Posted: Thursday, May 10, 2012 11:00 AM
Case focuses on Ecology's ordering Lemire to protect Pataha Creek
By MATTHEW WEAVER
The appeal of a case Washington state lost to a Dayton rancher has been delayed until September.
Originally set for June 13 in Spokane, the hearing in the Washington State Court of Appeals will now take place the week of Sept. 10.
The state Department of Ecology requested the extension on the hearing, due to a death in the family of Laura Watson, an assistant attorney general assigned to the case.
The department originally ordered Joe Lemire to protect nearby Pataha Creek from potential pollution by his cattle.
Lemire has denied Ecology's charges, saying he uses best management practices.
Ecology spokesperson Joye Redfield-Wilder said the department attempted to provide Lemire with assistance for six years before issuing an administrative order. The order invited Lemire into compliance but didn't include a monetary fine, Redfield-Wilder said.
The Washington Pollution Control Hearings Board in October 2010 upheld the Ecology order, but in July 2011 Columbia County Superior Court judge William Acey ruled in favor of Lemire, saying there was no direct evidence his 29 cattle had actually caused any pollution.