State of Washington
65th Legislature
2017 Regular Session
By Representatives Shea, Taylor, Holy, Short, McCaslin, Pike, Haler, and Young
Prefiled 12/05/16. Read first time 01/09/17. Referred to Committee on Environment.
AN ACT Relating to directing the department of ecology to submit an annual report to the legislature detailing the department's participation in interagency agreements; amending RCW 43.21A.150; and creating a new section.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  The legislature finds that department of ecology pursues its mission of environmental protection within a complicated framework of national, state, and local authorities and responsibilities, and that the department of ecology's roles within this framework are not always readily intelligible to the public. Furthermore, the legislature finds that promoting the transparency of department of ecology activities will bolster the understanding and trust in the agency held by legislators and the Washingtonians they represent. Therefore, it is the intent of the legislature to require the department of ecology to create an annual report that details the agency's participation in interagency agreements for the purposes of improving public understanding of the extent and implications of those agreements.
Sec. 2.  RCW 43.21A.150 and 1970 ex.s. c 62 s 15 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) The director, whenever it is lawful and feasible to do so, shall consult and cooperate with the federal government, as well as with other states and Canadian provinces, in the study and control of environmental problems. On behalf of the department, the director is authorized to accept, receive, disburse, and administer grants or other funds or gifts from any source, including private individuals or agencies, the federal government, and other public agencies, for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this chapter.
(2)(a) Consistent with RCW 43.01.036, beginning December 1, 2017, the director shall submit a report to the legislature by December 1st of each year regarding the current interagency agreements to which the department is a party or in which the department is a participant.
(b) The report must include a brief description of the purpose of each agreement, the commitments or obligations to which the agreement binds the department or the state, and an electronic link to the full text of the agreement. The report must include all interagency agreements involving the department and other state agencies, local governments, special purpose districts, the federal government and federal government agencies, and the agencies of other states.
(c) Beginning December 1, 2018, the report must:
(i) Identify all new interagency agreements that the department has entered into during the year since the previous report was submitted to the legislature under this section; and
(ii) Identify all substantive modifications to interagency agreements involving the department since the previous report was submitted to the legislature under this section and include a description of the purpose of the modifications and whether the modifications alter any associated commitments or obligations.
(d) For the purposes of this section, the term "interagency agreement" must be construed broadly and includes but is not limited to memoranda of understanding, grant contracts, advisory or nonbinding agreements, and other working arrangements involving department of ecology staff or resources.
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