State of Washington
66th Legislature
2019 Regular Session
ByRepresentatives Blake and Appleton
Read first time 01/21/19.Referred to Committee on Rural Development, Agriculture, & Natural Resources.
AN ACT Relating to a comprehensive study of human-caused impacts to streambeds; creating a new section; and providing an expiration date.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1. (1) The department of fish and wildlife, in consultation with the department of ecology and the department of natural resources, is directed to conduct a scientific literature review of the impacts to the beds of Washington's rivers and streams resulting from human-caused sources of disturbance. The literature review must include a comparison of the effects of human-caused disturbances on the aquatic ecosystem in the types of rivers and streams where those disturbances typically occur.
(2) The literature review must address, at a minimum, the following sources of human-caused disturbance:
(a) Mining and prospecting activities, including motorized suction dredge mining;
(b) Watercraft operations, including wash generated by motorized watercraft, including propeller-powered watercraft and jet-powered watercraft, and anchoring; and
(c) Construction and operation of diversion dams.
(3) The literature review must address, at a minimum, potential impacts to the following elements of the aquatic ecosystem:
(a) Bedload mobilization, including sediment distribution and recruiting and retention of spawning gravels;
(b) Water quality; and
(c) Fish life and fish habitat.
(4) The department of ecology is directed to coordinate with the Washington state academy of sciences to assemble a peer review panel to develop methods for and consider the results of the literature review. The peer review panel shall, at a minimum:
(a) Recommend refinements to the scope and methods of the literature review and comparison of effects;
(b) Conduct a peer review of the literature review and provide edits to the department of ecology to improve the literature review;
(c) Compare and contrast the effects of the reviewed disturbances based on the literature review; and
(d) Identify any remaining uncertainties regarding the risks these activities pose to the natural resources of the state.
(5) A report that includes the Washington state academy of science's consideration of the literature review and comparison of the effects of the reviewed human-caused disturbances, must be completed by June 30, 2020, and submitted in accordance with RCW 43.01.036 to the standing committees of the house of representatives and the senate with jurisdiction over water quality and fisheries.
(6) This section expires June 30, 2020.
--- END ---