Only a government agency would do this.

The Herald ran an ad for the State Department of Ecology informing us of the web site where we could find the Draft Consent Decree for our waterfront cleanup. Well, it isn’t there. Upon inquiry, Lucy McInerney of DOE informs us that it will be posted in a week because that is when the public comment period begins. We wonder why DOE ran the ad if it is not available.

Post the decree, DOE. Let us read and discuss the decree - now. This decree - if it sticks - is important and we need to read it and have a chance to study it. Scheduling this in the height of our vacation season reduces the number of people who will see and respond. Not posting it till absolutely required by law - even though it is apparently ready - further reduces our chances by a week. Then the public hearing will be on Aug 8 - with only 4 more days after for comment - which includes a weekend. All this reduces the time that citizens have to find, read, discuss and comment. A few days deleted here and some more there. DOE is expert in minimizing public participation when it wants to. This is just a latest example.

A public hearing on Wednesday, August 8. The very center of our brief warm summer weather. Do you want to sit in a stuffy room for several hours on that beautiful summer evening? None of us do. It could easily be scheduled for mid September. After all, Lucy has been working on this process since 1996. Seriously. I used to attend her meetings back then. Huge wastes of time. Now the final decision is laid on us in mid August. In truth, we must compliment DOE and Lucy for their mastery of the slippery public process that few people will follow.

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