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18.104.040  <<  18.104.043 >>   18.104.048

RCW 18.104.043

Well sealing and decommissioning — Delegation of authority.

(1) If requested in writing by the governing body of a local health district or county, the department by memorandum of agreement may delegate to the governing body the authority to administer and enforce the well tagging, sealing, and decommissioning portions of the water well construction program.

     (2) The department shall determine whether a local health district or county that seeks delegation under this section has the resources, capability, and expertise, including qualified field inspectors, to administer the delegated program. If the department determines the local government has these resources, it shall notify well contractors and operators of the proposal. The department shall accept written comments on the proposal for sixty days after the notice is mailed.

     (3) If the department determines that a delegation of authority to a local health district or county to administer and enforce the well sealing and decommissioning portions of the water well construction program will enhance the public health and safety and the environment, the department and the local governing body may enter into a memorandum of agreement setting forth the specific authorities delegated by the department to the local governing body. The memorandum of agreement must be, at a minimum, reviewed annually. The department, in consultation with the technical advisory group, created under RCW 18.104.190, shall adopt rules outlining the annual review and reporting process. A detailed summary of the review must be made available to well contractors and operators upon request and be published on the department's web site.

     (4) With regard to the portions of the water well construction program delegated under this section, the local governing agency shall exercise only the authority delegated to it under this section. If, after a public hearing, the department determines that a local governing body is not administering the program in accordance with this chapter, it shall notify the local governing body of the deficiencies. If corrective action is not taken within a reasonable time, not to exceed sixty days, the department by order shall withdraw the delegation of authority.

     (5) The department shall promptly furnish the local governing body with a copy of each water well report and notification of start cards received in the area covered by a delegated program.

     (6) The department and the local governing body shall coordinate to reduce duplication of effort and shall share all appropriate information including technical reports, violations, and well reports.

     (7) Any person aggrieved by a decision of a local health district or county under a delegated program may appeal the decision to the department. The department's decision is subject to review by the pollution control hearings board as provided in RCW 43.21B.110.

     (8) The department shall not delegate the authority to license well contractors, renew licenses, receive notices of intent to commence constructing a well, receive well reports, or collect state fees provided for in this chapter.

[2005 c 84 § 2; 2000 c 32 § 1; 1996 c 12 § 2; 1993 c 387 § 5; 1992 c 67 § 2.]

Notes:

     Findings -- Intent -- 1996 c 12: "The legislature finds that experimental delegation of portions of the well drilling administration and enforcement authority of the department of ecology to willing and able local governments has been successful to date. Delegation has provided a more effective and efficient means of assuring proper well construction and decommissioning and protection of public health and safety than could be accomplished by the department of ecology acting alone. The legislature further finds that without legislative action, the authority for such delegation will expire June 30, 1996. Therefore, it is the intent of the legislature to extend the authority for delegation an additional four years." [1996 c 12 § 1.]

     Legislative findings -- 1992 c 67: "The legislature finds that the public health and safety and the environment would be enhanced by permitting qualified local governmental agencies to administer and enforce portions of the water well construction program." [1992 c 67 § 1.]