House of Representatives
Office of Program Research
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
Brief Description: Directing the department of ecology to submit an annual report to the legislature detailing the department's participation in interagency agreements.
Sponsors: Representatives Shea, Taylor, Holy, Short, McCaslin, Pike, Haler and Young.
Hearing Date: 1/9/17
Staff: Jacob Lipson (786-7196).
The Department of Ecology (ECY) is the state agency charged with managing air and water resources, and with controlling air, water, and other types of environmental pollution. The ECY's authority to pursue these goals derives from a variety of state laws that grant specific responsibility to ECY. The ECY's authority and responsibility to control air, water, or land pollution under state laws often is situated within the context of federal environmental laws that reserve states the option to assume certain implementation responsibilities, such as the federal Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The frameworks established by federal and state environmental laws often authorize or require local governments such as counties, cities, and special purpose districts to implement aspects of environmental programs that also include an administrative role for the ECY.
The ECY is broadly directed to cooperate with the federal government and other state governments in studying and controlling environmental problems. Many specific state environmental laws also direct the ECY to:
enter into agreements to assume certain responsibilities authorized by specific federal environmental laws;
partner or consult with other state agencies such as the Department of Health, the Department of Natural Resources, or the Department of Fish and Wildlife in implementing state environmental laws; or
oversee the implementation of state environmental laws by counties, cities, or special purpose districts.
Summary of Bill:
Beginning December 1, 2017, the ECY is directed to submit an annual report to Legislature that addresses the interagency agreements involving the ECY as a party or a participant. The types of "interagency agreements" that must be included in the report are to be construed broadly, and must include memoranda of understanding, grant contracts, advisory agreements, or other working arrangements that involve Ecology staff or resources. The report must cover agreements with federal agencies, local governments, other state agencies, state agencies in other states, and must include:
a description of each agreement's purpose;
a description of any binding obligations on the ECY or the state that result from the agreement;
an electronic link to the full text of the interagency agreement; and
beginning in 2018, a summary of any new or amended interagency agreements involving the ECY that were adopted within the past year, including a description of the purpose of the agreement or modification.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.