(1) The department of ecology shall update the final supplemental environmental impact statement completed in 1992 for the aquatic plant management program to reflect new information on herbicides evaluated in 1992 and new, commercially available herbicides. The department shall maintain the currency of the information on herbicides and evaluate new herbicides as they become commercially available.
(2) For the 1999 treatment season, the department shall permit by May 15, 1999, municipal experimental application of herbicides such as hydrothol 191 for algae control in lakes managed under chapter 90.24
RCW. If experimental use is determined to be ineffective, then the department shall within fourteen days consult with other state, federal, and local agencies and interested parties, and may permit the use of copper sulfate. The Washington institute for public policy shall contract for a study on the lake-wide effectiveness of any herbicide used under this subsection. Prior to issuing the contract for the study, the institute for public policy shall determine the parameters of the study in consultation with licensed applicators who have recent experience treating the lake and with the nonprofit corporation that participated in centennial clean water fund phase one lake management studies for the lake. The parameters must include measurement of the lake-wide effectiveness of the application of the herbicide in maintaining beneficial uses of the lake, including any uses designated under state or federal water quality standards. The effectiveness of the application shall be determined by objective criteria such as turbidity of the water, the effectiveness in killing algae, any harm to fish or wildlife, any risk to human health, or other criteria developed by the institute. The results of the study shall be reported to the appropriate legislative committees by December 1, 1999. A general fund appropriation in the amount of $35,000 is provided to the Washington institute for public policy for fiscal year 1999 for the study required under this subsection.
[1999 c 255 § 2.]
Findings—Purpose—1999 c 255: "The legislature finds that the environmental, recreational, and aesthetic values of many of the state's lakes are threatened by the invasion of nuisance and noxious aquatic weeds. Once established, these nuisance and noxious aquatic weeds can colonize the shallow shorelines and other areas of lakes with dense surface vegetation mats that degrade water quality, pose a threat to swimmers, and restrict use of lakes. Algae can generate health and safety conditions dangerous to fish, wildlife, and humans. The current environmental impact statement is causing difficulty in responding to environmentally damaging weed and algae problems. Many commercially available herbicides have been demonstrated to be effective in controlling nuisance and noxious aquatic weeds and algae and do not pose a risk to the environment or public health. The purpose of this act is to allow the use of commercially available herbicides that have been approved by the environmental protection agency and the department of agriculture and subject to rigorous evaluation by the department of ecology through an environmental impact statement for the aquatic plant management program." [1999 c 255 § 1.]
Effective date—1999 c 255: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately [May 10, 1999]." [1999 c 255 § 5.]