Posts Tagged ‘Lake Whatcom’

2011 Election Season

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Update: Instead of continuing to update this post, I’ve added a page for the 2011 Elections and will update that as my positions evolve.

As of Friday the candidate filings are closed, so they’re off and running.  The Herald has covered the filings both in the news and in their politics blog.   In turn, the Whatcom Democrats have also  covered the Herald politics blog with a layer of partisan comments from some of their officers.  On Saturday the Whatcom GOP had their first endorsement of the season, with their  endorsement of Sen. Doug Erickson’s for County Executive.

It may seem contrary to the somewhat political nature of this blog, but I really don’t find it much fun to speculate about who will file and why.  I don’t find fantasy football of any interest either.  But now that the dust has settled for the moment, I did go through a quick assessment of where I stand at this moment on some of the more important races.

UPDATE: I’ll just keep updating this post as things move along and I learn more about each candidate.

Whatcom County Executive

  • Jack Louws  – I’ve heard good things, but right now its difficult to think of a better candidate than Sen. Ericksen
  • Smile Doug Ericksen – Doug has represented us well for years in Olympia and I’m all for him now working at home to make this a better area to live.
  • Tom Anderson – Don’t know anything at this point.
  • Sad smile David Stalheim – So in the last 4-5 years he left a community development job for the city of Wenatchee, for a community development job for the city of Ashland, which he left for a job as Whatcom County Planning Director, which he left for a job with the City of Bellingham as Planning & Community Development director and shortly thereafter sues his former employer Whatcom County for problems with their planning.  Now he want’s to quit with Bellingham to become the executive of the county he is sued?  ROFLMAO, oh and no.

Whatcom County Council District 1, Position B

  1. Smile Tony Larson – I find Tony to be an independent, level headed guy who has given a lot to this community.  I see him asking all the right questions rather than just rubber stamping status quo.    I supported him before and especially after seeing him in action, I’ll do it again.
  2. Pete Kremen  – I’m not really sure why he’s running yet ????

Whatcom County Council District 2, Position B

  • Smile Sam Crawford – I like what I see of his values and he has thus far shown he is more than up to the challenges of the position he has had for more than a few years.  He’s a keeper.
  • Sad smile Christina Maginnis – Our county already throws way too much of our money towards stormwater issues and Lake Whatcom without much in the way of results.    Having a DOE water quality expert on the council seems a bit like voting to have someone beat your head against a wall.

Whatcom County Council District 3, Position B

  • Barbara Brenner – I like watching her on the council because like Tony Larson, she is always asking good questions.  I don’t get the impression from her that she has already made up her mind on things, like I do from a couple of the other council members
  • Alan Black – don’t know much yet.

Whatcom County Treasurer

  • Smile Brian Smith –  So I had a chance to meet Brian today and I can report that the good things I had heard were all true.   His qualifications to handle county finances were definitely there and he struck me as someone who would take his duty as a servant to the people of Whatcom County very seriously.
  • Sad smile Steven Oliver – Well, I haven’t met our current treasurer either, but I’ve suspected in the past, that he was playing politics while at work and I just can’t vote for someone to watch the bank accounts that I have a shady/slippery feeling about.

Whatcom County Auditor

  • J. Lynne Walker  – don’t know much about her yet.
  • Debbie Adelstein – don’t know much about her yet either

Whatcom County Sheriff

  • Steve Harris – perhaps someday he’ll have half the experience of Sherriff Elfo.
  • Bob Taylor – perhaps someday he’ll half the experience also.
  • Smile Bill Elfo – What can I say, we live in a county that borders another nation and there is a lot of potential for crimes due to our location.   He’s been the tough but fair Sheriff that we need.

Bellingham Mayor – I don’t live in Bellingham, but Bellingham is such a large part of Whatcom County that what happens there has significant effects on all of us.  If they raise taxes we pay when we shop.  The more unfriendly they make it for people to live and work in the city, the more sprawl is encouraged.

  • Sad smile Kelli Linville – She lost her 42nd district State Rep gig to Vince Buys primarily due to her over spending issues.  I haven’t heard that she has mended her ways, so I don’t see supporting her doing the same in Bellingham.  If Bellingham over spends like our state has for the last few decades, the money will be coming out or your pocket whether you live in Bellingham or not.
  • Sad smile Dan Pike – Too bad I couldn’t bold the frowny.   As I’ve brought up numerous times here in this blog, Dan Pike has such a gift for taking money away from others that he really had only two career paths, criminal or liberal leaning politician.  I’ve never heard of him passing on a chance to take from taxpayers, so there is no way in Hellingbam that I’d give him an ounce of support.
  • Clayton Petree – Ok, he rides a bike, but so does the current mayor, so no decision yet.  Much more to learn here.
  • Steve Moore – don’t know much yet.

