FILE PHOTO — Ryan Thode, Vice President of Operations at Fire Mountain Farms, speaks to attendees at a public meeting Jan. 24, 2019, about biosolids applications and processes.

After many months of pressure by grassroots activists to stop a proposed biosolids site near 128th Avenue, the Washington State Department of Ecology announced earlier this month that it has withdrawn an environmental agreement between the state and permittee. 

This development comes after months of opposition by a citizen-led ad hoc group called Preserve the Commons, and after Abston Henricksen Land and Timber Company, the landowners, pulled out of its agreement with the biosolids distributor in June, putting the project in limbo. 

“Our biggest problem is they’d put it on the shelf,” said Ed Kenney, cofounder of Preserve the Commons. 

According to a letter sent earlier this month to Preserve the Commons’ legal team, Ecology decided to withdraw a low-environmental impact agreement, known as a Determination of Nonsignificance. 

“The application is not ‘indefinitely stalled’... rather the application is closed and will not be processed,” wrote Peter Lyon, regional section manager, in the Oct. 4 letter. “Ecology has withdrawn the SEPA DNS as part of closing the application.” 

Kenney said it was great to see the letter, noting that having Ecology withdraw the site’s DNS had been a big goal for Preserve the Commons for months now. 

“They would have to start completely over ... We’re pretty happy,” Kenney said. “It was pretty much our main goal.” 

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