Beginning of Chapter  <<  70A.300.005 >>   70A.300.007

Legislative declaration.

The legislature hereby finds and declares:
(1) The health and welfare of the people of the state depend on clean and pure environmental resources unaffected by hazardous waste contamination. At the same time, the quality of life of the people of the state is in part based upon a large variety of goods produced by the economy of the state. The complex industrial processes that produce these goods also generate waste by-products, some of which are hazardous to the public health and the environment if improperly managed.
(2) Safe and responsible management of hazardous waste is necessary to prevent adverse effects on the environment and to protect public health and safety.
(3) The availability of safe, effective, economical, and environmentally sound facilities for the management of hazardous waste is essential to protect public health and the environment and to preserve the economic strength of the state.
(4) Strong and effective enforcement of federal and state hazardous waste laws and regulations is essential to protect the public health and the environment and to meet the public's concerns regarding the acceptance of needed new hazardous waste management facilities.
(5) Negotiation, mediation, and similar conflict resolution techniques are useful in resolving concerns over the local impacts of siting hazardous waste management facilities.
(6) Safe and responsible management of hazardous waste requires an effective planning process that involves local and state governments, the public, and industry.
(7) Public acceptance and successful siting of needed new hazardous waste management facilities depends on several factors, including:
(a) Public confidence in the safety of the facilities;
(b) Assurance that the hazardous waste management priorities established in this chapter are being carried out to the maximum degree practical;
(c) Recognition that all state citizens benefit from certain products whose manufacture results in the generation of hazardous by-products, and that all state citizens must, therefore, share in the responsibility for finding safe and effective means to manage this hazardous waste; and
(d) Provision of adequate opportunities for citizens to meet with facility operators and resolve concerns about local hazardous waste management facilities.
(8) Due to the controversial and regional nature of facilities for the disposal and incineration of hazardous waste, the facilities have had difficulty in obtaining necessary local approvals. The legislature finds that there is a statewide interest in assuring that such facilities can be sited.
It is therefore the intent of the legislature to preempt local government's authority to approve, deny, or otherwise regulate disposal and incineration facilities, and to vest in the department of ecology the sole authority among state, regional, and local agencies to approve, deny, and regulate preempted facilities, as defined in this chapter.
In addition, it is the intent of the legislature that such complete preemptive authority also be vested in the department for treatment and storage facilities, in addition to disposal and incineration facilities, if a local government fails to carry out its responsibilities established in RCW 70A.300.370.
It is further the intent of the legislature that no local ordinance, permit requirement, other requirement, or decision shall prohibit on the basis of land use considerations the construction of a hazardous waste management facility within any zone designated and approved in accordance with this chapter, provided that the proposed site for the facility is consistent with applicable state siting criteria.
(9) With the exception of the disposal site authorized for acquisition under this chapter, the private sector has had the primary role in providing hazardous waste management facilities and services in the state. It is the intent of the legislature that this role be encouraged and continue into the future to the extent feasible. Whether privately or publicly owned and operated, hazardous waste management facilities and services should be subject to strict governmental regulation as provided under this chapter.
(10) Wastes that are exempt or excluded from full regulation under this chapter due to their small quantity or household origin have the potential to pose significant risk to public health and the environment if not properly managed. It is the intent of the legislature that the specific risks posed by such waste be investigated and assessed and that programs be carried out as necessary to manage the waste appropriately. In addition, the legislature finds that, because local conditions vary substantially in regard to the quantities, risks, and management opportunities available for such wastes, local government is the appropriate level of government to plan for and carry out programs to manage moderate-risk waste, with assistance and coordination provided by the department.


Severability1985 c 448: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 1985 c 448 § 19.]
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