Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wood chips are a pollutant & PDS doesn't like my trailer

Note: One of the comments was a link to how innocuous wood chips are. You can find that link here.

The department of ecology has issued a stop work order to me for spreading wood chips on my property. If there's interest I'll scan the order and notice. I spent part of today conferring with attorneys about an appropriate response.

Every time that the state constructs a fake wetland or buffer zone or rehabs land the first thing they do is spread wood chips and dump logs and stumps. Odd that suddenly wood chips are a pollutant. I'm guessing I'll have the better part of a year while the appeal works its way through the system. I'll keep you guys apprised.

Snohomish Planning and Development issued a notice of violation for the trailer I have on my property that I'm using to raise chickens and turkeys. Apparently it's now a mobile home, and it's been "installed". It's not, it's a trailer, duly licensed, and on wheels.

That one will be a little quicker; the hearing examiner seems to hear cases in 90 days or so, so around September sometime we'll have a decision on that.

I've issued Public Disclosure Requests (PDR) to Planning and Development services and will be doing the same for the dept of ecology to see what they're up to. You can request copies of internal email, position papers and so on and they're required by state law to disclose them, even if the information is "damaging or embarrassing". It's time that I figured out who's out to get me. This is getting a little comical.

If you'd like to know more about PDRs, you can read the very useful guide published to help Washington state governments (cities, towns, counties) deal with public disclosure requests. Look here.

Regarding public disclosure requests -- they'd like you to think that they only apply to permits, but they actually apply to any document that is produced, including email.

They're required to either produce the requested documents within 5 days or an estimate of the time required to produce them. If they don't you can request a fine of up to $100 a day for every day of delay. Nice to be able to fine the county.

If you'd like to see the official policy for King County PDRs, look here.
For Snohomish county, check here.

To see the law that covers disclosures, check here.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

How ridiculous that they bust your balls for the chips.

Now that it will get personal, it will get ever more interesting.

Emily said...

Comical to say the least. I can not believe what hell your county has put you through this last year. Too right, it is time to find out who has it out for you. Sometimes when I read your blog I'm thinking; you've got to get out of there! I am constantly astounded at how much our country favors big ag. and makes it so difficult for the small farmers. I hope the public catches on before it is too late. Best Wishes, Emily

Galeandra said...

It certainly sounds as though you are an iritant to someone in the bureaucracy. I'm surprised at the level of harrassment you seem to be enduring. I wish you luck with your quest.

dinkleberries said...

If you'd like some support at the hearings, I'd be glad to show up. Will bring anyone with that would like to come. Let us know. Putting you out of business is not what I want my "government" to be up to. Knew something had to be up as we haven't heard from you in about a week. Let us know what we can to to help.

sheila said...

It seems someone wants to stop you from farming that piece of land. It will be interesting to find out who the party/parties is/are.

My sister with her backyard collection of poultry and a couple of goats has had a neighbor harassing her by reporting abuse/neglect (unfounded when police came to check) and calling zoning about fences too close to road (unfounded again), a movable chicken tractor and the offense of butchering a 1/2 dozen chickens. All this in a very rural area. Isn't getting the neighbor anywhere, but he sure is having fun trying. He is out there day and night with binoculars and shinning headlights trying to see what is going one so he can report how offended he is by it all.

Blueberry Farmer said...

While it may be comical it's also expensenive and a waste of your time. Besides using a lawyer have you thought about approaching the politicians most able to help you? With your very public location a sign or to in support of the politician most able to help you might work in your favor.

Blueberry Farmer said...

While it may be comical it's also expensenive and a waste of your time. Besides using a lawyer have you thought about approaching the politicians most able to help you? With your very public location a sign or to in support of the politician most able to help you might work in your favor.

theadalynfarm said...

Take em' to the woodshed Bruce!

Anonymous said...

http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~linda%20chalker-scott/horticultural%20myths_files/Myths/magazine%20pdfs/Woodchips.pdf

Bruce King said...

Thanks so much for the article link on wood chips, Anonymous.