Last night the legislature passed a bipartisan, bicameral solution for issues facing rural water stemming from the Hirst Supreme Court decision.  The capital budget and bond bills were also passed and have been signed by the Governor.

Since the Supreme Court decision of October 2016, Counties have been left without certainty in land use planning and liability in permitting.

The legislation gives clarity to long-range planning and a process to approve building permits and subdivisions.  In water resource inventory areas across the state that have an instream flow rule adopted before 1990, there are restrictions to follow to approve a building permit.  Several areas are allowed 950 gallons per day and some are allowed 3000 gallons per day. A building permit will have a $500.00 fee and require a note of the water restriction recorded on title.

Areas with an instream flow adopted after 1990 must follow the restrictions listed in that rule, with no new or additional restrictions and areas without an instream flow rule follow previously existing permitting law.

Below is a picture of Governor Inslee’s twitter feed from 12:25 pm on January 19, 2018 that says, “Hirst bill was just delivered and I just signed it.”

Laura first became involved in government as a city council member for the city of Newport Washington and later became a County Commissioner in Pend Oreille County. She served for 6 years and represented the region on statewide and national boards. Laura and her family moved to Olympia in November of 2012 and she has worked for WSAC for four years doing policy work on natural resources, land use and environmental issues.