A message from Cindy Beckett, EPA Watershed Manager, WSU Master Watershed Steward:
I really do wish that everyone would finally understand this….. no elected “official” on the county or executive level, nor anyone on Pierce County staff, has any authority whatsoever over this creek system.
I really mean this!
Authority falls onto both the State & Federal, as the laws that protect this creek are Federal therefore State, not a county who literally has no enforcement capability and no planning staff who are actually licensed and degreed scientists in this field who should have the top authority. The assumed authority of Pierce County & its “surface water management” dept. does not in fact authorize them to usurp or overturn federal law that protects both this creek and the aquifer under it. When the many violations were done that have pretty much killed the creek, both the county and/or the watershed council had full authority to call in the State with formal complaints and requests for help, and to contact the Federal agencies who have authority over waterways that egress to where endangered species struggle to stay alive.
All of the destruction of this creek has always been illegal and remains illegal today. Period.
I have applied well over 26 years full time researching everything to do with the science and the laws over creeks, aquifers, native Salmon which are almost gone now, Orcas and what is killing them and preventing healthy birth rates, and the very laws that Pierce County flat refuses to uphold, apply and enforce by deliberate and knowing design. They are more than aware of this issue, believe me, yet still refuse to correct it.
As the past prosecuting attny declared, and although I have not yet met with the new one, the answer will be the same – this remains 100% because PC Code is not enforceable under the PA or in the local courts, so it ends there, even though every single PCC is in fact a revised WA RCW which is in fact a revised US Code – literally the law of the land. Solely because PCC cannot be enforced in the courts is why the county executive and planning dept. do it this way. I tried many times to get the CCWC to understand this. Same with the county council. They simply refuse to grasp that PC has no authority over this creek, and no enforcement of all the laws that were broken that caused this destruction, as many can attest to, yet the PA’s hands are tied. The only recourse is the State & Fed agencies who do in fact enforce. Yet the CCWC flat refuses to contact those agencies for help, and when I tried to get that help, I was thrown off the CCWC. I have since given up on this issue. Many others in the region also call me for help saving their creeks, the difference is, they actually follow my instructions, get the help they need and stop the destruction of their waters. Not so with the Clover
The way the law works, and I am very well studied in these laws, is that Pierce County right now should have all funding cut from all sources, both State & Federal (the State stands to lose Fed funding for allowing this destruction as well). Yet until recently the State hid behind the master builders’ (again proven) GMA that was aimed at shutting out the State’s authority (proven), granting full authority to the counties/cities (local governments) to make their own decisions. That has recently been successfully addressed, no local State “Act” has that authority, and neither do the local governments, to refuse to uphold the law. (Article 6 of the US Constitution – US Code prevails across the entire nation at all times in all regions)
All of the destruction of this creek has always been illegal. This has recently and finally been clarified with Ecology, as the State had no authority to allow this, since every single RCW is in fact a revised US Code (I have all of that history too). That’s what RCW means – :revised” US Code to work in WA. When the State applied to be a State, a many years long process, they were mandated that every RCW had to match the US parent, and had to be enforced or the Fed would have to do that – or cut all State funding.
This is the part I am working on now – getting all Fed funding cut to WA and most especially to Pierce County. Ecology at no time ever had the authority to refuse to protect waters that are protected by Federal law if a county refuses to abide by it, and if a county like Pierce flat refuses to both uphold and enforce those laws, first, the State is to cut their funding, if the State refuses, then the Fed has to cut theirs, meaning there is no Federal funding at all – not for schools, not for roads, not for anything. I have spoken directly with these parent Federal agencies, all have confirmed this. Last month Ecology’s legal dept finally admitted to their grievous error. It is part of the original requirement for Statehood that the State offices will enforce if local governments cannot or, in cases like Pierce, will not enforce.
Nowhere in any document dating to the Statehood application did it ever say, nor does it say today, that the State has full authority to decide if and when to uphold Federal law – including Federal water laws and ESA laws. What it does say, however, is that the State is 100% responsible, and that means they are not allowed to just look the other way because a State only “Act” was enacted granting “deference” to local governments who cannot enforce or simply do not want to enforce, as is the case in Pierce.
All of this could and should have been dealt with a very long time ago, the creek should still be running at its historic levels today, and the Salmon should still be in the creek as they used to be. Solely due to the reluctance of this “watershed council” to actually get the help they needed years ago to protect and recover this creek by contacting the authorities for assistance, this creek is for the most part dead, from dramatic loss of flow and loss of all life in the creek, which could and should have been addressed – and corrected, a very long time ago.
Since no one wanted to listen as it offended their sensibilities, I gave up. The creek will not survive, and all of this talk talk talk will make no difference at all. The creek and all life in it will be dead, period. Sooner than anyone wants to believe. Science speaks, and it is plain to see that this creek is on its dying legs because no one really wants to save it.
And apparently that outcome is really what everyone does want, or someone would have done something about this a very long time ago. I tried and was literally thrown off the CCWC for trying. That says it all.
I have photos of some most impressive tributary waters that used to flow into the Clover and keep it healthy, all diverted away from the creek now solely because the CCWC flat refused to even voice concern over that permanent recharge loss to the creek. I also have documented proof of all the still existing waters that have been diverted away from the creek that could and should be returned to the creek. No one cares.
Very shameful, since this did not have to happen, so clearly this is what everyone really wants or they would have done something about it by now.
Silence is not golden!!!
Good luck to all.
EPA Watershed Manager
WSU Master Watershed Steward
no water – no life