I’ll add more when I have had more time to think on the mayor races and a couple of other positions.  I’ll also be  adding or adjusting the smileys and frownies as I learn more about the candidates.

Another nail in Lake Whatcom’s coffin

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

hammer and nail“Bellingham exploring new energy projects” is the name of the post by John Stark over at the Herald Blog.   He’s calling our attention to the City of Bellingham’s  look into a couple of alternative energy programs that they are just starting to look into.  The first is using water main that had service Georgia-Pacific to drive a micro-hydroelectric plant and the second is to use gas fired plant at the GP site to supply heat and electric power to Bellingham.

A small hydroelectric generating plant to harness water that could be funneled through turbines via a 48-inch industrial water main that once served the G-P pulp mill.

I’m certainly all for exploring new ways of providing energy, looking for alternative energy sources, and repurposing industrial infrastructure, but I’m a little concerned in this case.  Mr. Stark says he is working on a “more lengthy report on this for print and online editions in the next few days”  and I’m hoping to find that there are others concerned with the damage to the Lake from again opening the flood gates on the GP drain.   I believe and have stated here last year that the use of this mid-lake drain is the biggest obstacle for the health of Lake Whatcom.   I firmly believe that even the draconian restrictions which are being thrust on nearby residents won’t allow the Lake to recover until the drain is closed off and normal flow returned to the Lake.   In that same post I did suggest that we glean some hydro from the outflow of the Lake, but I was clear that we should do so from the normal outflow, not the drain pipe.    In another post, Energy, I also explained that I am a firm believer that the closer a process is to the natural process, the better it is for our environment, so until someone shows me a lake with a naturally occurring 48” diameter pipe suddenly appeared, I’m going to say that using the pipe less rather than more is better for the Lake.

Of course losing jobs and industry in Bellingham was not appealing, but with respect to restoring normal water flow and health, the Lake is fortunate that G-P closed up shop.   I’m afraid that if power generation is put in place using the mid-lake drain we will never be able to wean ourselves from it and Lake Whatcom will be doomed.

Bottom-line: I’m strongly opposed to the micro-hydro plan I see suggested at this point and would hope that the City of Bellingham would drop it from their process both to save Lake Whatcom and save the taxpayers from further funding down this gloomy path.

Energy

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

To the extent that we burn “fossil” fuels, the people of our nation and our world are existing on banked capacity. The energy stored in tar and crude oils was banked away long long ago. In those days, just as today, solar energy drives a mechanism whereby energy and carbon (mostly from CO2) is stored in plant and animal matter. In those days the plants were not burned for fuel thus releasing carbon and energy back into the atmosphere. So year after year, layer after layer of this material fell to the ground essentially making energy deposits into the Earth.

Now millions of years later we are digging and pumping what has become tar and oil so that we can now burn it releasing the energy we need to drive our world as well as CO2, the much maligned combustion byproduct. This mechanism is not the only source of CO2 in our atmosphere, nor is CO2 the only greenhouse gas so I won’t be going into the whole global warming issue again. Suffice to say that we are not taking CO2 out of the atmosphere at the same rate that we are putting it in through burning “fossil” fuels and other means. We are not operating on a balanced energy budget.

I hate that the word sustainable, like the word progressive has been hijacked by the left, so I try to keep using them as a little push back. In order to sustain our environment we need to be operating on a balanced budget. If we are going to keep pulling up crude and burning it then we need to be pulling the CO2 and other combustion byproducts back out of the air and put them back into the ground at the same rate. Alternatively, we can reduce or eliminate the burning and correspondingly reduce or eliminate sequestering the compounds. Nurturing new rain forests and making more efficient choices are both very doable moves in the right direction. Eliminating all burning of fossil fuels is not going to happen without accompanying war, famine and generally immense human suffering. We need energy to power society and right now our system is built primarily around fossil fuels.  Saying we need to change is a lot easier to say than to do.

Enter our hope and change President Obama who says he’s  up to the challenge of leading us out of our fossil fuel age.

