More tax dollars to be spent: Watershed councils to gain more control to "save" nstream flows if new bill is passed
On Jan. 9, 2004, a code reviser's version of the instream flow bill was distributed at Governor Locke's meeting with tribal representatives. The outline - and reviser's version follows:
Outline presented at Governor's meeting with tribal representatives:
Legislation to Achieve and Protect Instream Flows (Z-1095.1)
January 10, 2004
· Commit the state to achieving and protecting instream flows
SECURE INDEPENDENT SCIENCE
1. Expand the existing Independent Science Panel (77.85 RCW) and charge them to provide scientific review of, and guidance for, the state instream flow program.
SET INSTREAM FLOWS BY RULE
2. Adopt instream flows by rule for all mainstem rivers and key tributaries. Amend existing flow rules as needed to meet the requirements of this act.
3. Adopt instream flow rules under the schedule established in 90.82 RCW (watershed planning). In basins outside the 90.82 process, Ecology must adopt flow rules by 2010.
4. Instream flow rules must establish flow objectives that are hydrologically achievable under natural conditions and biologically defensible, and they must reflect variations according to climate (wet vs dry years).
5. Ecology must adopt standards for instream flow rules. Fish and Wildlife, in consultation with affected tribes and local planning units, must define mainstem rivers and key tributaries.
INSTREAM FLOW PROGRAMS
6. Instream Flow Programs (IFPs) are required for all watersheds:
8. IFP review and approval:
TOOLS TO ACHIEVE AND PROTECT STREAM FLOWS
9. To achieve instream flows or implement instream flow programs,
10. Other Funding:
11. Other Policies:
12. Where the 6-year review concludes that IFPs are not being implemented and instream flows are not achieved, Ecology and DFW must take actions to achieve instream flows using any and all powers granted to the departments under current law, as needed.
13. Where the state agencies are not meeting the deadlines in this act, citizens may commence a civil action to ask the superior court to require the agencies to perform their duty.
Proposed bill - click here.
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