Chapter 43.42 RCW

OFFICE OF REGULATORY ASSISTANCE

Sections

43.42.005FindingsIntent.
43.42.010Office createdAppointment of directorDuties.
43.42.020Operating principleProviding information regarding permits.
43.42.030Definitions.
43.42.040Maintaining and furnishing informationContact pointService centerWeb site.
43.42.050Project scopingFactors.
43.42.060Fully coordinated permit processRequirementsProcedure.
43.42.070Cost-reimbursement agreements.
43.42.080Participating permit agenciesTimelines.
43.42.090Multiagency permitting teamsFindingsIntentPurpose.
43.42.092Multiagency permitting teams.
43.42.095Multiagency permitting team account.
43.42.100Streamlined process certification.
43.42.900Jurisdiction of energy facility site evaluation council not affected.
43.42.901Authority of permit agencies not affected.
43.42.902Authority of participating permit agency retained.


FindingsIntent.

(1) The legislature finds that: The health and safety of its citizens and environment are of vital interest to the state's long-term quality of life; Washington state is a national leader in protecting its environment; and Washington state has a vibrant and diverse economy that is dependent on the state maintaining high environmental standards. Further, the legislature finds that a complex and confusing network of environmental and land use laws and business regulations can create obstacles to sustainable growth.
It is the intent of the legislature to promote accountability, timeliness, and predictability for citizens, business, and state, federal, and local permitting agencies, and to provide information and assistance on the regulatory process through the creation of the office of regulatory assistance in the governor's office.
(2) The office of regulatory assistance is created to work to continually improve the function of environmental and business regulatory processes by identifying conflicts and overlap in the state's rules, statutes, and operational practices; the office is to provide project proponents and business owners with active assistance for all permitting, licensing, and other regulatory procedures required for completion of specific projects; and the office is to ensure that citizens, businesses, and local governments have access to, and clear information regarding, regulatory processes for permitting and business regulation, including state rules, permit and license requirements, and agency rule-making processes.
(3) The legislature declares that the purpose of this chapter is to provide direction, practical resources, and a range of innovative and optional service delivery options for improving the regulatory process and for providing assistance through the regulatory process on individual projects in furtherance of the state's goals of governmental transparency and accountability.
(4) The legislature intends that establishing an office of regulatory assistance will provide these services without abrogating or limiting the authority of any agency to make decisions on permits, licenses, regulatory requirements, or agency rule making. The legislature further intends that the office of regulatory assistance shall have authority to provide services but shall not have any authority to make decisions on permits.

NOTES:

Effective date2010 c 162: See note following RCW 43.42.090.



Office createdAppointment of directorDuties.

(1) The office of regulatory assistance is created in the office of financial management and must be administered by the office of the governor to help improve the regulatory system and assist citizens, businesses, and project proponents.
(2) The governor must appoint a director. The director may employ a deputy director and a confidential secretary and such staff as are necessary, or contract with another state agency pursuant to chapter 39.34 RCW for support in carrying out the purposes of this chapter.
(3) The office must offer to:
(a) Act as the central point of contact for the project proponent in communicating about defined issues;
(b) Conduct project scoping as provided in RCW 43.42.050;
(c) Verify that the project proponent has all the information needed to correctly apply for all necessary permits;
(d) Provide general coordination services;
(e) Coordinate the efficient completion among participating agencies of administrative procedures, such as collecting fees or providing public notice;
(f) Maintain contact with the project proponent and the permit agencies to promote adherence to agreed schedules;
(g) Assist in resolving any conflict or inconsistency among permit requirements and conditions;
(h) Coordinate, to the extent practicable, with relevant federal permit agencies and tribal governments;
(i) Facilitate meetings;
(j) Manage a fully coordinated permit process, as provided in RCW 43.42.060; and
(k) Help local jurisdictions comply with the requirements of chapter 36.70B RCW.
(4) The office must also:
(a) Provide information to local jurisdictions about best permitting practices, methods to improve communication with, and solicit early involvement of, state agencies when needed, and effective means of assessing and communicating expected project timelines and costs;
(b) Maintain and furnish information as provided in RCW 43.42.040;
(c) Act as the central entity to collaborate with and provide support to state agencies in meeting the requirements of the regulatory fairness act, chapter 19.85 RCW. Support must include, but is not limited to:
(i) Providing online guidance and tools. Online guidance and tools may include templates and resources to assist agency employees with consistent compliance with the regulatory fairness act, chapter 19.85 RCW. In providing online guidance and tools the office must consult the office of the attorney general. The office will make the online guidance and tools available by December 31, 2017;
(ii) Providing access to available data for agencies to complete cost calculations pursuant to chapter 19.85 RCW; and
(iii) Facilitating sharing of information among agencies and between agencies and business associations;
(d) Provide the following by September 1, 2009, and biennially thereafter, to the governor and the appropriate committees of the legislature:
(i) A performance report including:
(A) Information regarding use of the office's voluntary cost-reimbursement services as provided in RCW 43.42.070;
(B) The number and type of projects or initiatives where the office provided services including the key agencies with which the office partnered;
(C) Specific information on any difficulty encountered in providing services or implementing programs, processes, or assistance tools; and
(D) Trend reporting that allows comparisons between statements of goals and performance targets and the achievement of those goals and targets; and
(ii) Recommendations on system improvements including, but not limited to, recommendations on improving environmental permitting by making it more time efficient and cost-effective for all participants in the process.

