WSR 00-06-057

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY


[ Order 00-01 -- Filed February 29, 2000, 2:04 p.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Requirements to meter water use.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 90.03.360.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: In 1993, the Washington state legislature substantially revised RCW 90.03.360. The revised statute directs ecology to require that the following diversions or withdrawals be metered or measured: (1) All new surface water diversions; (2) all existing water diversions or withdrawals of one cubic foot per second or greater; and (3) all diversions from waters in which the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has determined the status of salmon to be threatened or critical. Chapter 508-64 WAC, adopted in 1988, no longer conforms to the intent of RCW 90.03.060. This rule proposal would amend or replace chapter 508-64 WAC to ensure that state metering requirements are consistent with RCW 90.03.060.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The state Department of Health regulates the construction and operation of drinking water systems. The federal Bureau of Reclamation provides water under contract to a number of irrigation districts, which in turn hold state water rights. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is responsible for identifying those waters with depressed or critical salmon stocks. It will be necessary to coordinate with all of these agencies in developing and writing this rule. They will be invited to participate on the technical advisory committee.

Process for Developing New Rule: Ecology will make a substantial effort to involve the public in discussions regarding the issues involved in this proposal. We anticipate the establishment of a technical advisory group to provide guidance to ecology regarding appropriate metering technology and data collection protocol. Ecology will hold at least two public workshops prior to proposing the rules and at least two public hearings on the rule proposal.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. For information regarding the administrative aspects of the rule (e.g., schedule of adoption, etc.) please contact Jeff Marti at (360) 407-6636 or by e-mail at metering@ecy.wa.gov by mail at Water Resources Program, Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA, 98504-7600.

February 28, 2000

Keith E. Phillips

Program Manager

Washington State Code Reviser's Office