Kittitas County Emergency Response Information
Ground Water Withdrawal Moratorium by WA Department of Ecology for Upper Kittitas County July 2009
Kittitas County and the State of Washington, Department of Ecology (Ecology) spent two years working cooperatively, as late as July 8, 2009, to establish a permanent rule to manage exempt groundwater wells until more is known about the aquifers and water supplies in upper Kittitas County. The new rule would have established interim and long term management measures and calls for development of a comprehensive groundwater study. However, on July 16th, 2009, Ecology announced that they were unable to gain a commitment from the Kittitas County Board of Commissioners to move forward with a revised memorandum of agreement and alternative rule approach. Ecology filed an emergency rule that closes upper Kittitas County to all new groundwater withdrawals effective July 16, 2009 through November 13, 2009 and/or 120 days (for more information, see Background Information below).
Contact information for agencies that are available to answer questions related to the current Emergency Rule Chapter 173-539A WAC is as follows:
A private organization in Kittitas County, Aqua Permanente, submitted a petition to Ecology requesting a moratorium be imposed on use of new exempt wells in Kittitas County until sufficient information is known about potential effects from such wells on senior water rights and stream flows.
Ecology was required to act on the petition by November 9, 2007. On that date, the Parties entered into an Agreement in Principle for the development of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). Based upon the Agreement in Principle, Ecology declined the request to categorically withdraw ground waters in Kittitas County from appropriation pending further study. The Agreement in Principle provided the framework for the MOA, including provisions for implementation of interim management strategies and development of a comprehensive ground water study and long-term management plan for the area known as upper Kittitas County. This MOA formalized obligations of the County and Ecology regarding those provisions.
Kittitas County and the Ecology entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on April 8, 2007 which established the basic principles to be employed in order to evaluate the use of exempt ground water well and associated water withdrawals.
= posted within the last 48 hours.
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