SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 2768






                        52nd Legislature

                      1992 Regular Session

Passed by the House February 14, 1992

  Yeas 92   Nays 0




Speaker of the

       House of Representatives


Passed by the Senate March 3, 1992

  Yeas 43   Nays 2



I, Alan Thompson, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 2768 as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on the dates hereon set forth.




President of the Senate

                               Chief Clerk



Approved Place Style On Codes above, and Style Off Codes below.





Governor of the State of Washington

                        Secretary of State

                       State of Washington



                            SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 2768



                     Passed Legislature - 1992 Regular Session



State of Washington              52nd Legislature             1992 Regular Session


By House Committee on Environmental Affairs (originally sponsored by Representatives Horn, Rust, Bowman, D. Sommers, Van Luven, Neher, Bray, Edmondson, Brough, Wynne, Brekke and Tate)


Read first time 02/07/92.  Allowing technical assistance officers for the department of ecology.

     AN ACT Relating to department of ecology technical assistance officers; and adding new sections to chapter 43.21A RCW.




     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  A new section is added to chapter 43.21A RCW to read as follows:

     The department, to the greatest extent possible, within available resources and without jeopardizing the department's ability to carry out its legal responsibilities, may designate one or more of its employees as a technical assistance officer, and may organize the officers into one or more technical assistance units within the department.  The duties of a technical assistance officer are to coordinate voluntary compliance with the regulatory laws administered by the department and to provide technical assistance concerning compliance with the laws.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  A new section is added to chapter 43.21A RCW to read as follows:

     (1) An employee designated by the department as a technical assistance officer or as a member of a technical assistance unit may not, during the period of the designation, have authority to issue orders or assess penalties on behalf of the department.  Such an employee who provides on-site consultation at an industrial or commercial facility and who observes violations of the law shall inform the owner or operator of the facility of the violations.  On-site consultation visits by such an employee may not be regarded as inspections or investigations and no notices or citations may be issued or civil penalties assessed during such a visit.  However, violations of the law must be reported to the appropriate officers within the department.  If the owner or operator of the facility does not correct the observed violations within a reasonable time, the department may reinspect the facility and take appropriate enforcement action.  If a technical assistance officer or member of a technical assistance unit observes a violation of the law that places a person in danger of death or substantial bodily harm, or has caused or is likely to cause physical damage to the property of others in an amount exceeding one thousand dollars, the department may initiate enforcement action immediately upon observing the violation.

     (2) The state, the department, and officers or employees of the state shall not be liable for damages to a person to the extent that liability is asserted to arise from the performance by technical assistance officers of their duties, or if liability is asserted to arise from the failure of the department to supply technical assistance.