WSR 97-10-094

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY

[Order 97-11--Filed May 7, 1997, 10:55 a.m.]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Water right administration. Establishing criteria to determine the order to process certain water right or change of water right applications. Establish watershed assessments as a tool for information gathering and water right decision making, and establish the criteria and process to determine the order or sequence of watershed assessments.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 43.21A.064(8) and 43.27A.090(11).

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The rule will replace the emergency rule filed on May 7, 1997, on this subject, and extend the prioritization concept to all pending applications. The department will be able to organize and conduct is work in the most efficient manner. The rule will also bring the agency into compliance with the Washington State Supreme Court decision in Hillis v. Ecology.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: No other federal or state agencies regulate the allocation and appropriation of water. The department will be coordinating the development of this rule with the state Departments of Health, Fish and Wildlife, and Community, Trade and Economic Development.

Process for Developing New Rule: Negotiated rule making.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Stephen Hirschey, Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 4700 [47600], Lacey, WA 98504-7600, phone (360) 407-6450, e-mail shir461@ecy.wa.gov or request Focus Sheet 97-1801-SHWR entitled Hillis Decision and Water Rights Permitting from ecology for additional information.

May 2, 1997

Tom Fitzsimmons

Director

Legislature Code Reviser

Register

Washington State Code Reviser's Office