43.20.035  <<  43.20.050 >>   43.20.065

Powers and duties of state board of healthRule makingDelegation of authorityEnforcement of rules.

(1) The state board of health shall provide a forum for the development of public health policy in Washington state. It is authorized to recommend to the secretary means for obtaining appropriate citizen and professional involvement in all public health policy formulation and other matters related to the powers and duties of the department. It is further empowered to hold hearings and explore ways to improve the health status of the citizenry.
In fulfilling its responsibilities under this subsection, the state board may create ad hoc committees or other such committees of limited duration as necessary.
(2) In order to protect public health, the state board of health shall:
(a) Adopt rules for group A public water systems, as defined in RCW 70A.125.010, necessary to assure safe and reliable public drinking water and to protect the public health. Such rules shall establish requirements regarding:
(i) The design and construction of public water system facilities, including proper sizing of pipes and storage for the number and type of customers;
(ii) Drinking water quality standards, monitoring requirements, and laboratory certification requirements;
(iii) Public water system management and reporting requirements;
(iv) Public water system planning and emergency response requirements;
(v) Public water system operation and maintenance requirements;
(vi) Water quality, reliability, and management of existing but inadequate public water systems; and
(vii) Quality standards for the source or supply, or both source and supply, of water for bottled water plants;
(b) Adopt rules as necessary for group B public water systems, as defined in RCW 70A.125.010. The rules shall, at a minimum, establish requirements regarding the initial design and construction of a public water system. The state board of health rules may waive some or all requirements for group B public water systems with fewer than five connections;
(c) Adopt rules and standards for prevention, control, and abatement of health hazards and nuisances related to the disposal of human and animal excreta and animal remains;
(d) Adopt rules controlling public health related to environmental conditions including but not limited to heating, lighting, ventilation, sanitary facilities, and cleanliness in public facilities including but not limited to food service establishments, schools, recreational facilities, and transient accommodations;
(e) Adopt rules for the imposition and use of isolation and quarantine;
(f) Adopt rules for the prevention and control of infectious and noninfectious diseases, including food and vector borne illness, and rules governing the receipt and conveyance of remains of deceased persons, and such other sanitary matters as may best be controlled by universal rule; and
(g) Adopt rules for accessing existing databases for the purposes of performing health related research.
(3) The state board shall adopt rules for the design, construction, installation, operation, and maintenance of those on-site sewage systems with design flows of less than three thousand five hundred gallons per day.
(4) The state board may delegate any of its rule-adopting authority to the secretary and rescind such delegated authority.
(5) All local boards of health, health authorities and officials, officers of state institutions, police officers, sheriffs, constables, and all other officers and employees of the state, or any county, city, or township thereof, shall enforce all rules adopted by the state board of health. In the event of failure or refusal on the part of any member of such boards or any other official or person mentioned in this section to so act, he or she shall be subject to a fine of not less than fifty dollars, upon first conviction, and not less than one hundred dollars upon second conviction.
(6) The state board may advise the secretary on health policy issues pertaining to the department of health and the state.


Explanatory statement2021 c 65: See note following RCW 53.54.030.
Effective date2009 c 495: "Except for section 9 of this act, 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 14, 2009]." [ 2009 c 495 s 17.]
Findings1993 c 492: "The legislature finds that our health and financial security are jeopardized by our ever increasing demand for health care and by current health insurance and health system practices. Current health system practices encourage public demand for unneeded, ineffective, and sometimes dangerous health treatments. These practices often result in unaffordable cost increases that far exceed ordinary inflation for essential care. Current total health care expenditure rates should be sufficient to provide access to essential health care interventions to all within a reformed, efficient system.
The legislature finds that too many of our state's residents are without health insurance, that each year many individuals and families are forced into poverty because of serious illness, and that many must leave gainful employment to be eligible for publicly funded medical services. Additionally, thousands of citizens are at risk of losing adequate health insurance, have had insurance canceled recently, or cannot afford to renew existing coverage.
The legislature finds that businesses find it difficult to pay for health insurance and remain competitive in a global economy, and that individuals, the poor, and small businesses bear an inequitable health insurance burden.
The legislature finds that persons of color have significantly higher rates of mortality and poor health outcomes, and substantially lower numbers and percentages of persons covered by health insurance than the general population. It is intended that chapter 492, Laws of 1993 make provisions to address the special health care needs of these racial and ethnic populations in order to improve their health status.
The legislature finds that uncontrolled demand and expenditures for health care are eroding the ability of families, businesses, communities, and governments to invest in other enterprises that promote health, maintain independence, and ensure continued economic welfare. Housing, nutrition, education, and the environment are all diminished as we invest ever increasing shares of wealth in health care treatments.
The legislature finds that while immediate steps must be taken, a long-term plan of reform is also needed." [ 1993 c 492 s 101.]
Intent1993 c 492: "(1) The legislature intends that state government policy stabilize health services costs, assure access to essential services for all residents, actively address the health care needs of persons of color, improve the public's health, and reduce unwarranted health services costs to preserve the viability of nonhealth care businesses.
(2) The legislature intends that:
(a) Total health services costs be stabilized and kept within rates of increase similar to the rates of personal income growth within a publicly regulated, private marketplace that preserves personal choice;
(b) State residents be enrolled in the certified health plan of their choice that meets state standards regarding affordability, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and clinical efficaciousness;
(c) State residents be able to choose health services from the full range of health care providers, as defined in RCW 43.72.010(12), in a manner consistent with good health services management, quality assurance, and cost effectiveness;
(d) Individuals and businesses have the option to purchase any health services they may choose in addition to those included in the uniform benefits package or supplemental benefits;
(e) All state residents, businesses, employees, and government participate in payment for health services, with total costs to individuals on a sliding scale based on income to encourage efficient and appropriate utilization of services;
(f) These goals be accomplished within a reformed system using private service providers and facilities in a way that allows consumers to choose among competing plans operating within budget limits and other regulations that promote the public good; and
(g) A policy of coordinating the delivery, purchase, and provision of health services among the federal, state, local, and tribal governments be encouraged and accomplished by chapter 492, Laws of 1993.
(3) Accordingly, the legislature intends that chapter 492, Laws of 1993 provide both early implementation measures and a process for overall reform of the health services system." [ 1993 c 492 s 102.]
Short titleSavingsReservation of legislative powerEffective dates1993 c 492: See RCW 43.72.910 through 43.72.915.
Severability1992 c 34: See note following RCW 69.07.170.
Effective dateSeverability1989 1st ex.s. c 9: See RCW 43.70.910 and 43.70.920.
Savings1985 c 213: "This act shall not be construed as affecting any existing right acquired or liability or obligation incurred under the sections amended or repealed in this act or under any rule, regulation, or order adopted under those sections, nor as affecting any proceeding instituted under those sections." [ 1985 c 213 s 31.]
Effective date1985 c 213: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, the support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect June 30, 1985." [ 1985 c 213 s 33.]
Severability1967 ex.s. c 102: See note following RCW 43.70.130.
Rules and regulationsVisual and auditory screening of pupils: RCW 28A.210.020.
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