The state Department of Ecology is seeking public comment on a draft plan to address how to make decisions about potential new projects along the Pacific Coast.
(From Peninsula Daily News) — Requests could be received for such projects as renewable energy, dredging disposal, mining, marine product harvesting, military uses and offshore aquaculture operations, Ecology said.
“The Department of Ecology has been leading a state effort to plan and prepare for these potential new coastal uses,” Ecology said in a press release.
“Working together with the state departments of Fish and Wildlife and Natural Resources, the state has created new science-based guidance for making decisions about the most appropriate locations for different types of projects and uses.”
Public comments for the draft marine spatial plan and related environmental impact statement are due to Ecology by Dec. 12.
A public meeting on the draft plan is set in Forks at 6 p.m. Nov. 1. The meeting will be in the Olympic Region conference room at the Department of Natural Resources building, 411 Tillicum Lane.
Other meetings are planned in Aberdeen on Nov. 7, Long Beach on Nov. 8 and Tukwila on Nov. 9.
The draft environmental impact statement evaluates anticipated impacts that might arise from adopting the marine spatial plan. The draft EIS does not assess the impacts of particular types of ocean use projects, which would be done when a specific project is proposed.
The proposed plan would establish a process for coordinating among local and tribal governments, as well as with state and federal agencies to ensure interest groups and the public have opportunities to weigh in on future projects.
The draft plan was developed with input from local and tribal governments, other state agencies, the Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council, environmental and planning groups, the private sector and the public, Ecology said.
“Currently, most coastal activities primarily center on recreation, maritime shipping, aquaculture and coastal fishing,” Ecology said.
“The plan is designed to help ensure future projects do not cause long-term significant adverse effects to the environment, fisheries and other resources.”
Between 2012 and 2015, the state funded 19 projects to gather information about…
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