Industrial geoduck aquaculture on Totten Inlet, 2006
We have known for a long time that one of the issues related to industrial geoduck farming on Puget Sound tidelands is related to "regulatory capture" by the industry and the money spent on lawyers and lobbying along with multitudes of "consultants." There is a great deal that can be said about this, but let us start by reading one of the decisions regarding an appeal and the granting of the permit by Thurston County in 2010.
See page 37. The hearing examiner sates that:
"The peer reviewed scientific studies and articles offered in opposition to the proposal appear to be based in sound scientific methods and their results, and results of further studies on the same topics, would be appropriately considered in review of individual geoduck farm applications. However the weight of scientific evidence in favor of the project is found to be greater..."
If one study says "good" and the other study says "bad", does the Hearing Examiner have the scientific credentials to declare for one and trash the other? If several studies say "good" and only one study says "bad", even if the latter is based on "sound scientific methods," is the fact that there are more "good" than "bad" mean that "good" wins?
Did the Hearings Examiner actually read the studies or was she just saying 5 studies are obviously more conclusive than one? Is this really related to "science"?