EVERETT, Wash.- The State of Washington and Snohomish County established on Friday a 12-person commission to capture the lessons learned from the March 22 landslide in Oso and use those lessons to further protect communities in the future.
But Snohomish County executive John Lovick says the purpose of the commission is not to assess blame. Some claims have already been filed on behalf of people who lost homes in the massive landslide and on behalf of family members who lost 43 loved ones after the slide bulldozed through the Steelhead Haven community on the north fork of the Stilliguamish River in seconds.
Governor Jay Inslee says the courts will need to decide those questions.
The commission members include University of Washington geologist and geomorphologist Dave Montgomery, who already played a role in the GEER study released earlier this week. A team of scientists spent four days on the slide, producing a nearly 200 page report that also looks into the causes and ways to prevent more disasters.
Related: Rainfall, other factors triggered Oso landslide
Other members of what is officially called the Joint SR 530 Landslide Commission include Diane Sugimura, Director of the Department of Planning and Development at the City of Seattle; Former Pasco fire chief Greg Garcia; Lee Shipman, Emergency Management Director at the Shoalwater Bay Tribe; and JoAnn Boggs, President of the Washington State Emergency Management Association, among others.
Kathy Lombardo, a trained geologist who most recently worked on water projects for the Gates Foundation, will serve as the panel's executive director.
No persons directly involved in the Oso slide will be involved to preserve the panels independence, said Lovick.
Lovick and Governor Jay Inslee expect to receive a draft report on November 15. The first trip into the slide zone for the panel is expected on August 15.