EPA Issues Burn Ban For Some Indian Reservations in Washington

(Seattle– Dec. 31, 2012) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has called a burn ban on all outdoor burning starting Monday Dec. 31 for several Indian reservations in Washington due to stagnant air conditions as a high pressure system settles in the region. This burn ban will be in place until further notice.
The burn ban will be in effect for the following reservations:

  • Muckleshoot Reservation
  • Nisqually Reservation
  • Puyallup Reservation
  • Stillaguamish Reservation
  • Tulalip Reservation


The burn ban applies to all outdoor and agricultural burning, including camping and recreational fires within reservation boundaries. Ceremonial and traditional fires are exempt from the outdoor burn ban.

EPA also requests that reservation residents reduce all sources of air pollution, including excess driving and idling of vehicles, and the use of woodstoves and fireplaces, unless it is your only source of heat.

Air pollution can have significant health impacts. Cooperation from the community will help people who are at risk during this period. Those most at risk are children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with difficulty breathing and with heart and lung problems. Those at risk should avoid outdoor exercise and minimize exposure to outdoor pollution as much as possible.

Please call 1-800-424-4EPA and ask for the FARR Hotline or visit the Federal Air Rules for Reservations (FARR) website for the current burn status at www.epa.gov/r10earth/FARR.htm.

Bi-Mart Preps New Location in Aberdeen, Plans to Open in 2013

ABERDEEN, Wash. - The Aberdeen Bi-Mart location is a "go." By the end of 2013, the membership discount store plans to either occupy or replace the former Rite Aid building on Myrtle street.
Director of Advertising, Don Leber said yesterday, "We'd like to get it open sooner than later, but it depends on the different things that we have to do to the building itself.
Leber said Bi-Mart is eager to introduce themselves to the area "We're a membership store, but with us it's just a onetime, lifetime $5-dollar membership fee. Our whole emphasis is on value everyday, we do have sales and things of that nature but it's all about having value for our members every day of the week.
The discount chain stocks everything from groceries, to sporting goods, automotive, hardware, gardening, toys and electronics.
Aberdeen Mayor Bill Simpson said "It is always nice to see new business coming to our community, having faith in our community's ever-growing population.

State Task Force Continues to Monitor Dock on Olympic National Park Coastline

FORKS, Wash. - A dock suspected to have been set adrift by the March 2011 Japanese tsunami remains beached on a remote and rugged section of the Olympic National Park coastline, state officials said today.

State responders are developing a plan for dealing with the dock. No plan can be enacted until January, however, due to tides and daylight access. The Incident Command Post set up to address the dock stood down over the weekend and will resume operations when tides allow safe access to the dock.

Meanwhile, as a precaution, a tracking buoy is attached to the dock. The buoy transmits its location twice daily via satellite. The location coordinates have not changed, indicating the dock has not moved since visited by a response team last week.

A dangerously swollen stream combined with rough, high seas made reaching the dock difficult last week. A ground crew representing federal and state agencies had to make two attempts to reach the dock, but a small group of responders was able to reach the dock on Friday, Dec. 21. Working quickly during this month's last daytime low tide, the team thoroughly measured and inspected the dock, collected samples of the marine organisms clinging to it and placed the tracking beacon on it.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is working with marine invasive species experts from Williams College in Connecticut, Oregon State University, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History to analyze samples they helped collect from the dock and to assess the risk they might pose to native Washington species. Nearly 30 species have been identified so far.

Mason County Boil Water Advisory Lifted

OLYMPIA - Most of the 700 Mason County homes and businesses that lost water service after weather-related power outages along Hood Canal have returned to normal. There’s no longer any need to boil the tap water.

A boil-water advisory issued Wednesday remains in effect for the Rest-A-While recreational vehicle park at Hoodsport. The park lost water pressure after a power outage Dec. 19. Low water pressure can allow contaminants to enter a water system.

The state Department of Health encouraged people in the affected areas to boil their drinking water or use bottled water even after service was restored, until lab tests showed the water was safe to drink. Based on certified lab tests, boil-water advisories are no longer in effect for these water systems:

  • · Union
  • · Union Ridge
  • · Vuecrest
  • · Highland Park
  • · Madrona Beach
  • · Hood Canal A
  • · Hood Canal B
  • · Minerva Terrace
  • · Canal Mutual
  • · Canal Beach Tracts
  • · Mountain View
  • · Cushman Inc.

