Hirst "Fix" Bill 5239 Passes Washington State Senate

On May 2nd, shortly after 3:00 pm Washington State Senate passed Senator Judy Warnick's SSB 5239 as seen here: http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/…/Senate%20Bills/5239-S2.E.pdf
Here is the roll call of the Senate Vote 28 yea, 18 nay, 3 excused.

Those voting yea: Senators Angel, Bailey, Baumgartner, Becker, Braun, Brown, Ericksen, Fain, Fortunato, Hawkins, Hobbs, Honeyford, King, Miloscia, Mullet, O'Ban, Padden, Pearson, Rivers, Rossi, Schoessler, Sheldon, Short, Takko, Walsh, Warnick, Wilson, and Zeiger.

Those voting nay, Billig, Carlyle, Chase, Cleveland, Conway, Darneille, Frockt, Hasegawa, Keiser, Kuderer, Liias, Nelson, Palumbo, Pederson, Ranker, Rolfes, Saldana, Van de Wege.

Those who did not vote, Hunt, McCoy, Wellman.

CAPR is watching closely the voting records on this important bill, it will now go to the House of Representatives for work and a possible passage on the floor of the House.  The hope is it will pass as passed by the Senate, or if amended at all, with amendments offered by Representative Buys such as these listed here:
clicking on each amendment will show you the author or sponsor of each amendment and the intent language of the amendment.

The amendments authored by Representative Buys would have made it very clear that exempt wells are exempt.

The amendments authored by Representatives Springer and Stanford would have made it clear that citizens in Washington State wishing to drill a new well would be subject to costly fees in the thousands of dollars, and uncertain water mitigation through Water Banking.

While the bill as passed by the Seante was heralded as bipartisan and contains no plan for mitigation, because there was so much acrimony in the House the outcome of  SSB 5239 which passed the Senate on Tuesday is uncertain in the House of Representatives.  During the regular legislative session House Democrats insisted mitigation including fees, water banks, and a sizable curtailment on the amount of water allowed to be consumed be included in the bill.  The Senate and the House of Representatives are working to bridge the huge disparity gap the house had presented. Some members of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources committee, http://leg.wa.gov/House/Committees/AGNR/Pages/MembersStaff.aspx insisted on a severe mitigation amendment to the bill and will now be encouraged by Chairman Representative Brian Blake to find a bipartisan solution to the impasse of the regular session.

CAPR urges you to contact Representatives and let them know what outcome you want them to represent for you. You can call the legislative hotline 800 562 6000 or email your representative directly. All email addresses are like this: firstname.lastname@leg.wa.gov

SSB 5239 carries the intent of "undoing" the Hirst decision and the part of the Foster decision that would not allow for mitigation other than water banking. This bill does not "undo" In Stream Flow Rules for any basin in any WRIA.   To learn more about WRIAs and Basins within those WRIAs  and the Ecology rules created for them, read here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=173 
Scroll down the page and see WAC 173-500 through 173-564
It is well advised to keep an eye on any updates planned by Ecology as related to these rules.

CAPR is at Olympia to represent your best interests as expressed by you in fighting these important water wars.  We need your voices to be heard in Olympia too!


May 5, 2017