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intrusion webpage has been reorganized
for simplicity and clarity. Many of the documents previously posted
on this page continue to be accessible in the Process and
Document Archive section below.
about the information on this webpage or the County policies and
regulations for protecting groundwater against seawater intrusion,
Department of Community Development. For more information about
well monitoring or the science of seawater intrusion, consult
County Natural Resources.
intrusion (or salt water intrusion) is
the underground flow of salt water into wells and aquifers. It
occurs when fresh water is withdrawn
faster than it can be recharged near a coastline. Jefferson County
Public Utility District (PUD)
No. 1 offers a webpage answering “Frequently
Asked Questions about Seawater Intrusion.”
County has policies and development regulations intended to
protect groundwater against the phenomenon of seawater intrusion.
Three types of Seawater Intrusion Protection Zones (SIPZ)
have been designated as Critical Aquifer
Recharge Areas (CARAs): Coastal
SIPZ, At-Risk SIPZ,
and High Risk SIPZ. See the
Map Key section below for depictions. The level of regulatory
protection is related to the type of
whether residing inside or outside a designated
SIPZ, are encouraged to conserve water to help protect our
Policy and Regulations
County has refined its policies and regulations for protecting
groundwater against seawater intrusion from adoption of the initial
“critical areas” ordinance in 1995, through adoption of the
Comprehensive Plan in 1998 and the Unified Development Code
in 2000, to a growth management compliance
process that was completed in early 2004.
chronological presentation of the process that
lead to the current policies and regulations, refer to the
Process and Document Archive section below.
The Board of
County Commissioners (BOCC) adopted final policy language into the
Comprehensive Plan on December 8, 2003 under case number MLA03-210.
The policy includes provisions for adaptive management of areas
subject to groundwater degradation from seawater intrusion. For
more information on these legislative amendments, visit the
2003 Comprehensive Plan Amendment Cycle page.
protections against seawater intrusion are codified at
UDC section 3.6.5 Critical Aquifer Recharge Areas. The code
refers to a
list of administrative water conservation measures, which are
voluntary in most cases and mandatory in High Risk
Growth Management Compliance
After the County adopted the
UDC in December
2000, a petition for review (PFR)
was filed with the Western Washington Growth Management Hearings
concerning whether groundwater protections against seawater
intrusion were compliant with the Growth Management Act
compliance process has ended and case number 01-2-0015 is closed.
The WWGMHB issued a Compliance Order on March 29, 2004 that
concludes that Jefferson County is in compliance
with the GMA concerning protections against seawater intrusion. The
following documents are directly related
to the compliance process, posted in chronological order beginning
with the most recent. Refer to Process and Document Archive
below for additional documents.
Process and Document Archive
Following is a
bullet-list synopsis of events leading up the establishment in 2003
of the current seawater intrusion policies and regulations.
Board of County Commissioners (BOCC)
meeting minutes are available on the general County
Meetings and Minutes page. For more information, contact
Comprehensive Plan in Aug. 1998.
County adopts Unified Development Code (UDC)
in Dec. 2000. UDC is set of development regulations to
implement Comprehensive Plan.
Olympic Environmental Council (OEC) and
Shine Community Action Council (SCAC)
file petition for review on March 5, 2001 with Western Washington
Growth Management Hearings Board (WWGMHB).
WWGMHB finds County out of compliance with Growth Management Act (GMA)
in relation to seawater intrusion. Issues Final Decision and Order
for Case No. 01-2-0015 on Jan. 10, 2002.
County files Motion for Reconsideration. WWGMHB issues
Order Denying Motion for Reconsideration on Feb. 8.
appoints Seawater Intrusion Focus Group (SWIG) of interested and
knowledgeable residents to discuss the issue and advise County
policymakers. SWIG provides report to BOCC dated May 20.
Staff drafts package of policy and code amendments based on SWIG
report. BOCC modifies and transmits to Planning Commission
(PC) for public review process of Master Land-use Application
(MLA) 02-314. PC holds public hearing July 10.
BOCC holds public hearing
July 23, BOCC adopts coastal seawater intrusion policy and
corresponding development regulations in response to Jan. 10 CO
through Ord. No. 07-0723-02, effective
Coastal Seawater Intrusion
LEGAL NOTICE of Seawater
Intrusion Ordinance Adoption
Seawater Intrusion Ordinance
adopting UDC Amendments
protection/seawater intrusion amendments
and PC hold joint workshop at WSU Extension on Aug. 29. Among
presenters are hydrogeologists, well
pump company representative, laboratory scientist, well driller,
engineer, and representatives from the
State Department of Ecology.
Based on information from Aug. workshop, BOCC amends regulations and
policy on Sept. 23 and Sept. 24, respectively, through Res. No.
WWGMHB holds compliance hearing on Oct. 22.
WWGMHB issues Compliance Order (CO)
on December 5, 2002 instructing the County to complete one action
within 90 days, relating to Marrowstone Island specifically, and
four actions within 180 days.
discusses a response to the order on Jan. 13 and 21, 2003.
Feb. 3, BOCC discusses a draft resolution supporting the development
of an off-island public water source as a long-term strategy for
protecting Marrowstone Island groundwater.
Adopts Resolution No. 13-03 on Feb. 18.
Feb. 5, PC establishes Seawater Intrusion Committee. After hearing
a report from the Committee on Feb. 19, PC formulates a
recommendation to BOCC on 90-day response.
discusses PC recommendation on Feb. 24 and adopts
Ord. No. 03-0303-03 on March 3 as
emergency official control per RCW 36.70A.390.
(Holds public hearing April 28.)
holds public hearing on April 30 regarding proposed UDC amendments
packaged as MLA03-202 in response to Dec. 2002 compliance order.
May 19, staff presents PC recommendation to BOCC.
May 27, BOCC holds public hearing on proposed UDC amendments.
June 2, BOCC votes unanimously to adopt proposal.
June 9, BOCC adopts Ord. No. 06-0609-03,
amending or eliminating some 90-day response language adopted
through Ord. No. 03-0303-03.
staff issues staff report re: suggested
2003 Comprehensive Plan Amendment Docket. Report includes
recommendation on seawater intrusion policy
language that will effectively replace 2002 Coastal Seawater
Oct. 27, the PC Seawater Intrusion Committee
formulates a recommendation to the full PC.
CO on Oct. 31, finding the County in compliance with GMA, except
for three process and clarity insufficiencies.
Nov. 5, the
Planning Commission formulates a recommendation to
the Board of County Commissioners for seawater
intrusion policy language. The recommendation
is dated Nov. 10 and posted under "Documents" on
2003 Comprehensive Plan Amendment Cycle page.
Letter from County Administrator to Marrowstone Island
Seawater Intrusion, Private Wells, and Public Water;
On Dec. 8,
Ord. No. 08-1208-03, which includes
seawater intrusion policy language for the Comprehensive
on 3/29/04; Case No. 01-2-0015 is closed.
Maps and Map