Palmer Lake landowner appealing $21,600 DOE fine

LOOMIS – Greg Newmarch of Kelowna, B.C. is appealing a $21,600 civil penalty issued by the state Department of Ecology for unauthorized shoreline construction on Palmer Lake.

Ecology claims that Newmarch removed vegetation and created a building pad for a new residence by installing fill and retaining walls above and below the ordinary high-water mark on waterfront property he owns on Palmer Lake.

The penalty cites Newmarch for violating the state’s Shoreline Management Act and the Okanogan County Shoreline Master Program, which includes regulations and criteria of allowed uses and development on protected and important shorelines such as that along Palmer Lake. Ecology says that water quality is threatened when development occurs without proper measures in place to protect shoreline functions and prevent dirt, fill and other pollutants from entering state waters.

The administrative order requires Newmarch to remove the unpermitted development and restore the lakebed and shoreline of Palmer Lake, and obtain necessary environmental permits before doing so. The order and penalty follow a notice of correction issued in November 2016, numerous technical assistance efforts and site visits, according to Ecology.