NOTES:

Effective date2011 c 149: "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 June 29, 2011." [ 2011 c 149 § 4.]
FindingsRecommendationsReports encouraged2007 c 231: See note following RCW 43.155.070.
Effective date2003 c 71 § 2: "Section 2 of 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 [April 18, 2003]." [ 2003 c 71 § 7.]



Operating principleProviding information regarding permits.

(1) Principles of accountability and transparency shall guide the office in its operations. The office shall provide the following information regarding permits to citizens and businesses:
(a) An agency's average turnaround time from the date of application to date of decision for the required permit, licenses, or other necessary regulatory decisions, or the most relevant information the agency can provide, for projects of a comparable size and complexity;
(b) The information required for an agency to make a decision on a permit or regulatory requirement, including the agency's best estimate of the number of times projects of a similar size and complexity have been asked to clarify, improve, or provide supplemental information before a decision, and the expected agency response time, recognizing that changes in the project or other circumstances may change the information required; and
(c) An estimate of the maximum amount of costs in fees to be paid to state agencies, the type of any studies an agency expects to need, and the timing of any expected public processes for the project.
(2) This section does not create an independent cause of action, affect any existing cause of action, or establish time limits for purposes of RCW 64.40.020.



Definitions.

The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Director" means the director of the office of regulatory assistance.
(2) "Fully coordinated permit process" means a comprehensive coordinated permitting assistance approach supported by a written agreement between the project proponent, the office of regulatory assistance, and the agencies participating in the fully coordinated permit process.
(3) "General coordination services" means services that bring interested parties together to explore opportunities for cooperation and to resolve conflicts. General coordination services may be provided as a stand-alone event or as an element of broader project assistance, nonproject-related interagency coordination, or policy and planning teamwork.
(4) "Office" means the office of regulatory assistance established in RCW 43.42.010.
(5) "Permit" means any permit, license, certificate, use authorization, or other form of governmental review or approval required in order to construct, expand, or operate a project in the state of Washington.
(6) "Permit agency" means any state, local, or federal agency authorized by law to issue permits.
(7) "Project" means any activity, the conduct of which requires a permit or permits from one or more permit agencies.
(8) "Project proponent" means a citizen, business, or any entity applying for or seeking a permit or permits in the state of Washington.
(9) "Project scoping" means the identification of relevant issues and information needs of a project proponent and the permitting agencies, and reaching a common understanding regarding the process, timing, and sequencing for obtaining applicable permits.



Maintaining and furnishing informationContact pointService centerWeb site.

(1) The office shall assist citizens, businesses, and project proponents by maintaining and furnishing information, including, but not limited to:
(a) To the extent possible, compiling and periodically updating one or more handbooks containing lists and explanations of permit laws, including all relevant local, state, federal, and tribal laws. In providing this information, the office shall seek the cooperation of relevant local, state, and federal agencies and tribal governments;
(b) Establishing and providing notice of a point of contact for obtaining information;
(c) Working closely and cooperatively with business license centers to provide efficient and nonduplicative service; and
(d) Developing a service center and a web site.
(2) The office shall coordinate among state agencies to develop an office web site that is linked through the office of the governor's web site and that contains information regarding permitting and regulatory requirements for businesses and citizens in Washington state. At a minimum, the web site shall provide information or links to information on:
(a) Federal, state, and local rule-making processes and permitting and regulatory requirements applicable to Washington businesses and citizens;
(b) Federal, state, and local licenses, permits, and approvals necessary to start and operate a business or develop real property in Washington;
(c) State and local building codes;
(d) Federal, state, and local economic development programs that may be available to businesses in Washington; and
(e) State and local agencies regulating or providing assistance to citizens and businesses operating a business or developing real property in Washington.
(3) This section does not create an independent cause of action, affect any existing cause of action, or create any new cause of action regarding the application of regulatory or permit requirements.