In the near term, as we transition to cleaner energy sources, we’re going to have to make some tough decisions about opening up new offshore areas for oil and gas development.  We’ll need to make continued investments in advanced biofuels and clean coal technologies, even as we build greater capacity in renewables like wind and solar.  And we’re going to have to build a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in America.  Remarks by the President on Energy

Though his positive message is a bit mired by the aim he took on large oil companies during his campaign and by the psuedo anger he seems to be showing post-spill.

Since the gas lines of the ’70’s, Democrats and Republicans have talked about energy independence, but nothing’s changed — except now Exxon’s making $40 billion a year, and we’re paying $3.50 for gas.

I’m Barack Obama. I don’t take money from oil companies or Washington lobbyists, and I won’t let them block change anymore. They’ll pay a penalty on windfall profits. We’ll invest in alternative energy, create jobs and free ourselves from foreign oil.  Obama Campaign ad

“And I don’t sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar. We talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers so I know whose ass to kick, right? “ Obama looking for some “ass to kick” in BP oil spill catastrophe

The prime target of the newfound ire was, of course, BP and the mess they created in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. “You know,” he [President Obama] told King, “I am furious at this entire situation because this is an example where somebody didn’t think through the consequences of their actions.”

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/furious-barack-obama-talks-bp-israel-immigration-with-larry-king/

Really?  A multi-national company the size of BP didn’t think through the consequence of their actions in the risky and dangerous arena of deep water oil drilling?  Yeah, I’ll just throw the promise of sustainable energy on the stack of things that I won’t look to our President for leadership.   Truly sad that our nation, the light of the world, is lit by a dim bulb.

But back to hope.  We’ve made a lot of progress in the last hundred years or so in world societies fueled by primarily crude oil. If not for the oil industry we could still all be living back in the 1800’s so I really don’t get all this hatred  for oil companies that is coming from the left.  Frankly I find it all a bit too hypocritical coming from people who use plastics, waxes, rubber and other petroleum based products. And let’s not forget that all the renewable hydro power comes from dams that were built using gas and diesel powered construction equipment. Sometimes I think they need to be 3 Stooges slapped into reality because reality is where we all need to be, if we are to move away from our dependence on crude oil without plunging our world into a second dark age.

Reality is that windmills and solar power are both great ways to supplement, our electrical needs but neither will supplant our use of fossil oils. First, we don’t have the infrastructure to transport enough electricity to replace the fuels we burn and second we don’t have the electrical storage technology to rival tanks filled with petroleum fuels. I’m not saying that this can’t be done, but I am saying that it is a long road with a lot of technological hurdles and the end result is not one I think I’ll be happy with. Imagine how many batteries we would need to store energy just to get us through the night or during a calm afternoon? And imagine the enormous mines that would grow with demand for mineral elements needed for these batteries and other electronics? And what about the mountains of spent batteries? And without crude oil, where do we get the plastic for battery casings?

Also consider how long it will take to fill up your electric car compared to a fill up at any station other than Costco.  Even if new technology were to cut the charge times down to an hour, what’s that do for the line of people waiting behind you?   After just hearing that our government is building a charging station in Custer along I-5, I’m wondering if people will be keen on spending a couple of hours in Custer while their car charges?  Is there something to do in Custer?  Pure electric is far from a drop in solution for people who drive fossil fuel cars and I wish our government would think things through before spending our taxes.

So, at best I see wind and solar as supplements to our existing electrical infrastructure and not a solution to our fossil fuel needs.  At worst I see wind and solar as a visual blight on our landscape to make a few people feel good.

Nuclear power does have one great benefit over wind and solar towards meeting our nation’s energy needs in that it is a continuous and consistent supply. It does still have most of the infrastructure and mineral issues as well as some of the storage problems, specifically vehicle batteries, as wind and solar. It does also have the nagging and unsolved problem of radioactive waste. I’ve yet to see a way to deal with it that isn’t either a tremendous liability or a tremendous safety hazard, or both.

I hate to think that we are stuck with no alternatives but to keep drilling oil until we run out and then let our children’s children deal with a new dark age or to let our government and environmental lobbyists plunge us into one right away. As both an optimist and a Christian I firmly believe that we have been given in our world, everything we need to crack this sustainable energy nut.  And not surprisingly that everything, involves carbon.  After all life on our planet is all carbon based and revolves around a natural carbon cycle.

