SENATE BILL 5604
State of Washington 52nd Legislature 1991 Regular Session
By Senators Metcalf, McDonald, Craswell and Niemi; by request of Office of Financial Management.
Read first time February 11, 1991. Referred to Committee on Environment & Natural Resources.
AN ACT Relating to imposing fees for certain forest practices; amending RCW 76.09.010, 76.09.040, 76.09.050, and 76.09.060; and declaring an emergency.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
Sec. 1. RCW 76.09.010 and 1987 c 95 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) The legislature hereby finds and declares that the forest land resources are among the most valuable of all resources in the state; that a viable forest products industry is of prime importance to the state's economy; that it is in the public interest for public and private commercial forest lands to be managed consistent with sound policies of natural resource protection; that coincident with maintenance of a viable forest products industry, it is important to afford protection to forest soils, fisheries, wildlife, water quantity and quality, air quality, recreation, and scenic beauty.
(2) The legislature further finds and declares it to be in the public interest of this state to create and maintain through the adoption of this chapter a comprehensive state-wide system of laws and forest practices regulations which will achieve the following purposes and policies:
(a) Afford protection to, promote, foster and encourage timber growth, and require such minimum reforestation of commercial tree species on forest lands as will reasonably utilize the timber growing capacity of the soil following current timber harvest;
(b) Afford protection to forest soils and public resources by utilizing all reasonable methods of technology in conducting forest practices;
(c) Recognize both the public and private interest in the profitable growing and harvesting of timber;
(d) Promote efficiency by permitting maximum operating freedom consistent with the other purposes and policies stated herein;
(e) Provide for regulation of forest practices so as to avoid unnecessary duplication in such regulation;
(f) Provide for interagency input and intergovernmental and tribal coordination and cooperation;
(g) Achieve compliance with all applicable requirements of federal and state law with respect to nonpoint sources of water pollution from forest practices;
(h) To consider reasonable land use planning goals and concepts contained in local comprehensive plans and zoning regulations; and
(i) Foster cooperation among managers of public resources, forest landowners, Indian tribes and the citizens of the state.
(3) The legislature further finds and declares that it is also in the public interest of the state to encourage forest landowners to undertake corrective and remedial action to reduce the impact of mass earth movements and fluvial processes.
(4) The legislature further finds and declares that it is in the public interest that the applicants for state forest practice permits should assist in paying for the cost of review and permitting necessary for the environmental protection of these resources.
Sec. 2. RCW 76.09.040 and 1988 c 36 s 46 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) Where necessary to accomplish the purposes and policies stated in RCW 76.09.010, and to implement the provisions of this chapter, the board shall promulgate forest practices regulations pursuant to chapter 34.05 RCW and in accordance with the procedures enumerated in this section that:
(a) Establish minimum standards for forest practices;
Provide procedures for the voluntary development of resource management plans
which may be adopted as an alternative to the minimum standards in (a) of this
subsection if the plan is consistent with the purposes and policies stated in
RCW 76.09.010 and the plan meets or exceeds the objectives of the minimum
(c) Set forth necessary administrative provisions; and
(d) Establish procedures for the collection and administration of forest practice fees as set forth by this chapter.
Forest practices regulations pertaining to water quality protection shall be promulgated individually by the board and by the department of ecology after they have reached agreement with respect thereto. All other forest practices regulations shall be promulgated by the board.
Forest practices regulations shall be administered and enforced by the department except as otherwise provided in this chapter. Such regulations shall be promulgated and administered so as to give consideration to all purposes and policies set forth in RCW 76.09.010.
(2) The board shall prepare proposed forest practices regulations. In addition to any forest practices regulations relating to water quality protection proposed by the board, the department of ecology shall prepare proposed forest practices regulations relating to water quality protection.
