January 25, 2013
RE: "Groundwater group nearing consensus" article by Mr. John Fannin. As written, Mr. Fannin's reporting on the Lower Yakima Valley Groundwater Management Area Advisory Committee (GWMA) meeting held Jan. 17 in Sunnyside leaves the reader completely in murky water.
Mr. Fannin states that Mr. Tebb from the Washington State Department of Ecology agreed with Ms. Mendoza in that budget funding for short term goals of fresh water to rural citizens with contaminated wells should be included in the plan, which it was not. Yet Mr. Fannin stated Mr. Tebb favored the plan as initially presented.
Which is true, certainly both cannot be so?
Per Mr. Fannin's reporting, it reads as though a driving force to the GWMA group is the potential loss of some of this year's funding if a plan is not put in place in time. The reporter's story reads as though Ms. Mendoza and two others are roadblocks in an attempt to properly address groundwater issues, when the reality is just the reverse.
Yes, just the reverse! The "draft proposal" as presented for consensus during the meeting was incomplete, and represented a poorly thought out approach to a complex and serious issue to the health of many of the county's Lower Valley rural residents. It should receive the attention and effort commensurate with issues of sincere public health and well being.
The reporter's final statement reads as though the remedy to the lack of consensus is minor verbal "tweaking." The reality seems far from that comment. The plan needs to seriously work toward a solution to contaminated groundwater issues.
The purpose of the plan should not be about a spending deadline and a continuum of the status quo.
Please at least present a factual report and do not make Mr. Redifer sound as though his concern is losing funds that could return to the state coffers. I do not want that to be the truth.
/s/ Kathleen Rogers, Grandview