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The Gold(mark) Standard

By Josh Feit February 9, 2009

During the 2008 election, I reported on incumbent lands commissioner Doug Sutherland's last-minute maneuvers to help his political patrons at Glacier Northwest get a lease for their controversial strip mining work on Maury Island. 

I was reporting for HA during the election, so I let my support for Sutherland's opponent, Peter Goldmark, color my copy

We're not going to do as much of that here at PubliCola, but I must say I'm digging this: 

Goldmark, who won in November, issued a statement today saying he's reviewing the Maury Ilsand lease that Sutherland's office a-okayed as Sutherland was heading out the door.  
"...the impacts from activities associated with loading gravel onto barges at the 300-foot dock have not been adequately measured against the Puget Sound Partnership’s (PSP) Action Plan. The lease was signed only one day after the Action Plan’s approval.

“I have concerns about how this dock will impact the long term sustainability and cleanup of Puget Sound,” said Commissioner Goldmark. “When these leases are signed, Washingtonians expect due diligence, and we must review this deal to make sure it is in lockstep with the Puget Sound Partnership’s Action Plan.”


UPDATE: I'm not the only one who's digging Goldmark's announcement. KC Council Member Dow Constantine (who represents Maury) issued a statement praising Goldmark's decision.

I've posted Constantine's remarks after the jump.

Constantine says:

I commend Commissioner Goldmark for directing his staff to review the aquatic lands lease issued to Glacier Northwest for their Maury Island barge facility.

This lease was issued without adequate review in the waning days of the final term of former Commissioner Doug Sutherland. Commissioner Goldmark has rightly instructed his staff to examine how the Glacier Northwest dock proposal fits with the Puget Sound Partnership’s Action Plan to clean up Puget Sound and the state’s own designation of the Maury Island Aquatic Reserve.

The construction of the dock is a threat to our already-endangered orcas and Chinook salmon. The suspicious circumstances surrounding the issuance of the lease harm citizens’ confidence in our state government.

Commissioner Goldmark took decisive action today both to address the potential environmental consequences of this action and to reassure the people of Washington that his office is committed to an open, honest government.
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