Project scopingFactors.

(1) Upon request of a project proponent, the office must determine the level of project scoping needed by the project proponent, taking into consideration the complexity of the project and the experience of those expected to be involved in the project application and review process. The director may require the attendance at a scoping meeting of any state or local agency.
(2) Project scoping must consider the complexity, size, and needs for assistance of the project and must address as appropriate:
(a) The permits that are required for the project;
(b) The permit application forms and other application requirements of the participating permit agencies;
(c) The specific information needs and issues of concern of each participant and their significance;
(d) Any statutory or regulatory conflicts that might arise from the differing authorities and roles of the permit agencies;
(e) Any natural resources, including federal or state listed species, that might be adversely affected by the project and might cause an alteration of the project or require mitigation; and
(f) The anticipated time required for permit decisions by each participating permit agency, including the estimated time required to determine if the permit application is complete, to conduct environmental review, and to review and process the application. In determining the estimated time required, full consideration must be given to achieving the greatest possible efficiencies through any concurrent studies and any consolidated applications, hearings, and comment periods.
(3) The outcome of the project scoping must be documented in writing, furnished to the project proponent, and be made available to the public.
(4) The project scoping must be completed prior to the passage of sixty days of the project proponent's request for a project scoping unless the director finds that better results can be obtained by delaying the project scoping meeting or meetings to ensure full participation.
(5) Upon completion of the project scoping, the participating permit agencies must proceed under their respective authorities. The agencies may remain in communication with the office as needed.
(6) This section does not create an independent cause of action, affect any existing cause of action, or establish time limits for purposes of RCW 64.40.020.



Fully coordinated permit processRequirementsProcedure.

(1) A project proponent may submit a written request to the director of the office for participation in a fully coordinated permit process. Designation as a fully coordinated project requires that:
(a) The project proponent enters into a cost-reimbursement agreement pursuant to RCW 43.42.070;
(b) The project has a designation under chapter 43.157 RCW; or
(c) The director determine that (i)(A) the project raises complex coordination, permit processing, or substantive permit review issues; or (B) if completed, the project would provide substantial benefits to the state; and (ii) the office, as well as the participating permit review agencies, have sufficient capacity within existing resources to undertake the full coordination process without reimbursement and without seriously affecting other services.
(2) A project proponent who requests designation as a fully coordinated permit process project must provide the office with a full description of the project. The office may request any information from the project proponent that is necessary to make the designation under this section, and may convene a scoping meeting or a work plan meeting of the likely participating permit agencies.
(3) When a project is designated for the fully coordinated permit process, the office must serve as the main point of contact for the project proponent and participating agencies with regard to the permit process for the project as a whole. Each participating agency must designate a single point of contact for coordinating with the office. The office must keep an up-to-date project management log and schedule illustrating required procedural steps in the permitting process, and highlighting substantive issues as appropriate that must be resolved in order for the project to move forward. In carrying out these responsibilities, the office must:
(a) Ensure that the project proponent has been informed of all the information needed to apply for the permits that are included in the coordinated permit process;
(b) Coordinate the timing of review for those permits by the respective participating permit agencies;
(c) Facilitate communication between project proponents, consultants, and agency staff to promote timely permit decisions;
(d) Assist in resolving any conflict or inconsistency among the permit requirements and conditions that are expected to be imposed by the participating permit agencies; and
(e) Make contact, at least once, with any local, tribal, or federal jurisdiction that is responsible for issuing a permit for the project and invite them to participate in the coordinated permit process or to receive periodic updates in the project.
(4) Within thirty days, or longer with agreement of the project proponent, of the date that the office designates a project for the fully coordinated permit process, it shall convene a work plan meeting with the project proponent and the participating permit agencies to develop a coordinated permit process schedule. The meeting agenda may include any of the following:
(a) Review of the permits that are required for the project;
(b) A review of the permit application forms and other application requirements of the agencies that are participating in the coordinated permit process;
(c) An estimation of the timelines that will be used by each participating permit agency to make permit decisions, including the estimated time periods required to determine if the permit applications are complete and to review or respond to each application or submittal of new information.
(i) The estimation must also include the estimated number of revision cycles for the project, or the typical number of revision cycles for projects of similar size and complexity.
(ii) In the development of this timeline, full attention must be given to achieving the maximum efficiencies possible through concurrent studies and consolidated applications, hearings, and comment periods.
(iii) Estimated action or response times for activities of the office that are required before or trigger further action by a participant must also be included;
(d) Available information regarding the timing of any public hearings that are required to issue permits for the project and a determination of the feasibility of coordinating or consolidating any of those required public hearings; and
(e) A discussion of fee arrangements for the coordinated permit process, including an estimate of the costs allowed by statute, any reimbursable agency costs, and billing schedules, if applicable.
(5) Each agency must send at least one representative qualified to discuss the applicability and timelines associated with all permits administered by that agency or jurisdiction. At the request of the project proponent, the office must notify any relevant local or federal agency or federally recognized Indian tribe of the date of the meeting and invite that agency's participation in the process.
(6) Any accelerated time period for the consideration of a permit application must be consistent with any statute, rule, or regulation, or adopted state policy, standard, or guideline that requires the participation of other agencies, federally recognized Indian tribes, or interested persons in the application process.
(7) If a permit agency or the project proponent foresees, at any time, that it will be unable to meet the estimated timelines or other obligations under the agreement, it must notify the office of the reasons for the problem and offer potential solutions or an amended timeline for resolving the problem. The office must notify the participating permit agencies and the project proponent and, upon agreement of all parties, adjust the schedule, or, if necessary, schedule another work plan meeting.
(8) The project proponent may withdraw from the coordinated permit process by submitting to the office a written request that the process be terminated. Upon receipt of the request, the office must notify each participating permit agency that a coordinated permit process is no longer applicable to the project.

