State Supreme Court sends water rights case to trial court


The Washington Supreme Court has decided that an environmental group has standing to seek the removal of fill material added to property along Lake Chelan to raise the property above the water level, obstructing the public’s right to use navigable waters over that property.

The state Legislature had consented decades ago to the fill’s impairment of navigable waters.

But the Supreme Court on Thursday reserved judgment on whether the Legislature violated the public’s right to use the waters, sending the complicated case back to the trial court to decide the issue.

The Chelan Basin Conservancy, an environmental group, seeks the removal of six acres of fill material that GBI Holding Co. added to its property on Lake Chelan in 1961.