April 1, 2016

To the Honorable Speaker and Members,
The House of Representatives of the State of Washington

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am returning herewith, without my approval, Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill No. 2061 entitled:

"AN ACT Relating to authorizing county legislative authorities to approve certain group B water systems based upon their delivery of water meeting safe drinking water standards."

This bill would remove public health standards for small drinking water systems and eliminate local health professionals from the approval process. Moving the authority for these smaller systems away from these partners erodes their ability to prevent and respond to waterborne illness in their communities.

We have a strong process in place to ensure that safe and reliable drinking water is provided for all Washington communities. We also understand that smaller systems need flexibility and a reasonable path to get their systems approved. Therefore, I am directing the Department of Health to work with the four counties identified in this bill in developing local programs to provide that flexibility without sacrificing public health protection.

For these reasons I have vetoed Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill No. 2061 in its entirety.

Respectfully submitted,
Jay Inslee