Prior to initiating the rule making process, the proposed regulations shall be submitted for review and comments to the department of fisheries, the department of wildlife, and to the counties of the state. After receipt of the proposed forest practices regulations, the departments of fisheries and wildlife and the counties of the state shall have thirty days in which to review and submit comments to the board, and to the department of ecology with respect to its proposed regulations relating to water quality protection. After the expiration of such thirty day period the board and the department of ecology shall jointly hold one or more hearings on the proposed regulations pursuant to chapter 34.05 RCW. At such hearing(s) any county may propose specific forest practices regulations relating to problems existing within such county. The board and the department of ecology may adopt such proposals if they find the proposals are consistent with the purposes and policies of this chapter.
Sec. 3. RCW 76.09.050 and 1990 1st ex.s. c 17 s 61 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) The board shall establish by rule which forest practices shall be included within each of the following classes:
Class I: Minimal or specific forest practices that have no direct potential for damaging a public resource that may be conducted without submitting an application or a notification;
Class II: Forest practices which have a less than ordinary potential for damaging a public resource that may be conducted without submitting an application and may begin five calendar days, or such lesser time as the department may determine, after written notification by the operator, in the manner, content, and form as prescribed by the department, is received by the department. However, the work may not begin until all forest practice fees required under RCW 76.09.060 have been received by the department. Class II shall not include forest practices:
(a) On lands platted after January 1, 1960, or being converted to another use;
(b) Which require approvals under the provisions of the hydraulics act, RCW 75.20.100;
(c) Within "shorelines of the state" as defined in RCW 90.58.030; or
(d) Excluded from Class II by the board;
Class III: Forest practices other than those contained in Class I, II, or IV. A Class III application must be approved or disapproved by the department within thirty calendar days from the date the department receives the application. However, the applicant may not begin work on that forest practice until all forest practice fees required under RCW 76.09.060 have been received by the department;
Class IV: Forest practices other than those contained in Class I or II: (a) On lands platted after January 1, 1960, (b) on lands being converted to another use, (c) on lands which, pursuant to RCW 76.09.070 as now or hereafter amended, are not to be reforested because of the likelihood of future conversion to urban development, and/or (d) which have a potential for a substantial impact on the environment and therefore require an evaluation by the department as to whether or not a detailed statement must be prepared pursuant to the state environmental policy act, chapter 43.21C RCW. Such evaluation shall be made within ten days from the date the department receives the application: PROVIDED, That nothing herein shall be construed to prevent any local or regional governmental entity from determining that a detailed statement must be prepared for an action pursuant to a Class IV forest practice taken by that governmental entity concerning the land on which forest practices will be conducted. A Class IV application must be approved or disapproved by the department within thirty calendar days from the date the department receives the application, unless the department determines that a detailed statement must be made, in which case the application must be approved or disapproved by the department within sixty calendar days from the date the department receives the application, unless the commissioner of public lands, through the promulgation of a formal order, determines that the process cannot be completed within such period. However, the applicant may not begin work on that forest practice until all forest practice fees required under RCW 76.09.060 have been received by the department.
Forest practices under Classes I, II, and III are exempt from the requirements for preparation of a detailed statement under the state environmental policy act.
(2) No Class II, Class III, or Class IV forest practice shall be commenced or continued after January 1, 1975, unless the department has received a notification with regard to a Class II forest practice or approved an application with regard to a Class III or Class IV forest practice containing all information required by RCW 76.09.060 as now or hereafter amended: PROVIDED, That any person commencing a forest practice during 1974 may continue such forest practice until April 1, 1975, if such person has submitted an application to the department prior to January 1, 1975: PROVIDED, FURTHER, That in the event forest practices regulations necessary for the scheduled implementation of this chapter and RCW 90.48.420 have not been adopted in time to meet such schedules, the department shall have the authority to regulate forest practices and approve applications on such terms and conditions consistent with this chapter and RCW 90.48.420 and the purposes and policies of RCW 76.09.010 until applicable forest practices regulations are in effect.
(3) If a notification or application is delivered in person to the department by the operator or his agent, the department shall immediately provide a dated receipt thereof. In all other cases, the department shall immediately mail a dated receipt to the operator.
