. Box 2554, Stanwood WA 98292 would be sincerely appreciated.