Criteria for addressing inadequate scientific information.
(1) A "precautionary or a no risk approach," in which development and land use activities are strictly limited until the uncertainty is sufficiently resolved; and
(2) As an interim approach, an effective adaptive management program that relies on scientific methods to evaluate how well regulatory and nonregulatory actions achieve their objectives. Management, policy, and regulatory actions are treated as experiments that are purposefully monitored and evaluated to determine whether they are effective and, if not, how they should be improved to increase their effectiveness. An adaptive management program is a formal and deliberate scientific approach to taking action and obtaining information in the face of uncertainty.
To effectively implement an adaptive management program, counties and cities should be willing to:
(a) Address funding for the research component of the adaptive management program;
To find such a statement in the administrative code for an agency is truly remarkable, but it's not half as remarkable as some of the statements issued by Ecology in their letters to the County, which further demonstrate that they regularly confuse the concept of "risk" with "error," "uncertainty," and "level of concern."
It was the above-cited WAC that Jon Cain, our Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, referred to when he sat shoulder-to-shoulder with Shireene Hale back in 2008 encouraging the Council to designate the entire county as a Critical Aquifer Recharge Area (CARA).
That wasn't a "no risk approach." That was an error. A gigantic Type 1 error; a false positive; a false alarm. It was nonsense then, and it's still nonsense now.