(4) Forest practices shall be conducted in accordance with the forest practices regulations, orders and directives as authorized by this chapter or the forest practices regulations, and the terms and conditions of any approved applications.
(5) The department of natural resources shall notify the applicant in writing of either its approval of the application or its disapproval of the application and the specific manner in which the application fails to comply with the provisions of this section or with the forest practices regulations. Except as provided otherwise in this section, if the department fails to either approve or disapprove an application or any portion thereof within the applicable time limit, the application shall be deemed approved and the operation may be commenced: PROVIDED, That this provision shall not apply to applications which are neither approved nor disapproved pursuant to the provisions of subsection (7) of this section: PROVIDED, FURTHER, That if seasonal field conditions prevent the department from being able to properly evaluate the application, the department may issue an approval conditional upon further review within sixty days: PROVIDED, FURTHER, That the department shall have until April 1, 1975, to approve or disapprove an application involving forest practices allowed to continue to April 1, 1975, under the provisions of subsection (2) of this section. Upon receipt of any notification or any satisfactorily completed application the department shall in any event no later than two business days after such receipt transmit a copy to the departments of ecology, wildlife, and fisheries, and to the county, city, or town in whose jurisdiction the forest practice is to be commenced. Any comments by such agencies shall be directed to the department of natural resources.
(6) If the county, city, or town believes that an application is inconsistent with this chapter, the forest practices regulations, or any local authority consistent with RCW 76.09.240 as now or hereafter amended, it may so notify the department and the applicant, specifying its objections.
(7) The department shall not approve portions of applications to which a county, city, or town objects if:
(a) The department receives written notice from the county, city, or town of such objections within fourteen business days from the time of transmittal of the application to the county, city, or town, or one day before the department acts on the application, whichever is later; and
(b) The objections relate to lands either:
(i) Platted after January 1, 1960; or
(ii) Being converted to another use.
The department shall either disapprove those portions of such application or appeal the county, city, or town objections to the appeals board. If the objections related to subparagraphs (b) (i) and (ii) of this subsection are based on local authority consistent with RCW 76.09.240 as now or hereafter amended, the department shall disapprove the application until such time as the county, city, or town consents to its approval or such disapproval is reversed on appeal. The applicant shall be a party to all department appeals of county, city, or town objections. Unless the county, city, or town either consents or has waived its rights under this subsection, the department shall not approve portions of an application affecting such lands until the minimum time for county, city, or town objections has expired.
(8) In addition to any rights under the above paragraph, the county, city, or town may appeal any department approval of an application with respect to any lands within its jurisdiction. The appeals board may suspend the department's approval in whole or in part pending such appeal where there exists potential for immediate and material damage to a public resource.
(9) Appeals under this section shall be made to the appeals board in the manner and time provided in RCW 76.09.220(8). In such appeals there shall be no presumption of correctness of either the county, city, or town or the department position.
(10) The department shall, within four business days notify the county, city, or town of all notifications, approvals, and disapprovals of an application affecting lands within the county, city, or town, except to the extent the county, city, or town has waived its right to such notice.
(11) A county, city, or town may waive in whole or in part its rights under this section, and may withdraw or modify any such waiver, at any time by written notice to the department.
Sec. 4. RCW 76.09.060 and 1990 1st ex.s. c 17 s 62 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) The department shall prescribe the form and contents of the notification and application. The forest practices regulations shall specify by whom and under what conditions the notification and application shall be signed. The application or notification shall be delivered in person or sent by certified mail to the department. The information required may include, but shall not be limited to:
(a) Name and address of the forest land owner, timber owner, and operator;
(b) Description of the proposed forest practice or practices to be conducted;
(c) Legal description of the land on which the forest practices are to be conducted;
(d) Planimetric and topographic maps showing location and size of all lakes and streams and other public waters in and immediately adjacent to the operating area and showing all existing and proposed roads and major tractor roads;
(e) Description of the silvicultural, harvesting, or other forest practice methods to be used, including the type of equipment to be used and materials to be applied;
(f) Proposed plan for reforestation and for any revegetation necessary to reduce erosion potential from roadsides and yarding roads, as required by the forest practices regulations;
(g) Soil, geological, and hydrological data with respect to forest practices;
(h) The expected dates of commencement and completion of all forest practices specified in the application;
(i) Provisions for continuing maintenance of roads and other construction or other measures necessary to afford protection to public resources; and
(j) An affirmation that the statements contained in the notification or application are true.
