Lowry names council to help guide Puget Sound protection efforts

OLYMPIA Gov. Mike Lowry has appointed seven members to the newly created Puget Sound Council, a 9-member panel charged with guiding Puget Sound protection efforts. The council, along with the Puget Sound Water Quality Action Team, will help ensure that ongoing efforts to protect the sound's water quality and resources continue.

The new council will advise the action team, whose first priority will be to develop a two-year work plan and budget to guide federal, state and local activities and protect water quality and habitat in Puget Sound. Both the council and the action team are part of the Puget Sound Water Quality Protection Act, which was enacted during the 1996 legislative session in preparation for the scheduled June 30 sunset of the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority.

Council members named today represent business, the environmental community, agriculture, the shellfish industry, counties, cities and tribes.

In addition to the seven members appointed by the governor, leaders of the state House of Representatives and the state Senate have each named one member to the council.

Lowry said the council will serve an important role in making sure action team members are aware of projects and activities that are necessary to protect water quality at the local level.

"Each council member brings a unique and important perspective that is key to continuing and enhancing protection of Puget Sound," Lowry said.

Nancy McKay, who chairs the Puget Sound Water Quality Action Team, said she is very pleased with the governor's choice of council members.

"To effectively protect Puget Sound, we must involve the major stakeholders," said McKay. "As council members, these representatives will provide a direct link to key interests, and in doing so, they will ensure that decisions made by the action team meet the needs of all of Puget Sound's communities."

The Puget Sound Water Quality Action Team and Puget Sound Council are responsible for carrying out recommendations of the Puget Sound Water Quality Management Plan and overseeing activities to protect water quality responsibilities that fell to the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority before its sunset on June 30, 1996.

Puget Sound Council members appointed by the governor:

Kirk Anderson, representing business. Anderson serves as vice president of management and operations for Fisher Properties, Inc. in Seattle.

Bill Dewey, representing of the shellfish industry. Dewey is the division manager for Taylor United, Inc. in Shelton and past president of the Pacific Coast Oyster Growers Association. He also has served on the board of the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority and currently serves on People for Puget Sound.

Bob Edwards, representing city government. Edwards is a member of the Renton City Council, president of the Association of Washington Cities, and a former member of the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority.

Rhea Miller, representing county government. Actively involved in water quality policy issues, Miller is a San Juan County Commissioner.

Tom Putnam, representing the environmental community. Putnam is president of Puget Soundkeeper Alliance in Seattle and has been actively involved in Puget Sound protection efforts for more than 10 years.

Jerry Van der Veen, representing agriculture. A Skagit County dairy farmer, Van der Veen is vice chairman of the Skagit Conservation District and a former officer of Washington State Dairy Federation and State Beef Commission. He is involved in water quality protection efforts.

Ron Whitener, representing tribal government. Whitener serves as general counsel for the Squaxin Island Tribe and was a member of the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority.

Puget Sound Council members appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives and the president of the Senate:

Rep. Gary Chandler (R-Moses Lake), an apple orchardist/farm owner serving his third term from the 13th legislative district. Chandler represents parts of Yakima, Benton, and Grant counties, and all of Kittitas County. He serves as chairman of the House Agriculture and Ecology Committee and is a former Grant County Commissioner.

Sen. Darlene Fairley (D-Lake Forest Park). Fairley represents the 32nd legislative district, which includes northwest King County. She serves as vice chairwoman of the Senate Ecology and Parks Committee and is a former Lake Forest Park City Council member.

The governor also named two members to the Puget Sound Water Quality Action Team:

Julie McCulloch, representing city government. The Port Townsend mayor is a former Port Townsend City Council member and planning commissioner. She is a self-employed small business owner and is active in efforts to protect the Dungeness-Quilcene watershed.

Louise Miller, representing county government. The former state representative is vice chairwoman of the Metropolitan King County Council, vice chairwoman of the Regional Water Quality Committee, and a member of the Utilities and Natural Resources Committee.

Both the Puget Sound Water Quality Action Team and Puget Sound Council will hold their first meetings August 8. The council meeting will begin at 10 a.m. in the auditorium of the Department of Ecology building in Lacey. The action team meeting will follow at 1:30 p.m. in the same location.

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For more information, contact the Governor's Communications Office at 360-753-6790.

For a meeting agenda, call Andrea Turner with the Puget Sound Water Quality Action Team at