How to obtain mitigation certificates for building in Dungeness Water Rule area

Last week, many members of NPBA and the community attended a workshop that focused on how to obtain mitigation certificates & building permits under the new Dungeness Water Rule.  If you own property in WRIA 18 East, this rule applies to you.  The county has done some excellent work to get a map up for identification.  Click here to view it.

Click on map for higher resolution PDF

Here are some takeaways from the meeting.

  1. This rule applies to those who are living within the boundries of WRIA 18 East.  If prior to Jan 2, 2013 you were already using your well to water gardens, orchards, animals, etc…then you can continue on as you have already established those uses.  Say though, you moved in last summer and were only using your well for indoor use and this summer, you wanted to plant the orchard you always dreamed of.  If you live in the yellow areas, you will need to wait till mitigation water is available to do so, this is where no outdoor watering is available to purchase at this time.  It may be available as soon as summer but we don’t know the exact date yet.  Mitigation is required for existing well owners who want to use water for a “new use”.  Things like building an accessory dwelling unit, getting some farm animals, planting a garden you’ll need to purchase mitigation.  Caution:  see #3 below about just how much of the 20 acre parcel you purchased you will be able to water.
  2. You musthave an application in for a building permit in order to get a mitigation certificate.  If you own land that you are not building on, you must work directly with the Washington Water Trust.   Clallam County will assist those individuals who are applying for a building permit obtain a mitigation certificate at the permit counter.  If you are not applying for a building permit, mitigation water for future use can be secured by purchasing a mitigation certificate option directly from the Washington Water Trust.  The option is available to people with a property interest in one or more lots within the WRIA 18 rule area.Details are as follows:

    Requires an upfront payment of 25% (5%/yr) of $1000 ($250)

    You can exercise in years 3, 4, or 5, or renew

    If the option is exercised at the end of year 2, 3 , or 4, then $150, $100, or $50, respectively, will be credited towards the certificate purchase

    The option can be renewed; the price would be based on market conditions at the time of renewal

  3. The cost for the indoor mitigation with 150 gallons (average) per day indoor water is $1000.  When outdoor packages become available, you will be able to water approximately 2500 square feet (.06 acres) with the purchase of the indoor/basic outdoor package at a cost of $2000.  The other option available will be the indoor with extended outdoor package, this will allow you to water 5625 sf (.13 acres) at a cost of $3000.  Click here to see the chart that was provided as a handout. The first 100 building permits applied for by June 30, 2013 will be eligible for a $1000 grant to defray the cost and a budget request has been submitted by DOE to provide further assistance beyond that date.
  4. There are many areas that exist that do not have outdoor watering available for purchase at this time,  see this map (or the one above-click on it to view a more readable PDF)-the yellow areas are where no outdoor mitigation is available presently.  At some point-perhaps more towards the summer, some of the areas in yellow property owners will be able to purchase outdoor mitigation but we are aware that there are areas that exist that will unable to water outdoors forever.  It would have been helpful for the public to have had access to this map throughout the rule making process but one was never made available.  A copy of this map was found through a public records request and circulated in November of last year.  We were advised that this map was prepared with limited data and that Ecology chose not to post it because it would create more confusion and that we should contact the WA Water Trust or County about specific parcels if there were questions.  Unfortunately, the County didn’t have the information they needed to help landowner’s answer their questions as the boundaries were still being worked out.  In the end, the final map turned out to be very similar to the one found in the PDC request.
  5. Clallam County Department of Community Development will be there to assist you through this process-they will be the “one stop shop” to guide you.  To see how the whole process will work, check out this slide show.  They have been hard at work dealing with many moving targets and we thank them for all of their efforts to assist county residents.

We are very concerned for our members and property owners in the affected area.  If you are, please send an email to or contact Greg McCarry at 360-509-0633.  The ORPC is a group that is fundraising to present a legal challenge to the rule.  Please share this information.

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