12 hrs June 27, 2025 Wendy Harris
While I was on the DOE site, they had an announcement about a government shut down if they are not funded by July 1, 2015, and a non-exclusive list of services that will be suspended, which included oil or hazardous spill response and dam safety problem inspections, except in critical situations.
One small problem I see with this plan is that at the point things become “critical situations”, we are usually beyond taking any meaningful action? The best action is always preventative.
End Result: If the state budget does not pass by the 30th, Bellingham and Whatcom County will be on their own in the event of an oil train derailment, or a pipeline explosion. And in fact, given the railroad’s increased reduction in public transparency, the first time we are likely to hear about a critical situation, is while or after it has occurred.
Services Ecology will suspend include, but are not limited to:
Process or issue any new permits or other authorizations for industrial or agricultural wastewater discharges, air emissions or water rights.
Process or issue drought-related emergency water permits and agricultural burning permits if applications haven’t been processed by June 30.
Respond to any oil or hazardous spills, except in the most critical circumstances.
Respond to any environmental complaints, except on an emergency basis.
Conduct inspections of any type, including at the Hanford nuclear cleanup site.
Identify or respond to dam safety problems, except in the most critical circumstances.
Work on Environmental Impact Statements for any of the large projects for which we are State Environmental Policy Act lead or co-lead.
Employ young adults and veterans to do habitat restoration, trail maintenance and other projects through our AmeriCorps Washington Conservation Corps program.
Test environmental or product samples at our laboratory facility.
Process any public records requests