2012 Regular Legislative Session Day 44

Today will be another long day in Olympia, even though my 8:00 AM General Government Appropriations and Oversight Committee was canceled. I’ve got a 10:00 AM Labor and Workforce Development Committee meeting at 10:00 AM and an Environment Committee meeting at 1:30 PM. I have one meeting this afternoon with Agricultural Water and Power Users of Eastern Washington and there’s a Washington State Republican Party Legislative reception this evening.

I’m watching Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 6312 very, very closely right now. The bill summary indicates the bill is limited to the Skagit River basin, but I am concerned some of the provisions could be”interpreted” to apply statewide. Here’s the summary …

“Prohibits the Department of Ecology (Department) from adopting rules applicable to the Skagit River basin that constrains any new groundwater withdrawals for certain domestic use to less than 350 gallons per day per dwelling unit.

Provides direction to the Department regarding how funds should be prioritized to offset the concerns raised by groundwater withdraws in rural areas.

Amends the State Building Code to allow groundwater withdraws in the Skagit River basin to satisfy the requirement for potable water supplies.”

And here’s the link … http://wsldocs/2011-12/Pdf/Bill Reports/House/6312-S.E HBA AGNR 12.pdf

I’m also currently working through the Department of Ecology’s draft water quality funding plan. There is approximately $89 million in funding for projects around the state, with the majority focused in the Puget Sound. I’m trying to directly link as many of the projects I can to the Puget Sound Partnership in order to determine just how much taxpayer money is going to this organization.

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