Hirst Fix Implementation

The Hirst fix implementation takes effect immediately upon the Governor’s signature of Senate Bill 6091 (January 19, 2018).

The bill provides a path forward for pre 1990 watershed resource inventory areas (WRIA’s). WRIAs with these old instream flow rules have been divided into two categories – those who have completed watershed plans and those who have not. We break it down below for permitting requirements based on the WRIA.

Following are thoughts to consider as you implement SB 6091:

  • For those affected by the fee – you may need to first adopt a fee schedule.
  • For recording relevant restrictions on a title – Kittitas County requires the applicant to record the water bank certificate that they receive when they purchase from the water bank, with the County Auditor and bring proof of that to receive their final building permit. Many counties have the environmental health department of the local health jurisdiction check potable water and gallons per minute for the applicant.
  • For recording water restrictions – a form can be created for use by the environmental health department that an applicant can record on their parcel such as a; “Record of Water Decision”, “Finding of Water Availability” or “Evidence of Adequate Water Supply” as suggested options. See these forms used in Kittitas County.

 

Growth Management Act

  • 70a and 36.70 are clarified to allow counties to rely on and refer to Ecology in-stream flow rules
  • Building Permit and Subdivision statutes are clarified by WRIA

 

Other

  • Two metering pilots will occur in WRIA 18 (Dungeness) and 39 (Kittitas)
  • 5 Pilots and a legislative task force to address Foster
  • $300 million dollars over 15 years for watershed enhancement projects

“Door A” Permitting

Requirements for “Door A” Include:

3000 gallons per day, max annual average use, no metering, indoor and outdoor allowed. A $500 fee, collect and remit $350 of that to Ecology annually, $150 for county administration. Counties collect and remit annually to Ecology, permit data of the number of permits with exempt wells. “Record relevant restrictions or limitations associated with water supply with the property title.”

Effected WRIA by CountyWRIA #Door A - PermittingPlans Projects Rule Updates
Whatcom1XBy Feb 2019
Pierce11XBy Feb 2019
Thurston11XBy Feb 2019
Grays Harbor22XBy Feb 2021
Lewis23XBy Feb 2021
Thurston22, 23XBy Feb 2021
Okanogan49XBy Feb 2021
Pend Oreille55XBy Feb 2021
Spokane55XBy Feb 2021
Stevens55, 59XBy Feb 2021

“Door B” Permitting

Requirements for “Door B” Include:

950 gallons per day, max annual average use, no metering, indoor and outdoor allowed. A $500 fee, collect and remit $350 of that to Ecology annually, $150 for county administration. Must collect and remit annually to Ecology, permit data of number of permits with exempt wells and “record relevant restrictions or limitations associated with water supply with the property title.”

Effected WRIA by CountyWRIA #Door B - PermittingPlans Projects Rule Updates
Snohomish7, 8XBy June 2021
King7, 8, 9, 10, 15XBy June 2021
Pierce10, 12, 15XBy June 2021
Thurston13, 14XBy June 2021
Mason14, 15XBy June 2021
Kitsap15XBy June 2021

“Door C” Permitting

Requirements for “Door C” Include:

Permit based on WRIA restrictions as currently in WAC. If no WRIA, follow the previous existing law. No fees, no gallon limits or other restrictions.

Effected WRIA by CountyWRIA #Door C - PermittingExempted from the legislation
All other WRIA and areas without an ISF ruleX
Skagit3, 4X
Yakima Basin37, 38, 39X

Washington’s WRIAs

WA State WRIA's Map for Hirst Fix

Requirements Statewide

wdt_ID Effected WRIA by County WRIA # Door A Door B Door C Plans Project Rule Update Watershed Planning Groups New WRE Process Exempted from the Legislation
1 All Other WRIAs w/out ISF rule X
2 Whatcom 1 X FEB 2019 X
3 Pierce 11 X FEB 2019 X
4 Thurston 11 X FEB 2019 X
5 Grays Harbor 22 X FEB 2021 X
6 Lewis 23 X FEB 2021 X
7 Thurston 22, 23 X FEB 2021 X
8 Okanogan 49 X FEB 2021 X
9 Pend Oreille 55 X FEB 2021 X
10 Spokane 55 X FEB 2021 X
Effected WRIA by County WRIA # Door A Door B Door C Plans Project Rule Update Watershed Planning Groups New WRE Process Exempted from the Legislation