540px-Carbon_cycle-cute_diagram.svg

Just like I feel that the best way to solve the Lake Whatcom water quality issue is to return normal flow to the lake, my feeling is that the closer we can live to this normal natural carbon cycle, the more sustainable and happier it will be for all of us. Really, there are just two technical problems with the sustainability of our current energy model. First we don’t pull enough CO2 out of the atmosphere to remain in balance with what we are burning, although we could conceivably grow more plants.  And the second problem is that even if we grew more plants,  we’d have to wait 50 million years or so to harvest the energy that we store. However tough they may seem, if we solve those problems then we reach a true sustainable state.

And I’ll get on a soapbox here for a moment and tell you that the fastest most efficient way to solve these problems is not through taxes, lobbyist, caps, trades, more taxes, commissions, czars, pacts, nor treaties. The fastest most efficient way is for our government to get out of the way, of those that will solve the problem because they believe they will profit from the solution. Yes, capitalism can and will solve this problem just as it has so many others.

The sustainable solutions will come from utilizing the suns natural solar energy to grow plants that pull co2 from the atmosphere and then, without waiting 50 million years, we create fuel from those plants to burn in our cars, trucks, trains, planes etc. Plants both convert and store the sun’s energy. Solar, the way God intended.

There are several ways to accomplish this plant growing solution and they all seem to have some merit in one way or another. The main camps are divided between producing ethanol or oils. We see these as the products like E85 ethanol/gas or biodiesels. Even within the two camps there are division regarding what type of plants to use. And there are even the unintended consequences to consider such as the destruction of the palm forests that Doug Ericksen brought to our attention. There are lots of options out there that need to be carefully weighed so that we don’t invest resources, either public or private, into technology that won’t solve our problem. And this is where government really loses out over business. If they follow their normal process, and all indications are that they will, we will see significant investment of our tax dollars into numerous schemes with little or no judgment regarding the potential for a technology to efficiently deliver energy.   Bill Gates addressed the potential for government waste in A Business Plan for America’s Energy Future that he is involved with.

2. Research can be managed and tracked through pre-defined performance gates, to ensure that projects on course keep receiving support and those failing get terminated.
3. Support must be given to technologies that have real potential to scale. The federal government should focus on supporting technologies with potential for national impact—the sectors where there is a major gap between the best technologies available and the technical and economic potential.

Privately held businesses have to be profitable or they fail, it’s a natural consequence of poor performance.  Government on the other hand, just holds special sessions to figure how best to tax us without pissing us off so much that we rebel.    Bill Gates whom many know as a capitalist, a visionary and a leader in new technology also happens to be invested in alternative energy.

Bill Gates’ investment firm is funding Sapphire Energy, a company that intends to make auto fuel from algae.  Sapphire Energy said Wednesday that a series B round will bring the total amount it has raised to more than $100 million.

Perhaps it is investments like this that allow very profitable big companies like Microsoft to not be maligned the way that very profitable big companies like Exxon and BP are?  And if that is so, then it is a matter of public perception, rather than substance, because two of the biggest companies leading us to a sustainable non-fossil fuel future are the now much hated Exxon and BP.

Oil giant BP has so far invested $3 billion in alternative energy globally and is set to reach its target, set in 2005, of spending $8 billion.

At a Beijing conference, BP China President Chen Liming said that BP will focus mainly on wind power projects in the US, solar in India and China and biomass in Brazil. The alternative energy unit of Europe’s largest oil firm set aside $8 billion of investment in the decade through 2015.  Oil & Gas

To complement its new ethanol and biobutanol plants, BP is spending billions on biofuel research. The company has been eyeballing algae as a possible feedstock, largely because algae do not affect fresh water resources, can be produced using ocean and waste-water, and are biodegradable and relatively harmless to the environment if spilled. While algae are expensive to produce, they can yield over 30 times more energy per unit area than other, second-generation biofuel crops. The company is also spending some $1 billion on research on sugar-cane based biofuel in Brazil, which in 2008 produced 37.3% of the world’s ethanol-based biofuel.  heatingoil.com

On Tuesday, Exxon plans to announce an investment of $600 million in producing liquid transportation fuels from algae — organisms in water that range from pond scum to seaweed.  NY times

Remember from above that campaigning Barack Obama said with regards to big oil corporations, “They’ll pay a penalty on windfall profits. We’ll invest in alternative energy, create jobs and free ourselves from foreign oil.” I hope when the well is plugged and the oil spill quickly becomes a thing of the past, that we will remember who has actually been investing in alternative fuels and who has been blowing a lot of hot rhetoric.  I have no doubt that BP will pay damages.  However, if we allow a vindictive President to break BP with penalty after large penalty, then we’ll just be pushing our independence from fossil fuels further into our future.