The Department of Health website (www.doh.wa.gov) is your source for a healthy dose of information. Also, find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Satsop Business Park Comes of Age

ELMA – More than a dozen years after a Public Development Authority was created to transform an abandoned nuclear power plant site in Elma, Wash., into a mixed-use business park, the Board of Directors for the Grays Harbor Public Development Authority, having done its job, will hand over the reins to the Port of Grays Harbor in January.
“The Satsop Business Park has come of age,” said Tami Garrow, CEO of the Grays Harbor PDA, whose announced retirement in March 2013 intensified the Board’s strategic planning discussions about the Park’s future.
“The hard work, vision and commitment of a handful of courageous board members, the creative thinking and sharp skills of our staff and counsel, and the leadership exhibited by every member of this organization, built the Satsop Business Park into something the entire community can be proud of,” Garrow said.
Once the board realized that the timing was right to consider bold actions that would ensure the Park’s future, the choice of consolidating Satsop’s assets with the Port of Grays Harbor became an obvious one, said Steve Poler, PDA chairman.

Satsop Business Park CEO Tami Garrow, third from left, with the board of directors from left, Steve Poler, Shelli Hopsecger, Art Tanner, Jack Thompson, Mike Wilson, John Van Dijk and Tom Casey.

“Satsop Business Park will be a great community asset for the Port to manage. The Port can use all the developable land, storage facilities and great infrastructure that the Park has to offer to benefit the region by attracting more businesses, creating jobs and providing skilled workforce training opportunities. 
“Handing the reins over to the Port Commission is the perfect way to end this first chapter of the Park’s life. We’re proud of what’s been accomplished at the Park and what an asset to the community it has become,” Poler said. 

State Budget a Likely Topic at Legislative Sendoff Luncheon January 8th

ABERDEEN, Wash. - Business leaders throughout Grays Harbor will be at the annual Legislative Send-Off luncheon next month. The Greater Grays Harbor Inc. event is a chance to talk one-on-one with state legislators before they go to Olympia.
With a court mandated investment in K-12 education, estimates are that lawmakers need to find as much as $2.5 billion during this session. State Representative Brian Blake said on Friday, they don't have much to cut "this is going to be probably a more challenging budget to write. The low hanging fruit has been picked, and picked and picked, and it's going to be some tough decisions."
The 2013 Regular session is scheduled to begin on January 14, 2013 and end on April 28th. The annual sendoff prior to session has been one of Greater Grays Harbor’s most popular events, and this year will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, at the Rotary Log Pavilion in Aberdeen.

Central Park Residents on Precautionary Boil Water Advisory

Central Park, WA - Grays Harbor Water District #2 (AKA Central Park Water) is on a precautionary Boil Water Advisory due to loss of pressure resulting from a main break. Initial reports from the State Department of Health indicate the area affected is limited to a portion of Central Park Drive near Linkshire Dr., and Linkshire Drive itself. County Environmental Health Director Jeff Nelson said "We are attempting to get a better sense of the boundaries, once established we will notify any affected food service establishments to limit operations until the advisory is lifted.

Nelson said "This advisory is PRECAUTIONARY – in other words, contaminants have NOT been detected. Loss of pressure simply makes the system vulnerable. This system operator is notifying affected customers.

End of The Year Razor Clam Dig Approved

OLYMPIA - State fishery managers have approved an end-of-the-year razor clam dig over four evenings, leading up to and including New Year’s Eve.

They also announced a tentative schedule for additional digs in 2013, subject to prior testing for marine toxins. Information about both confirmed and tentative digs are available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html.

The upcoming dig will begin Dec. 28 after noon at Twin Harbors and expand to include three other ocean beaches through Dec. 31.

Dig MapWashington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) confirmed the dig after marine toxin tests at all four beaches confirmed the clams are safe to eat. No digging will be allowed at any of those beaches until after noon.

“Razor clam digging on New Year’s Eve has become a tradition for many Washingtonians,” said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. “The tides aren’t conducive to a holiday dig every year, but they’re with us this year.”

In past years, as many as 20,000 people have descended on ocean beaches to dig razor clams on New Year’s Eve, Ayres said.