NOTES:

Effective date2009 c 421: See note following RCW 43.157.005.



Cost-reimbursement agreements.

(1) The office may enter into cost-reimbursement agreements with a project proponent to recover from the project proponent the reasonable costs incurred by the office in carrying out the provisions of this chapter. The agreement must include provisions for covering the costs incurred by the permit agencies that are participating in the cost-reimbursement project and carrying out permit processing or project review tasks referenced in the cost-reimbursement agreement.
(2) The office must maintain policies or guidelines for coordinating cost-reimbursement agreements with participating agencies, project proponents, and independent consultants. Policies or guidelines must ensure that, in developing cost-reimbursement agreements, conflicts of interest are eliminated. The policies must also support effective use of cost-reimbursement resources to address staffing and capacity limitations as may be relevant within the office or participating permit agencies.
(3) For fully coordinated permit processes and priority economic recovery projects selected pursuant to this section, the office must coordinate the negotiation of all cost-reimbursement agreements executed under RCW 43.21A.690, 43.30.490, 43.70.630, 43.300.080, and 70A.15.1570. The office, project proponent, and participating permit agencies must be signatories to the cost-reimbursement agreement or agreements. Each participating permit agency must manage performance of its portion of the cost-reimbursement agreement. Independent consultants hired under a cost-reimbursement agreement must report directly to the hiring office or participating permit agency. Any cost-reimbursement agreement must require that final decisions are made by the participating permit agency and not by a hired independent consultant.
(4) For any project using cost reimbursement, the cost-reimbursement agreement must require the office and participating permit agencies to develop and periodically update a project work plan, which the office must provide on the internet and share with each party to the agreement.
(5)(a) The cost-reimbursement agreement must identify the proposed project, the desired outcomes, and the maximum costs for work to be conducted under the agreement. The desired outcomes must refer to the decision-making process and may not prejudge or predetermine whether decisions will be to approve or deny any required permit or other application. Each participating permit agency must agree to give priority to the cost-reimbursement project but may in no way reduce or eliminate regulatory requirements as part of the priority review.
(b) Reasonable costs are determined based on time and materials estimates with a provision for contingencies, or set as a flat fee tied to a reasonable estimate of staff hours required.
(c) The cost-reimbursement agreement may include deliverables and schedules for invoicing and reimbursement. The office may require advance payment of some or all of the agreed reimbursement, to be held in reserve and distributed to participating permit agencies and the office upon approval of invoices by the project proponent. The project proponent has thirty days to request additional information or challenge an invoice. If an invoice is challenged, the office must respond and attempt to resolve the challenge within thirty days. If the office is unable to resolve the challenge within thirty days, the challenge must be submitted to the office of financial management. A decision on such a challenge must be made by the office of financial management and approved by the director of the office of financial management and is binding on the parties.
(d) Upon request, the office must verify whether participating permit agencies have met the obligations contained in the project work plan and cost-reimbursement agreement.
(6) If a party to the cost-reimbursement agreement foresees, at any time, that it will be unable to meet its obligations under the agreement, it must notify the office and state the reasons, along with proposals for resolving the problems. The office must notify the other parties to the cost-reimbursement agreement and seek to resolve the problems by adjusting invoices, deliverables, or the project work plan, or through some other accommodation.

