Marina project has avoided environmental protection laws

Skagit Valley Herald†† 02/07/01

 

Twin Bridges Marina represents a disturbing avoidance of our environmental-protection laws. To understand how, consider TBMís history.

 

When developing shorelines, both shoreline permits and building permits are required. The State Department of Ecology (DOE) approves shoreline permits; the county approves building permits.

 

1975 - DOE approved a shoreline permit for Marine Construction & Dredging allowing a mooring basin and one 5,000 sq. ft. building for dredging operations.

 

1988 - the county approved a revision authorizing four buildings totaling 88,000 sq. ft. DOE denied it because it was beyond the original permitís scope.

1999 - TBM applied for permits for three buildings, totaling 41,000 sq. ft., for shipbuilding. On the day the county approved the building permits, TBM withdrew its shoreline permit application.

 

January 2000 - DOE wrote the county saying the permits were inconsistent with existing shoreline permits and should be suspended until resolution.

 

February 2000 - Anacortes wrote the county saying Anacortes didnít accept the countyís position that neither a shoreline permit nor revision was required. When the county didnít respond, Anacortes appealed to Skagit Countyís hearing examiner, Wick Dufford.

Ignoring Anacortesí appeal, the county amended the permits, allowing 2 buildings, totaling 66,000 sq. ft., for dry storage.

After reviewing the record, the hearing examiner decided a new shoreline permit and an environmental review were required.

 

The TBM can harm Padilla Bay, a National Estuarine Research Reserve, through oil, fuel, and sewage spills. An environmental review may lead to measures that reduce these risks. Mr. Dufford should be commended for his honesty and integrity.

 

Tom Glade
Anacortes