(1) This section applies only to unfinished nuclear power projects. If a certificate holder stops construction of a nuclear energy facility before completion, terminates the project or otherwise resolves not to complete construction, never introduces or stores fuel for the energy facility on the site, and never operates the energy facility as designed to produce energy, the certificate holder may contract, establish interlocal agreements, or use other formal means to effect the transfer of site restoration responsibilities, which may include economic development activities, to any political subdivision or subdivisions of the state composed of elected officials. The contracts, interlocal agreements, or other formal means of cooperation may include, but are not limited to provisions effecting the transfer or conveyance of interests in the site and energy facilities from the certificate holder to other political subdivisions of the state, including costs of maintenance and security, capital improvements, and demolition and salvage of the unused energy facilities and infrastructure.
(2) If a certificate holder transfers all or a portion of the site to a political subdivision or subdivisions of the state composed of elected officials and located in the same county as the site, the council shall amend the site certification agreement to release those portions of the site that it finds are no longer intended for the development of an energy facility.
Immediately upon release of all or a portion of the site pursuant to this section, all responsibilities for maintaining the public welfare for portions of the site transferred, including but not limited to health and safety, are transferred to the political subdivision or subdivisions of the state. For sites located on federal land, all responsibilities for maintaining the public welfare for all of the site, including but not limited to health and safety, must be transferred to the political subdivision or subdivisions of the state irrespective of whether all or a portion of the site is released.
(3) The legislature finds that for all or a portion of sites that have been transferred to a political subdivision or subdivisions of the state prior to September 1, 1999, ensuring water for site restoration including economic development, completed pursuant to this section can best be accomplished by a transfer of existing surface water rights, and that such a transfer is best accomplished administratively through procedures set forth in existing statutes and rules. However, if a transfer of water rights is not possible, the department of ecology shall, within six months of the transfer of the site or portion thereof pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, create a trust water right under chapter 90.42
RCW containing between ten and twenty cubic feet per second for the benefit of the appropriate political subdivision or subdivisions of the state. The trust water right shall be used in fulfilling site restoration responsibilities, including economic development. The trust water right shall be from existing valid water rights within the basin where the site is located.
(4) For purposes of this section, "political subdivision or subdivisions of the state" means a city, town, county, public utility district, port district, or joint operating agency.