NOTES:

Explanatory statement2021 c 65: See note following RCW 53.54.030.
Effective date2010 c 162: See note following RCW 43.42.090.



Participating permit agenciesTimelines.

With the agreement of all participating permitting agencies and the permit applicant or project proponent, state permitting agencies may establish timelines to make permit decisions, including the time periods required to determine that the permit applications are complete, to review the applications, and to process the permits. Established timelines shall not be shorter than those otherwise required for each permit under other applicable provisions of law, but may extend and coordinate such timelines. The goal of the established timelines is to achieve the maximum efficiencies possible through concurrent studies and consolidation of applications, permit review, hearings, and comment periods. A timeline established under this subsection with the agreement of each permitting agency shall commit each permitting agency to act within the established timeline.



Multiagency permitting teamsFindingsIntentPurpose.

(1) The legislature finds that the state of Washington has implemented a number of successful measures to streamline, coordinate, and consolidate the multiparty, multijurisdictional permitting and regulatory decision-making process. The office of regulatory assistance was developed and implemented at a time when the state faced a crisis in its economic competitiveness. The multiagency permitting team for transportation was developed and implemented at a time when the state's transportation system faced a crisis in public confidence concerning transportation project delivery. The legislature further finds that the state of Washington is now facing an economic and financial crisis that requires immediate action to spur economic development and the creation of jobs without sacrificing the quality of the state's environment.
(2) The legislature intends to:
(a) Draw from and extend the benefits of proven permit streamlining solutions to future project proponents and aid the state's recovery by authorizing optional multiagency permitting teams modeled after the multiagency permitting team developed and implemented for state transportation projects. It is the purpose of chapter 162, Laws of 2010 to provide willing permit applicants and project proponents with permit coordination and integrated regulatory decision-making services on a cost-reimbursed basis; and
(b) Phase-in a revenue-neutral permit streamlining approach to expedite permit and regulatory decision making while ensuring a high level of environmental protection.

NOTES:

Effective date2010 c 162: "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 [March 22, 2010]." [ 2010 c 162 § 8.]



Multiagency permitting teams.

