WSR 09-05-075



[ February 13, 2009 ]



WHEREAS, our nation is experiencing the worst economic times since the Great Depression; and

WHEREAS, state government desires to do all it can to help citizens, buyers, renters and employees survive through this difficult economy and to help Washington businesses stay viable; and

WHEREAS, Congress is contemplating an economic stimulus package to include fiscal assistance for transportation and other building projects in our state; and

WHEREAS, the state legislature will be considering a similar package of projects using state capital and transportation funds to create jobs, including green jobs, and address significant and necessary infrastructure needs throughout the state Washington; and

WHEREAS, to stimulate our state's economy as fully as possible, work on these projects must be ready to begin as soon as possible and all necessary permits must be in place; and

WHEREAS, this executive order applies to all cabinet agencies, and all non-cabinet agencies are encouraged to implement the articles listed within;

NOW THEREFORE, I, Christine O. Gregoire, Governor of the state of Washington to ensure that potential state projects qualify for funding and are ready to proceed to construction as part of the economic stimulus proposals from Congress and the Legislature hereby order all cabinet agencies and encourage non-cabinet agencies to:

1. Ensure that all necessary information about what data, studies, and drawings are required to complete permit applications is readily available either online, through in-person conferences, or through the use of telecommunication or internet technologies;

2. Participate in a team led by the Office of Regulatory Assistance made up of representatives from state government and invited representatives of federal, tribal and local governments to help funding agencies ascertain the level of permit readiness for qualifying projects, to advise agencies on how best to educate project proponents about readying their projects for permit and to ensure status of permit reviews.

3. Provide estimated timelines for agency responses to applicant submittals, including any time needed to determine if an application is complete and the expected review time for a complete application;

4. Where necessary and possible without undercutting public safety or environmental safeguards, take all measures necessary, including prioritizing work to complete the projects with existing or cost-reimbursable resources and the adoption of emergency rules, to expedite application procedures, project decision making and appeals of project-related permit decisions;

5. Invite appropriate federal agencies, as well as tribal and local governments, to assist by joining state agencies in streamlining efforts similar to those described in this executive order; and

6. Utilize alternative decision making and dispute resolution techniques to resolve regulatory issues without litigation, for example by making use of the Office of Regulatory Assistance as needed to coordinate between local, state, tribal and federal review agencies and making use of mediation services available through the Environmental Hearings Office as a dispute resolution tool.

Signed and sealed with the official seal of the State of Washington on this 13th day of February, 2009, at Olympia, Washington.
Christine O. Gregoire


Sam Reed
Secretary of State

Washington State Code Reviser's Office