According to Environmental News Network Algae could yield more than 2000 gallons of fuel per acre per year as opposed to corn which they estimate at only 250 gallons per acre per year.  Algae also can be grown using land and water that isn’t suitable for other uses, so good land is still available for food crops.   Petrosun with an ex-big oil CEO, is a leader in algae based biodiesel and they describe the benefits in a little more detail.

Extensive research was conducted to determine the utilization of microalgae as an energy source, with applications being developed for biodiesel, ethanol, and bioplastics. Independent studies have demonstrated that algae is capable of producing in excess of 30 times more oil per acre than corn and soybean crops. Biodiesel produced from algae contains no sulfur, is non-toxic and highly biodegradable.
One of the biggest advantages of biodiesel compared to many other alternative transportation fuels is that it can be used in existing diesel engines, which relieves manufacturers of having to make costly engine modifications. Biodiesel can also be mixed, at any ratio, with conventional petroleum diesel. As a result, the alternative fuel can be used in the current distribution infrastructure, replacing petroleum diesel either wholly, or as a diesel fuel blend with minimal integration costs.

And the big oil state of Texas is a leader in biodiesel production with

Biodiesel sales are booming in Texas, the country’s largest producer of biodiesel transportation fuel. Texas has a current production capacity of over 100 million gallons per year. As of 2008, Texas has more than 20 commercial biodiesel plants with additional plants under construction or being expanded, as well as over 50 retail biodiesel fueling sites…

Go Texas!

I don’t like paying high prices at the pump, I don’t like smog and I don’t like seeing the damage that the oil spill is doing.  I am thankful though for the positive impact that oil and gas has had for good in this world.  I don’t bear any ill will towards the people who make a living in that industry and as I’ve said,  I have a tough time understanding why they are demonized.

My feeling is that biofuels, and most specifically algae produced biodiesel are the best direction we can take at this time towards a cleaner and more sustainable energy system.  From trucks, cars and planes to fossil fuel generated electricity, our nation has the infrastructure in place to make a smooth efficient transition to non-fossil biofuels.   And driving where I want and when I want in a biodiesel fueled car or truck sounds a lot more appealing than a dooming future generations to a new mass transit dark age.

What is Wrong with Lake Whatcom

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Since moving to the area 9 years ago, I’ve gotten used to bickering, accusations, partisan slams, and science nitpicks, all surrounding the issue of Lake Whatcom water quality.  As someone who spent my first few college years studying chemistry with the intent of  spending my career life outdoors, I am somewhat familiar with the subject and so found it interesting.  The science is interesting, not the bickering and partisan stuff.

In my opinion it would be foolish to argue that the problems with Lake Whatcom are not due primarily to we people.  It seems intuitive that if man had never visited this lake, the water quality would generally be much better.  The area ecosystem would also be much more robust and able to handle periodic heavy rains, occasional dry spells, and a mud or land slide here and there.

Last time I checked there were people living around the lake and it didn’t look like they were packing to leave.  So the problem we have is the problem we have.   There are too many nutrients and too little oxygen.  Too much phosphorus in various forms.  Too much fecal coli form.  Too many algae blooms and too many dead fish.  And the list could go on.   I read various shades of partisanship when experts and officials study pollution sources, but whether it’s bird poop or human poop, it’s still too much poop.  And whether soils entering the lake come from natural slides or excavators getting stuck, it’s still soil that wasn’t in the lake before.

We should encourage responsible use around Lake Whatcom as well as every other piece of land or water in the county, but encouragement alone won’t solve the problem and neither will draconian measures regarding sewage treatment, storm water, open soil, dishwasher soaps, etc.   And finger pointing is pretty counter productive unless everyone redirects their finger away from each other and towards the problem that we have created.

The real problem is that the natural state of the lake, which took thousands of years to develop, was forever altered about 70 years ago when we installed an intake pipe and a dam.  These two measures were taken to provide a consistent water supply both for drinking and industry.