(2) Applications for Class II, III, and IV forest practices shall be charged a forest practices fee. All money collected from this fee shall be deposited in the state general fund.
(a) The board shall enact these fees no later than July 1, 1991.
(b) The board shall review forest practices fees biennially. The board may modify these fees to facilitate administration, improve equity, or to cover additional program costs. Any fee structure adopted by the board must cover a minimum of forty-five percent of program costs per biennium and must take into account the percentage of field and compliance time required for each type of application.
(3) At the option of the applicant, the application or notification may be submitted to cover a single forest practice or any number of forest practices within reasonable geographic or political boundaries as specified by the department. Long range plans may be submitted to the department for review and consultation. An application which includes more than a single forest practice shall be charged a forest practice fee according to subsection (2) of this section for each forest practice contained in the application.
(4) The application shall indicate whether any land covered by the
application will be converted or is intended to be converted to a use other
than commercial timber production within three years after completion of the
forest practices described in it.
(a) If the application states that any such land will be or is intended to be so converted:
(i) The reforestation requirements of this chapter and of the forest practices regulations shall not apply if the land is in fact so converted unless applicable alternatives or limitations are provided in forest practices regulations issued under RCW 76.09.070 as now or hereafter amended;
(ii) Completion of such forest practice operations shall be deemed conversion of the lands to another use for purposes of chapters 84.28, 84.33, and 84.34 RCW unless the conversion is to a use permitted under a current use tax agreement permitted under chapter 84.34 RCW;
(iii) The forest practices described in the application are subject to applicable county, city, town, and regional governmental authority permitted under RCW 76.09.240 as now or hereafter amended as well as the forest practices regulations.
(b) If the application does not state that any land covered by the application will be or is intended to be so converted:
(i) For six years after the date of the application the county, city, town, and regional governmental entities may deny any or all applications for permits or approvals, including building permits and subdivision approvals, relating to nonforestry uses of land subject to the application;
(ii) Failure to comply with the reforestation requirements contained in any final order or decision shall constitute a removal from classification under the provisions of RCW 84.28.065, a removal of designation under the provisions of RCW 84.33.140, and a change of use under the provisions of RCW 84.34.080, and, if applicable, shall subject such lands to the payments and/or penalties resulting from such removals or changes; and
(iii) Conversion to a use other than commercial timber operations within three years after completion of the forest practices without the consent of the county, city, or town shall constitute a violation of each of the county, municipal city, town, and regional authorities to which the forest practice operations would have been subject if the application had so stated.
(c) The application shall be either signed by the land owner or accompanied by a statement signed by the land owner indicating his or her intent with respect to conversion and acknowledging that he or she is familiar with the effects of this subsection.
(5) Whenever an approved application authorizes a forest practice which,
because of soil condition, proximity to a water course or other unusual factor,
has a potential for causing material damage to a public resource, as determined
by the department, the applicant shall, when requested on the approved application,
notify the department two days before the commencement of actual operations.
(6) Before the operator commences any forest practice in a manner or to
an extent significantly different from that described in a previously approved
application or notification, there shall be submitted to the department a new
application or notification form in the manner set forth in this section.
(7) The notification to or the approval given by the department to an
application to conduct a forest practice shall be effective for a term of one
year from the date of approval or notification and shall not be renewed unless
a new application is filed and approved or a new notification has been filed.
(8) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, no prior
application or notification shall be required for any emergency forest practice
necessitated by fire, flood, windstorm, earthquake, or other emergency as
defined by the board, but the operator shall submit an application or
notification, whichever is applicable, to the department within forty-eight
hours after commencement of such practice.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 5. This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect immediately.