(1)(a) The office of regulatory assistance is authorized to develop and advertise the availability of optional multiagency permitting teams to provide coordinated permitting and integrated regulatory decision making starting in the Puget Sound basin.
(b) New expenses associated with operating the optional multiagency permitting teams must be recovered by the office of regulatory assistance using existing state cost-reimbursement and interagency cost-sharing authorities as applicable. The cost-reimbursement process is subject to the requirements and limitations set forth in RCW 43.42.070. Initial administrative costs and other costs that may not be recoverable through cost-reimbursement or cost-sharing mechanisms may be covered by funds from the multiagency permitting team account created in RCW 43.42.095.
(c) The director of the office of regulatory assistance must solicit donations and such other funds as the director deems appropriate from public and private sources for the purposes of covering the initial administrative costs and other costs associated with operation of optional multiagency permitting teams which are not recoverable through cost-reimbursement or cost-sharing mechanisms. All such solicited funds must be placed in the multiagency permitting team account created in RCW 43.42.095.
(2) Optional multiagency permitting teams must be:
(a) Mobile, capable of traveling or working together as teams, initially throughout the Puget Sound basin;
(b) Located initially in central Puget Sound;
(c) Staffed by appropriate senior-level permitting and regulatory decision-making personnel representing the Washington state departments of ecology, fish and wildlife, and natural resources and having expertise in regulatory issues relating to the project; and
(d) Managed by the office of regulatory assistance through a team leader responsible for:
(i) Managing or monitoring team activities to ensure the cost-reimbursement schedule and agreement is followed;
(ii) Developing and maintaining partnerships and working relationships with local, state, tribal, and federal organizations not core to the optional multiagency permitting teams that can be called upon to join the team on a project-by-project basis;
(iii) Developing, defining, and providing a set of coordinated permitting and integrated decision-making services consistent with those set forth in subsection (3) of this section;
(iv) Developing and executing funding agreements with applicants, project proponents, regulatory agencies, and others as necessary to ensure the financial viability of the optional multiagency permitting teams;
(v) Measuring and regularly reporting on team performance, results and outcomes achieved, including improved: Permitting predictability, interagency early project coordination, interagency accessibility, interagency relationships, project delivery, and environmental results, including the avoidance or prevention of environmental harm and the effectiveness of mitigation;
(vi) Conducting outreach, marketing, and advertising of team services and team availability, focusing initially on projects such as large-scale public, private, and port development projects with complex aquatics, wetland, or other environmental impacts; environmental cleanup, restoration, and enhancement projects; aquaculture projects; and energy, power generation, and utility projects;
(vii) Implementing issue and dispute resolution protocols;
(viii) Incorporating and using virtual tools for online collaboration to support permitting and regulatory coordination and expedited decision making; and
(ix) Extending and subsequently implementing the optional multiagency permitting team approach to other significant geographic regions of the state.
(3) The optional multiagency permitting teams must at a minimum work with the office of regulatory assistance to provide the following core services:
(a) Project scoping, as set forth in RCW 43.42.050 (1) through (4), to help applicants identify applicable permits and regulatory approvals;
(b) A preapplication coordination service, which may be combined with project scoping, to help applicants understand applicable requirements and plan out with the assistance of the regulatory agencies an optimally sequenced permitting and regulatory decision-making strategy and approach for the overall project;
(c) Fully coordinated project review as set forth in RCW 43.42.060 to set schedules and agreed-upon time frames for the applicant and regulatory decision makers consistent with statutory requirements and with regard to available agency resources and to track, monitor, and report progress made in meeting those schedules and time frames;
(d) Mitigation coordination to help applicants and regulatory agencies collaborate on and implement mitigation obligations within a watershed context so superior environmental results can be achieved when impacts cannot be avoided or further minimized.
(4) Local and federal permitting and regulatory personnel should be incorporated into the optional multiagency permitting teams whenever possible and at least on a project-by-project basis. Moneys recouped through state cost-reimbursement and interagency cost-sharing authorities, or as otherwise solicited for deposit into the multiagency permitting team account created in RCW 43.42.095, may also be used to cover local and federal participation.
(5) The optional multiagency permitting teams will provide services for complex projects requiring multiple permits and regulatory approvals and having multiple points of regulatory jurisdiction. The optional multiagency permitting teams are not intended to support state transportation projects capable of being serviced by multiagency permitting teams specifically established for state transportation projects. Use of the optional multiagency permitting teams for a fully coordinated permit process must be allowed unless the office of regulatory assistance notifies a project proponent in writing of other means of effective and efficient project review that are available and are recommended.

NOTES:

Effective date2010 c 162: See note following RCW 43.42.090.



Multiagency permitting team account.

The multiagency permitting team account is created in the custody of the state treasurer. All receipts from cost-reimbursement agreements authorized in RCW 43.42.070 and solicitations authorized in RCW 43.42.092 must be deposited into the account. Expenditures from the account may be used only for covering staffing, consultant, technology, and other administrative costs of multiagency permitting teams and other costs associated with multiagency project review and management that may arise. Only the director of the office of regulatory assistance or the director's designee may authorize expenditures from the account. The account is subject to allotment procedures under chapter 43.88 RCW, but an appropriation is not required for expenditures.

NOTES:

Effective date2010 c 162: See note following RCW 43.42.090.



Streamlined process certification.

Within available funds, the office of regulatory assistance may certify permit processes at the local level as streamlined processes. In developing the certification program, the director must work with local jurisdictions to establish the criteria and the process for certification. Jurisdictions with permit processes certified as streamlined may receive priority in receipt of state funds for infrastructure projects.



Jurisdiction of energy facility site evaluation council not affected.

Nothing in this chapter affects the jurisdiction of the energy facility site evaluation council under chapter 80.50 RCW.



Authority of permit agencies not affected.

(1) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to abrogate or diminish the functions, powers, or duties granted to any permit agency by law.
(2) Nothing in this chapter grants the office authority to decide if a permit shall be issued. The authority for determining if a permit shall be issued shall remain with the permit agency.



Authority of participating permit agency retained.

This chapter shall not be construed to limit or abridge the powers and duties granted to a participating permit agency under the law that authorizes or requires the agency to issue a permit for a project. Each participating permit agency shall retain its authority to make all decisions on all nonprocedural matters with regard to the respective component permit that is within its scope of its responsibility including, but not limited to, the determination of permit application completeness, permit approval or approval with conditions, or permit denial. The office may not substitute its judgment for that of a participating permit agency on any such nonprocedural matters.