Aug. 1, 2011
King County Executive Dow Constantine statement on CSO control
King County has been a leader in protecting regional water quality for nearly 50 years. Today, Executive Dow Constantine affirmed King County's support for the Clean Water Act, and asked local, federal and state agencies to look at how we can link different cleanup efforts to get the best outcome for Puget Sound:
"Lynda Mapes' Seattle Times article highlights many important questions that should be part of a broader public discussion about protecting water quality, such as how we prioritize our investments, including controlling combined sewer overflows and better treating polluted runoff from our roads and neighborhoods.
"King County strongly supports the objectives of the Clean Water Act and we will continue to comply with its requirements. We can't ignore the localized health and environmental impacts of combined sewer overflows. We must be able to reconcile separate, often competing mandates. I believe we can achieve better outcomes if we work with stakeholders and encourage regulators to take a more integrated, watershed- and region-wide approach to cleaning up Puget Sound and other water bodies.
"We're taking this integrated approach in the Lower Duwamish, where King County is leading efforts to link CSO projects with river clean-up, better management of stormwater, and habitat restoration. I want a broader conversation about how we can bring a more holistic approach to setting priorities and tackling funding issues for Puget Sound as a whole.
"Since the late 1980s, King County has made investments that have reduced combined sewer overflows by 61 percent. We're now updating the plan that will guide the remaining CSO control investments. The public has told us that reducing these overflows is important. Now is the time to get stakeholder input on how we can maximize the value of our public investments within local watersheds and throughout Puget Sound."