PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
[Filed February 4, 1998, 11:51 a.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Rules regulating Washington state's use of funds from the federal drinking water state revolving fund (DWSRF).
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 70.119A.170.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: This is a high priority rule that addresses public health problems related to water systems. Federal funds, managed by the state as a revolving loan program, will be provided to meet the capital needs of water systems and to provide revenues for new state programs authorized by Congress in the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). DWSRF funds will be used for projects that (1) address the most serious risk to public health; (2) are necessary to ensure compliance with the requirements of the SDWA; and (3) assist systems most in need on a per-household basis according to state affordability criteria. State statute requires adoption of the rule by January 1, 1999.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: Section 1452 of the SDWA amendments of 1996 authorizes the administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency to award capitalization grants to states, which in turn can provide low-cost loans and assistance to eligible water systems. RCW 70.119A.170 mandates the Department of Health to work in cooperation with the Public Works Board to establish and maintain a program to use DWSRF funding. The DWSRF is jointly managed by the Department of Health - Division of Drinking Water and the Public Works Board, along with its partner, the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development. Both agencies are responsible for each step in the rule-making process, pursuant to a memorandum of understanding between the agencies.
Process for Developing New Rule: Joint rule making in accordance with RCW 70.119A.170.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. The Department of Health and the Public Works Board are mandated under RCW 70.119A.170 to adopt joint rules. A public hearing for the proposed rule will be advertised in various newspapers, the Internet, the state library, and a mailing to water systems, advisory committees, and interested parties. Contact Department of Health, Division of Drinking Water, Attn: Chris Gagnon, P.O. Box 47822, Olympia, WA 98504-7822, FAX (360) 236-2252, phone (360) 236-3095.
January 28, 1998
Pete A. Butkus
January 30, 1998
Kristine Van Gorkom
for Bruce Miyahara