1937, Control Dam installed on upper Whatcom creek to regulate level of lake

1939, new 7460 foot cement-lined 6.5 foot-diameter tunnel dug between treatment plant and lake. By early 40’s, joined to 1260-foot wooden intake pipe extending into basin 2

lake whatcom normal flowThis solution to their water supply issue at the time, created a 2-fold interrelated problem that we are still suffering from today.  The natural flow of the lake and the natural level of the lake were significantly altered.

Prior to these events all water coming into the lake went out over Whatcom Falls alone, creating a natural South to North flow and consistent mixing throughout the whole body of water.  The lake level was also regulated by the shelf at the falls which is at about 308 ft. above sea level.

The legal maximum lake level was established at 314.94 feet by Whatcom County Superior Court in 1953.  The City of Bellingham controls lake level by a control dam at the head of Whatcom Creek

Considering that Lake Whatcom has about 30 miles of shoreline, how much new soil was introduced into the lake as the water level was raised by 7 ft?   Just a rough order of magnitude calculation suggests several  million cubic feet.  One of the arguments against development in the lake area has to do with the potential damage from soil erosion.  Again, I’d be foolish to argue that development won’t have any impact on the lake, but any normal development issues or unmulched garden soils, would seem to pale next to 30 miles of shoreline mixing in the lake.

It may not have been a coincidence that one historical source I looked at noted that during the “1940’s and since: there has been about one fish-kill per decade “

Another thing to consider in the phosphorus equation is that the newly created shoreline, with water levels held constant by the dam, will continually leach more phosphorus into the water than the stronger natural shoreline.    Natural shorelines with their varying water levels promote healthy riparian zones with plenty of plant life to protect shoreline soil.  We’ve all seen ponds, streams and natural lakes where as water levels recede during the late part of summer, grasses and plants keep growing right down to the water level.  Then as water levels rise in the fall and storm driven waves lap against the shoreline, the grasses are there in abundance to hold the soil in place.  In contrast, when dams hold water levels to a year round consistent level the riparian areas all but disappear except in the most shallow shorelines and without riparian areas wave actions constantly undercut shorelines with continually drops fresh soil and phosphorus into the lake.

lake whatcom piped outHistorical information also pointed out a big issue regarding water flow through the lake.  Prior to the COB pipeline, when the lake flow was natural, as little as 5-8 million gallons of of water per day flowed through the creek during much of the year.   I can’t find a definitive number, but it looks like the COB and others are draining anywhere from 5-20 million gallons per day from near the middle of the lake.  The net effect during much of the year would be the creation of backwater areas with relatively little flow.  To add insult to the condition of the lake, these backwater areas are also the shallowest and most developed areas of the lake.  Anything, natural or unnatural that enters the lake in these areas during warmer weather will just sit there simmering in a big crock pot.

I’m not advocating flushing the lake with extra water to remove pollutants, however restoring normal flow would both move the warmest water off the surface and down the creek as well as helping to mix the layers of water that remain in the lake.

duck-with-diaper So what’s wrong with Lake Whatcom is that we screwed it up trying to make it water reservoir.  We put in the dam and we put in a new drain.   We can stop all development, fine people who won’t use eco-friendly soap, bring litigation on parents who let their kids pee while learning to swim, heck we could even diapers the ducks, but the lake won’t be fixed unless we undo our screw ups; plug the hole and remove the dam.  Restore the lake to restore the lake.

Plugging the drain would initially leave a lot of thirsty and ripe smelling hamsters who could either leave or come up with a solution that keeps the lake healthy.  One solution would be to remove the water after it leaves the lake and storing it in a reserve that is protected from landslides, diaperless ducks and other previously mentioned calamities.  And perhaps some progressive thinker would figure out a way to glean a little hydro power from the water as it travels down the hill to the holding pond.

I’ll grant that this is a costly solution, but it is the only real solution seen.   And it’s not like their hasn’t been a lot of money thrown at studies, experts and enforcement, we just need to redirect the aim towards a solution.

links,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Whatcom

http://www.ecy.wa.gov/pubs/0803024.pdf

http://www.cob.org/services/environment/water-quality/lake-whatcom.aspx

http://lakewhatcom.org/faq4.shtml

http://www.ecy.wa.gov/biblio/0403015.html

http://www.acadweb.wwu.edu/cpnws/RWC/Draftnar.htm

Pacific Reporter

http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~gmyers/ehe/lake.whatcom.timeline.html

http://cob.org/