On February 27, 2013 the Growth Management Hearings Board issued a final decision and order dismissing the petition (appeal) of the City of Kenmore's Shoreline Master Program (SMP). The Shoreline Master Program went into effect on March 30, 2012 following the State Department of Ecology's approval issued on March 16, 2012. The City's SMP provides goals, policies, development regulations, and permitting procedures for "shorelines of the state", which in Kenmore includes Lake Washington, the Sammamish River, the main stem of Swamp Creek, and all lands 200 feet landward of or associated with these waters.
On June 4, 2012, a petition (appeal) was filed by two Kenmore citizens, who were later joined by another citizen, who asserted that the City's Shoreline Master Program failed to enact adequate provisions to protect ecological functions of the downtown shoreline in light of a 2011 dredge report finding high levels of dioxins in sediment below a downtown waterfront private marina property. The Board's February 27, 2013 decision found that Kenmore's Shoreline Master Program inventory documented existing contamination of the downtown waterways and shoreline and that the policies, development regulations and restoration plan provided the necessary response. The Board concluded that the petitioners failed to meet their burden of providing clear and convincing evidence that the State Department of Ecology's approval was non compliant with the applicable policies and guidelines.
Links to the Shoreline Master Program:
In a separate but related story, sediment testing of Lake Washington in 2012, found generally favorable results along the city's shoreline. From Ecology's cleanup action perspective, the results show no immediate threat to human health and the environment.
Dioxin levels in the lake-bottom sediment in most areas at the northern tip of Lake Washington are consistent with background soil and sediment concentrations found in the Seattle-area, according to these results and a Washington state study in 2011.
Sediment samples taken in areas where people and pets may have contact with the lake bottom showed dioxins below the levels Ecology uses to determine if health risks are present from contact with dioxin in soils. Dioxins in sediment at two private marinas exceeded those levels, and Ecology will pursue further investigation of those areas in cooperation with the property owners. Those sediments are in areas not readily accessible to people or pets. Click here for a link to the sediment sampling results.