FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 29, 2012
Statement from Commissioner Goldmark on receiving petitions about coal exports
OLYMPIA – “I have heard from literally tens of thousands of people on the issue of coal exports and appreciate input from all sides of this issue. It is very important for interested parties to participate in all stages of this public review process. Any new terminal to export coal will go through a rigorous environmental review process by the appropriate permitting agencies.
Although the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is not a permitting agency, we will participate and comment on any potential adverse environmental impacts of the proposal.
Any decision I make will be made after DNR is presented with a comprehensive proposal which addresses all aspects of the project, including information developed through environmental review. We are proceeding carefully and considering all relevant factors as we continue to work closely with local, state and federal regulatory agencies.”
Aquatic Lands and DNR leasing
As stewards of the 2.6 million acres of state aquatic lands, DNR manages the bedlands under Puget Sound and along our coast and many of Washington’s beaches, natural lakes, and navigable rivers. DNR is mandated by law to “… strive to provide a balance of public benefits for all citizens of the state.” (RCW 79.105.030) These benefits include:
- Encouraging direct public use and access;
- Fostering water-dependent uses;
- Ensuring environmental protection; and
- Utilizing renewable resources.
DNR may lease and generate revenue from aquatic lands in a manner consistent with the four mandates.
These public benefits described in law are the fundamental basis for decisions regarding state-owned aquatic lands. Each decision must be weighed with these long-term benefits in mind. While not every use of state aquatic lands can always provide all of these benefits, all the benefits should be considered when deciding on a proposed use.
Revenue earned from activities on state aquatic lands—such as leases on marinas docks and shellfish beds and the auction of rights to harvest wild geoduck—pays for management and protection of these valuable assets. Part of the income goes to matching funds for local projects that restore aquatic habitat and provide public access to the state’s waters.
Media Contact: Bryan Flint, Director of Communications, 360-902-1023, firstname.lastname@example.org
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