Summary of Bill Passed by Senate Committee Jan 11th 2018

Details of bill.
Authorizes the use of new exempt wells for buildings:
– Wells are allowed in areas that don’t have flow rules
– Applicable flow rules that regulate exempt wells are followed in areas that have them
– Certain areas like Yakima and Skagit are treated separately

In areas with pre-2000 flow rules (listed in bill) – the following applies:
-Wells are authorized for new domestic uses
-Watershed restoration committees are established to recommend projects and standards
– Committees include tribes, local governments, and a residential construction rep.

– While committees work, the following requirements would apply to new wells:
* Applicant would pay a $500 fee (split between Ecology and local government)
* A 950 gallon-per-day, per connection, standard would apply
* Outdoor use would be allowed but could be curtailed in drought
* To the extent practicable, low impact development techniques are required

– Ecology would have to adopt a rule in order to apply additional restrictions
– Non-domestic uses (commercial, stock water) are not subject to new restriction

  • A metering pilot project would be authorized in one watershed selected by Ecology
  • The provision requiring Ecology to create new instream flow rules is eliminated.
  • Local permitting agencies may rely on Ecology’s flow rules for planning and subdivisions
  • The Foster case is addressed through a task force and 5 permitting pilot projects
  • The legislature intends to put $300 million toward the new program (in capital budget)