WSR 00-21-047

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY


[ Order 00-26 -- Filed October 13, 2000, 10:42 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: ESHB 1963 (1998 legislature) authorized the Department of Ecology to amend chapter 173-158 WAC governing floodplain management. The existing rule does not allow substantial repair, reconstruction or improvement to a residential structure in a designated floodway. This rule change will allow a variance to be authorized to allow such reconstruction of farmhouses and of other residential structures under specific, limited conditions.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapter 86.16 RCW, Floodplain management.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Ecology has been advised that under the existing chapter 86.16 RCW and chapter 173-158 WAC substantial improvements to residential structures in a designated floodway is prohibited. This has resulted in situations where homes have existed for many years, and not being allowed to reconstruct. In some instances, there is no alternative site on the property to reconstruct that is not in a designated floodway, and the floodway designation may not be appropriate.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be involved in our advisory committee as they administer federal regulations under C.F.R. 44, Chapter 1, Section 60.3 that apply to state floodplain management activities; cities and counties in Washington will also be involved in the committee as their floodplain management activities are governed by chapter 86.16 RCW and chapter 173-158 WAC.

Process for Developing New Rule: Negotiated rule making.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Ted Olson, Department of Ecology, Eastern Regional Office, North 4601 Monroe, Suite 202, Spokane, WA 99205-1295, phone (509) 456-2862, fax (509) 456-6175, e-mail tols461@ecy.wa.gov.

October 10, 2000

Gordon White

Program Manager

SEA Program

Washington State Code Reviser's Office