Forget About Draining the SWAMP
The Government alligators have taken over WA STATE WETLANDS
(idiomatic) When performing a long and complex task, and when you’ve gotten utterly immersed in secondary and tertiary unexpected tangential subtasks, it’s easy to lose sight of the initial objective. This sort of distraction can be particularly problematic if the all-consuming subtask or sub-subtask is not, after all, particularly vital to the original, primary goal, but ends up sucking up time and resources (out of all proportion to its actual importance) only because it seems so urgent.
Wetland Program Plan (WPP)
Final WPP Now Available
In March 2015, Ecology and the Interagency Work Group finalized the state’s Wetland Program Plan. The plan is a strategic tool, developed and implemented by the state, to articulate what the state seeks to accomplish with the wetland program over time. A strategy is necessary for an effective program that protects wetlands and strives to meet the state’s goal of no net loss and an overall net gain in wetland resources.
This plan is organized around six core elements: regulation, monitoring and assessment, voluntary restoration and protection, water quality standards, education and outreach, and sustainable financing. These elements are critical to the success of the program. This plan outlines work for a six-year timeframe and sets a longer-term vision for future actions.
Download the Plan
State Interagency Work Group
Many agencies play a role in the protection and management of wetland resources in Washington State, in coordination with local governments and federal partners. Current state partners include the:
During the development of the draft WPP, state agencies on the Interagency Work Group, as well as other agencies with a role in protecting and managing wetlands, were asked to identify aspects of their existing programs that fell within each of the EPA core elements. The information was compiled into a wetland program matrix. This matrix served as the baseline from which this plan was developed.
If you have questions about an agency program, please contact the agency. If you have questions about the matrix in general or the Washington Wetland Program Plan, please contact the plan coordinator (see below).
Update on Past Planning Efforts
State Wetland Integration Strategy and Mitigation that Works Forum Report
There were two major planning efforts in the past that provided direction and context for developing this plan: the State Wetland Integration Strategy (SWIS, 1994) and the Mitigation that Works Forum report (2008). These guiding documents have shaped the state’s wetland program and demonstrate the importance and value of long-term planning and agency coordination. We will be posting an overview of the recommendations and implementation actions of SWIS and the Making Mitigation Work Report on this web page. For each action, we will include an update on the status, current priority, and if and where it is included in the Wetland Program Plan action tables. In progress, please check back.
This is a major policy change especially with the NEW “all wet areas are connected” science synthesis proposed by EPA.
Meanwhile, the ABSOLUTE WETTEST PLACES IN THE CONTINENTAL United States are located in the Pacific Northwest, with Washington State’s Aberdeen Reservoir taking the top spot with an average yearly precipitation of 130.6 inches (3317mm).
SO? IF YOU LIVE IN WA STATE, THE ABSOLUTELY WETTEST PLACES IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES? AND YOU’VE GOT ALL OF YOUR MUD PUDDLES, CONNECTED TO ALL OF YOUR WETLANDS AND THEY ARE ALL CONNECTED TO ALL OF THE WET AREAS ON YOUR PRIVATE PROPERTY?
WHEN ARE OUR WA STATE ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES GOING TO START ACTING, REACTING AND OBJECTING TO THE FAIRNESS OF THE EPA WASHINGTON WETLAND PLAN FOR THE ABSOLUTELY WETTEST PLACES IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES?
apps.leg.wa.gov › RCWs › Title 42
APPEARANCE OF FAIRNESS DOCTRINE — LIMITATIONS … 42.36.080, Disqualification based on doctrine — Time limitation for raising challenge. 42.36.
Municipal Research and Services Center
Feb 5, 2015 – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), The Appearance of Fairness Doctrine in Washington State, MRSC Report no.11 Rev., April 2011.
Washington State Wetland Program Plan … VIEW NOW: Acrobat PDF format (
Summary of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
2 USC §1501 et seq (1995)
The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) was enacted to avoid imposing unfunded federal mandates on state, local, and tribal governments (SLTG), or the private sector. Most of UMRA’s provisions apply to proposed and final rules:
- for which a general notice of proposed rule making was published, and
- that include a Federal mandate that may result in the expenditure of funds by state, local, or tribal governments (SLTG), in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100 million or more in any one year.
If a rule meets these conditions, the agency must:
- Prepare a written statement that includes:
- the legal authority for the rule,
- a cost-benefit assessment,
- a description of the macro-economic effects, and
- a summary of SLTG concerns and how they were addressed.
- Consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and select the least costly, least burdensome, or most cost-effective option that achieves the objectives of the rule, or explain why the agency did not make such a choice.
- Consult with elected officers of SLTG (or their designated employees with authority to act on their behalf) to provide meaningful and timely input in the development of proposed rules containing significant federal intergovernmental mandates.
Section 203 of UMRA applies to all regulatory requirements that might significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Before establishing a requirement that might significantly or uniquely affect small governments, §203 requires federal agencies to develop a plan to:
- provide notice of the requirements to potentially affected small governments;
- enable officials of small governments to provide meaningful and timely input for any proposal containing significant federal intergovernmental mandates; and
- inform, educate, and advise small governments on compliance with the requirements.