• WA State Supreme Court Denies Clark County’s Stormwater Appeal

    Washington State Temple of Justice

    In a unanimous decision, the Washington State Supreme Court has declined to review Clark County’s appeal of the WA State Court of Appeals stormwater ruling.

    In September 2012, Washington State Court of Appeals upheld the Pollution Control Hearings Board ruling that Clark County’s weak stormwater plan allowed too much polluted runoff and violates both State and Federal laws to protect clean water. For more on that ruling read here: WA Court of Appeals Rules County’s Plan to Manage Polluted Runoff Illegal

    Clark County subsequently appealed that decision to the Washington State Supreme Court which on March 5, 2013 issued a 2 page decision denying Clark County’s petition.

    View the Washington Supreme Court ruling here: WA Supreme Court Rosemere v Clark County Order

    Related articles:

    From The Columbian:

    “Rosemere Neighborhood Association, an environmental advocacy group that, along with Columbia Riverkeeper and Northwest Environmental Defense Center, have been winning at every level in their attempt to force Clark County to follow state default standards for managing polluted runoff.” ……….Read the full article here: Clark County dealt stormwater setback: State high court refuses to review unfavorable ruling

    From The Oregonian: Washington Supreme Court rejects Clark County’s stormwater appeal

  • Federal Judge Lifts Stay on Clark County Stormwater Case

    US District Court Tacoma

    U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton has lifted a stay on a federal lawsuit against Clark County regarding their stormwater management plan. The injunction was issued against Clark County in December 2011, ordering it to follow the state’s default stormwater rules while its stormwater plan was under review by the state Court of Appeals. The stay had been put in place pending the outcome of state court appeals of proceedings before the Pollution Control Hearings Board due to concerns the federal and state cases would conflict.

    From Leighton’s decision:

    “The case involves Clark County’s municipal storm sewer system, and the Department of Ecology’s 2007 Phase I Stormwater General Permit for that system. Ecology subsequently issued Clark County a Notice of Violation, alleging that the flow control policy was inadequate.

    In 2010, Clark County and Ecology entered into an Agreed Order. Rosemere successfully challenged that Agreed Order before the PCHB, claiming (among other things) that it was not compliant with the Clean Water Act. The PCHB’s determination that the Agreed Order violated the Phase I permit and the Clean Water Act was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.

    While those proceedings were pending, Rosemere brought this federal case. It seeks to enforce the Phase I permit, and penalties. This Court stayed the proceedings pending the resolution of the state court action.”

    In September, the Court of Appeals upheld a ruling by the state Pollution Control Hearings Board, which said a compromise developed between the county and the state Department of Ecology was not backed by science and was insufficient under federal and state clean water laws.

    Judge Leighton lifted the stay saying,

    “The issues in these cases were never overlapping; they were simply similar. That similarity has been greatly diminished in the aftermath of the Court of Appeals’ decision, and the limitation of the issues the County seeks to litigate further in state court.”

    To read the full decision: Judge Leighton Order Lifting Stay 2-21-13

    Related articles:

    From The Oregonian: Clark County could face tens of thousands of dollars in stormwater fines

    From The Columbian: Lawsuit against county to proceed: Federal courts can hear stormwater dispute, judge rules

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