Brightwater sewage plant committee adds two sites to list

By Shannon Middleton

For The Herald

It seemed like a done deal when King County Executive Ron Sims picked two possible Brightwater sites for an environmental review.

But now that done deal appears to be unraveling after a majority of siting advisory committee members moved to add two more sites to the list.

The advisory committee Thursday approved a draft of a letter to the King County Council stating that two sites are not enough. The 15 committee members are recommending that a gravel quarry in Bothell and Point Wells between Shoreline and Woodway also undergo a review.

Sims has already selected Edmonds Unocal and Highway 9 near Bothell to undergo environmental impact statement reviews.

The reviews would help determine if either site could host the new regional wastewater treatment facility, which will serve King and Snohomish counties.

The project, which is estimated to cost $850 million, is scheduled to be brought online in 2010 to ease the burden on the Renton and West Point facilities.

"You must have at least three sites," said Bill Anderson, commissioner of the Silver Lake Water District. "The Department of Fish and Wildlife won’t let you stop at two sites."

In October, the committee split a vote on whether to attempt to have the sites placed back on the list. They also compromised on a letter crafted to show the majority’s support for additional sites, as well as the views of the five dissenters.

One of the dissenters, Bothell Mayor Mike Noblet, questioned the committee’s right to recommend two sites.

"Are we out of bounds to suggest something that is not based on the process?" Noblet said.

Margaret Norton-Arnold, facilitator of the meetings, assured him that the committee was within its rights.

"Your job is to make sure the right decisions are being made," she said. "This is well within your mandate and scope of work."

Other members wondered if the letter would actually be effective in changing King County minds.

"Sims hasn’t said, ‘I’m not changing my opinion no matter what,’ " said Christie True, manager of planning and program development for the project. "He hasn’t gotten your opinion yet."

In the letter, the committee questions the reasons that Point Wells and the gravel quarry were removed from the list, despite that the sites had been "red-flagged" for having flaws.

"That information was heavily used by Ron Sims to make his decision," said Richard Gregory, who lives in the East Glen neighborhood adjacent to the gravel quarry. "You’re ignoring the recommendations you previously made. What gives this body the authority to do this?"

Deborah Knutson of the Economic Development Council of Snohomish County said the red flags weren’t meant to remove sites from the list. "Just because a red flag got attached did not mean it would be taken off the list," she said.

The letter also outlines the risks some in the committee feel are involved in studying only two sites.

"Additional analysis could determine that neither site is ultimately suitable for the Brightwater facility, requiring the election process to essentially start over when the EIS is completed at the end of 2002," the letter states.

Several Edmonds residents agreed with the committee’s recommendation of more sites, but wanted Edmonds off the list. "I want Edmonds to come off," said Janice Freeman, an Edmonds resident. "We are going to fight it, and we are going to win."

Shannon Middleton is editor for the Shoreline Enterprise weekly newspaper. You can call her at 425-673-6526 or send e-mail to

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Traffic idles while waiting for the lights to change along 33rd Avenue West on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lynnwood seeks solutions to Costco traffic boondoggle

Let’s take a look at the troublesome intersection of 33rd Avenue W and 30th Place W, as Lynnwood weighs options for better traffic flow.

A memorial with small gifts surrounded a utility pole with a photograph of Ariel Garcia at the corner of Alpine Drive and Vesper Drive ion Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Death of Everett boy, 4, spurs questions over lack of Amber Alert

Local police and court authorities were reluctant to address some key questions, when asked by a Daily Herald reporter this week.

The new Amazon fulfillment center under construction along 172nd Street NE in Arlington, just south of Arlington Municipal Airport. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald) 20210708
Frito-Lay leases massive building at Marysville business park

The company will move next door to Tesla and occupy a 300,0000-square-foot building at the Marysville business park.

FILE - A Boeing 737 Max jet prepares to land at Boeing Field following a test flight in Seattle, Sept. 30, 2020. Boeing said Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, that it took more than 200 net orders for passenger airplanes in December and finished 2022 with its best year since 2018, which was before two deadly crashes involving its 737 Max jet and a pandemic that choked off demand for new planes. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Boeing’s $3.9B cash burn adds urgency to revival plan

Boeing’s first three months of the year have been overshadowed by the fallout from a near-catastrophic incident in January.

Police respond to a wrong way crash Thursday night on Highway 525 in Lynnwood after a police chase. (Photo provided by Washington State Department of Transportation)
Wrong-way driver accused of aggravated murder of Lynnwood woman, 83

The Kenmore man, 37, fled police, crashed into a GMC Yukon and killed Trudy Slanger on Highway 525, according to court papers.

A voter turns in a ballot on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024, outside the Snohomish County Courthouse in Everett, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
On fourth try, Arlington Heights voters overwhelmingly pass fire levy

Meanwhile, in another ballot that gave North County voters deja vu, Lakewood voters appeared to pass two levies for school funding.

Judge Whitney Rivera, who begins her appointment to Snohomish County Superior Court in May, stands in the Edmonds Municipal Court on Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Edmonds, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Judge thought her clerk ‘needed more challenge’; now, she’s her successor

Whitney Rivera will be the first judge of Pacific Islander descent to serve on the Snohomish County Superior Court bench.

In this Jan. 4, 2019 photo, workers and other officials gather outside the Sky Valley Education Center school in Monroe, Wash., before going inside to collect samples for testing. The samples were tested for PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, as well as dioxins and furans. A lawsuit filed on behalf of several families and teachers claims that officials failed to adequately respond to PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, in the school. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Judge halves $784M for women exposed to Monsanto chemicals at Monroe school

Monsanto lawyers argued “arbitrary and excessive” damages in the Sky Valley Education Center case “cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny.”

Mukilteo Police Chief Andy Illyn and the graphic he created. He is currently attending the 10-week FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. (Photo provided by Andy Illyn)
Help wanted: Unicorns for ‘pure magic’ career with Mukilteo police

“There’s a whole population who would be amazing police officers” but never considered it, the police chief said.

Officers respond to a ferry traffic disturbance Tuesday after a woman in a motorhome threatened to drive off the dock, authorities said. (Photo provided by Mukilteo Police Department)
Everett woman disrupts ferry, threatens to drive motorhome into water

Police arrested the woman at the Mukilteo ferry terminal Tuesday morning after using pepper-ball rounds to get her out.

Man gets 75 years for terrorizing exes in Bothell, Mukilteo

In 2021, Joseph Sims broke into his ex-girlfriend’s home in Bothell and assaulted her. He went on a crime spree from there.

Allan and Frances Peterson, a woodworker and artist respectively, stand in the door of the old horse stable they turned into Milkwood on Sunday, March 31, 2024, in Index, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Old horse stall in Index is mini art gallery in the boonies

Frances and Allan Peterson showcase their art. And where else you can buy a souvenir Index pillow or dish towel?

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.