Until this summer, property owners have never been represented on the Washington State Department of Health Onsite Sewage System (OSS) policy and technical rule revision Committee (basically an ad hoc committee to determine Washington State’s rules regarding septic systems).
Historically, only bureaucrats, environmental extremists, and industry representatives (septic pumping, designers, etc.) were involved. This may have been one reason why these policies seem to keep getting worse and more hostile to property owners over the years.
However, after CAPR’s lobbyist, Cindy Alia, and Betsy Howe, CAPR board member and founder of COOMWA, an organization formed to protect Septic Owners, had been so active in pushing a bill last session for more property-owner friendly regulations, and pushing for more openness in the process, the Washington State Health Board agreed to have both Cindy and Betsy at their meetings over the past six months. Together they have defended and espoused the ideals of protecting both property rights and septic owners at those rule making meetings.
Cindy’s and Betsy’s assertive representation of property owner concerns and their willingness to speak up and confront harmful policy ideas pushed by the other side has been effective in preventing a lot of bad ideas from being written into rule, when these ideas might otherwise have been passed without a second thought.
It certainly helped that hundreds of people showed up at county meetings to oppose the “Turd Tax” fees being proposed in King County and Thurston County over the past few years, this visible opposition at public meetings helped pave the way for Cindy and Betsy to continue to make progress in meetings at the state level. It cannot be stressed enough how important citizen involvement is in working to restore our Representative Republic as opposed to the all to common theme that the United States is operating as a democracy. Those people who took the time to show up and impress their opinions on county rule making turned the tables on the county and the state agency department of health. At CAPR we are grateful for their public outcry and are intent on following through to defend their opposition and ideas.