Submitted by Maria Lee, City of Tacoma.
In a recent reader-submitted letter published in the Suburban Times, there are two statements made about the recent PSE Permit Modification decision that are factually inaccurate. I am highlighting those two statements here, along with the facts:
“The City Council can delay the 21 day appeal deadline.”
There is nothing the City Council can do to affect this deadline. The decision at issue is a Modification of a Shoreline Substantial Development Permit. The appeal is to the Shoreline Hearings Board pursuant to RCW 90.58, the Shoreline Management Act. WAC 461-08-305, subsections 340 and 355 are what establishes the 21-day appeal period.
“The Permit Modification decision was made with no environmental review.”
The subject of this Permit Modification was expressly included in PSE’s original permit application. That application, including the infrastructure that is the subject of the Permit Modification, received a thorough SEPA environmental review by the City of Tacoma as well as a supplemental review by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. Tacoma’s SEPA decision was appealed up to Division II of the Washington State Court of Appeals. The correctness and thoroughness of Tacoma’s SEPA review and decision was affirmed at every level. This is explained in detail in the Permit Modification decision.
The grounds for the City’s decision on the Permit Modification are explained in detail in the written decision. The decision is under appeal, and the City will not comment further until the appeal process is concluded.