Northwest NEWS

August 24, 1998


Overflows are probably a result of weather conditions

   To: US EPA, Region 10
   RE: Public Notice #98-AV-0005 and #98-AV-0006, Proposed Penalty Assessments under Clean Water Act (The Walter De Jong and James/Jason Roetcisoender Dairies)
   Since both of these infractions occurred on the same day, February 12, 1998, I suspect there were weather conditions that contributed to what I suspect were truly accidental overflows to the Snoqualmie River. (Or if they were deliberate, was there an overriding extenuating circumstance which made the runoff to the Snoqualmie the lesser of two evils?)
   The $22,000 and $11,000 penalties may appear small change to the EPA, but it's a huge amount to dairy farmers beset by government regulations that are driving many out of business. As a confirmed 75-year milk drinker I object to my government driving the sources of my favorite beverage out of business.
   Judging from the time of year, I'm sure whatever runoff went into the river was quickly flushed away by the huge amounts of water running through the Snoqualmie River in February, so what damage was there, really?
   And don't forget, fish need nutrients and it's been printed that perhaps fish declines in Lake Washington are attributable to too-clean water? (Except in the backwaters where the ducks and Canadian Geese are supplying nutrients that don't flush.)
   I hope you will not levy those fines against those farmers.
   Maxine Keesling, Woodinville