Letters to the Editor

Some ‘facts’ not correct

The June 24 News-Times article on Thursday’s hearing in front of the Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board has some factual errors. Specifically:

We did not say that “106 sites tested exceeded Department of Ecology standards for fecal coliform.” I quoted directly from several county documents and gave the citations.

Is this pollution caused by livestock? The environmental consultant that performed the Camano study wrote:

“These results suggest that fecal coliform bacteria are a significant water quality problem throughout Camano Island . . . Although wildlife and pet waste may contribute to the observed fecal coliform bacteria concentrations, it is unlikely that these sources of bacteria are significant considering the relatively high concentrations of bacteria and numbers of livestock observed.” (Herrera Environmental Consultants, Inc., Draft Camano Island Baseline Water Quality Monitoring Program.; performed under contract for Island County Public Works, Nov. 2004. Island County Record-8648.)

News-Times: “Erickson contends that over 37 percent of farmland owners have critical areas on their property.”

The 37 percent figure is from the Whidbey Island Conservation District. It refers to the percentage of properties with farm plans that the district says have critical areas. The county claims 72 percent of all “rural zone agriculture” is in critical areas.

Other than that, I think Rick Wood’s article caught the flavor pretty well.

Steve Erickson


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