Sole Source Aquifer Petition

Collaboration to Achieve Groundwater Protection in Clark County

Petition for the Designation of the Troutdale and Unconsolidated Alluvium
Aquifer System in Clark County, Washington as a Sole Source Aquifer

Read the EPA’s Environmental Fact Sheet: “Troutdale Sole Source Aquifer Petition, Clark County, Washington”, January 2006
Send or email your comments, postmarked by May 1, 2006!

Letter of support from the Cowlitz Indian Tribe (PDF format)

Letter of support from Greg Kimsey, Clark County Auditor (PDF format)

Letter of support from the Emily Platt, Mark Riskedahl, and Mary Christina Wood (of Gifford Pinchot Task Force, Northwest Environmental Defense Center, and Wood’s Landing Preservation Project, respectively)

Letter of support from Richard Dyrland – President, Friends of the East Fork Lewis River

Letter of support from Vancouver Audobon Society

Letter of support from Carl Addy – Addy Labs

Letter of support from Robert W. Collin – Senior Research Scholar/Law Professor

Letter of support from Friends of Curtin Creek

Letter of support from Charles and Dona Stemper

Letter of support from Linda Nielsen

Letter of support from Ed and Victoria Bennett

Letter of support from Brenda S. Rule

Letter of support from Lynelle West Hatton – Director, Toxic and Explosive Substance Accountability (TESA)

Letter of support from Christine Sutherland

Letter of support from John A. Stouffer – President, Fishers Creek Neighborhood Association

Letter of support from Lora Caine – President, Friends of Clark County

December 28, 2005

Reply to
Attn of: OEA-095

Dvija Michael Bertish, Chairman
Rosemere Neighborhood Association

Dear Mr. Bertish;

I am pleased to inform you that we have determined that your petition for the Troutdale Sole Source Aquifer System is complete. We will now begin the technical review period, which will include an official public comment period and possible public hearing. I will be in contact with you as the process progresses. Sincerely,

Martha Lentz

For Immediate Release
Contact: Brent Foster
December 19, 2005
Columbia Riverkeeper
(541) 380-1334 cell

Coalition Submits Petition to EPA for Clark County Groundwater Protection

Vancouver, WA – A group of Clark County residents, Columbia Riverkeeper and the Rosemere Neighborhood Association and have filed a petition with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to designate the groundwater beneath Clark County as a federally recognized Sole Source Aquifer. The 50 page petition is based on hydrogeologic analysis and details the reasons why Sole Source Aquifer (SSA) designation is warranted given the unique and vulnerable nature of the aquifer. The aquifer below Clark County is named the “Troutdale Aquifer System” and is used by over 297,380 Clark County residents as their sole source of drinking water. Designation as a SSA would be an important step towards protecting the drinking water used by the Cities of Vancouver, Battle Ground, Ridgefield and La Center, as well as, many streams and rivers in the area.

The threats to Clark County’s groundwater drinking source are numerous. Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) currently lists 216 active cleanups and 12 federal Superfund sites in the proposed SSA designation area. Ecology also lists over 620 hazardous waste generators and nearly 280 hazardous materials storage facilities in this area. In the City of Vancouver alone, there are on the order of 7,000 septic systems, many of which are more than 30 years old and are likely failing and/or contributing to ground and surface water contamination.

“Clark County is literally sitting on its drinking water supply,” explains Brent Foster, Executive Director of Columbia Riverkeeper. “Designation as a Sole Source Aquifer will help educate people about the fact that what we do on the land is going to directly affect the water coming out of the tap.”

Richard Dyrland, President of Friends of the East Fork Lewis River, points out that, “Designation as a Soul Source Aquifer will provide the incentive to develop and implement an effective regional “land stewardship” program to reverse impact on our ground water sources.”

“Clean water is not a lucky coincidence.  Educating the public, developers, business owners, and local governments is a basic foundation builder for the partnership required to ensure a healthy Sole Source Aquifer,” adds Clark County resident Karen Kingston.

For more information please contact Brent Foster with Columbia Riverkeeper. The SSA petition can be viewed in its entirety at The EPA Region X Sole Source Aquifer Coordinator is Martha Lentz, Office of Environmental Assessment phone: (206) 553-1593; .

On December 4, 2005, a petition was formally submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 10, Seattle, requesting that agency to designate the Troutdale and Unconsolidated Alluvium Aquifer System in Clark County, Washington, as a Sole Source Aquifer. The EPA defines the Sole Source Aquifer Program as a tool used to protect drinking water supplies in areas with few or no alternative sources to groundwater resources, and where if contamination occurred, using an alternative source for the potable water supply would be extremely expensive.

To qualify for Sole Source Aquifer designation, the proposed aquifer service area must prove to be at least 50% dependent on groundwater for the potable water supply. Factual analysis shows that 99.4% of the potable water currently used in the proposed Sole Source Aquifer service area in Clark County is obtained from groundwater, confirming that the Troutdale Aquifer System qualifies as a Sole Source Aquifer.

Sole Source Aquifer designation protects an area’s groundwater resources by requiring the EPA to review any proposed projects within the designated area that are receiving federal financial assistance. All proposed projects receiving federal funds are subject to review to ensure they do not endanger the water source. Sole Source designation is also a positive tool used to help educate the public about protecting the community’s vulnerable groundwater supply.

Various community members and organizations collaborated over several months to perform extensive research about the groundwater supply in Clark County and then used scientific data to prepare the petition. The EPA provides a comprehensive guidance document that outlines how to prepare the petition, and also outlines how the EPA verifies the technical data presented in the petition. The guidance document can be viewed on the EPA website: .

There are currently 13 designated Sole Source Aquifer’s in EPA’s Region X (Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska), and there are 73 designated aquifers nationwide.

Interested parties are encouraged to submit letters of support for the petition to help establish a Sole Source Aquifer Designated Area for the Troutdale Aquifer System in Clark County. Letters may be sent to:

Dvija Michael Bertish, Chairman
Rosemere Neighborhood Association
Box 61471
Vancouver WA 98666

To view the petition submitted for the Troutdale Aquifer System in Clark County, please use the various tabs below:

  1. Sole Source Aquifer Text and Bibliography (PDF format)
  2. Figure 1 — Proposed Aquifer Service Area (PDF)
    Figure 2 — Potential Alternative Sources of Water (PDF)
    Figure 3 — Geologic Map of the Proposed Aquifer Service Area (PDF)
  3. Figure 4 — Hydrogeologic Map of Area (PDF)
    Figure 5 — Hydrogeologic Cross-Section of Area (PDF)
    Figure 6 — Proposed Project Review Area (PDF)
  4. Table 1 — Community Water Systems in the Proposed Aquifer Service Area (PDF)
    Table 2 — Current Drinking Water Sources for the Proposed Aquifer Service Area (PDF)
    Table 3 — Summary of Potential Alternative Sources of Water (PDF)
  5. Appendix A — Initial Petition Review/Determination of Completeness Checklist (PDF)
  6. Appendix B — Water Usage Estimation Method Documentation (PDF)

For more information, please visit the EPA’s Sole Source Aquifer Program page,, or contact the EPA Region 10 Sole Source Aquifer Coordinator:

Martha Lentz
Office of Environmental Assessment
EPA, Region 10 (OEA-095)
1200 Sixth Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101
phone: (206) 553-1593

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