Letter: No defense for county’s defiance



Clark County has had a “muddy” if unclear history with regard to accommodating developers, safeguarding water quality, and protecting salmon and steelhead. Besides state requirements, there are federal standards and requirements: National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.

The arrogance with which the county refused to adopt state requirements for managing polluted runoff was bad enough. But to dismiss them as an “unreasonable burden to place on developers,” then offer to basically pick up the tab for any “inconvenience” to the developers? Well, that was nothing short of hubris (arrogance of the gods). Who pays that tab? We pay for that tab. Either way, developers will profit. The “better off,” such as most developers, have even more and bigger tax advantages than the rest of us, as recently pointed out in the news, newspapers, and the Internet.

The Clean Water Act and NPDES permits supersede any state or local requirements if they are not in compliance. Thus, the county ended up in U.S. District Court and lost. It was in violation of its NPDES permit from August 2008 to December 2011. What to do now? Spend more of our dollars to defend the developers?

Jim Comrada