(1) The legislature finds that:
(a) Puget Sound and related inland marine waterways of Washington state represent a unique and unparalleled resource. A rich and varied range of marine organisms, comprising an interdependent, sensitive communal ecosystem reside in these sheltered waters. Residents of this region enjoy a way of life centered around the waters of Puget Sound, featuring accessible recreational opportunities, world-class port facilities and water transportation systems, harvest of marine food resources, shoreline-oriented life styles, water-dependent industries, tourism, irreplaceable aesthetics, and other activities, all of which to some degree depend upon a clean and healthy marine resource;
(b) The Puget Sound water quality authority has done an excellent job in developing a comprehensive plan to identify actions to restore and protect the biological health and diversity of Puget Sound;
(c) The large number of governmental entities that now have regulatory programs affecting the water quality of Puget Sound have diverse interests and limited jurisdictions that cannot adequately address the cumulative, wide-ranging impacts that contribute to the degradation of Puget Sound; and
(d) Coordination of the regulatory programs, at the state and local level, is best accomplished through the development of interagency mechanisms that allow these entities to transcend their diverse interests and limited jurisdictions.
(2) It is therefore the policy of the state of Washington to coordinate the activities of state and local agencies by establishing a biennial work plan that clearly delineates state and local actions necessary to protect and restore the biological health and diversity of Puget Sound. It is further the policy of the state to implement the Puget Sound water quality management plan to the maximum extent possible. To further the policy of the state, a recovery plan developed under the federal endangered species act for a portion or all of the Puget Sound shall be considered for inclusion into the Puget Sound water quality management plan.
[1998 c 246 § 13; 1996 c 138 § 1.]
Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.
(1) "Action team" means the Puget Sound water quality action team.
(2) "Chair" means the chair of the action team.
(3) "Council" means the Puget Sound council created in RCW 90.71.030.
(4) "Puget Sound management plan" means the 1994 Puget Sound water quality management plan as it exists June 30, 1996, and as subsequently amended by the action team.
(5) "Support staff" means the staff to the action team.
(6) "Work plan" means the work plan and budget developed by the action team.
[1996 c 138 § 2.]
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any legal requirement under this chapter, including any standard, limitation, rule, or order is superseded and replaced in accordance with the terms and provisions of an environmental excellence program agreement, entered into under chapter 43.21K RCW.
[1997 c 381 § 30.]
Purpose -- 1997 c 381: See RCW 43.21K.005.RCW 90.71.020
Puget Sound action team.
(1) The Puget Sound action team is created. The action team shall consist of: The directors of the departments of ecology; agriculture; natural resources; fish and wildlife; and community, trade, and economic development; the secretaries of the departments of health and transportation; the director of the parks and recreation commission; the director of the interagency committee for outdoor recreation; the administrative officer of the conservation commission designated in RCW 89.08.050; one person representing cities, appointed by the governor; one person representing counties, appointed by the governor; one person representing federally recognized tribes, appointed by the governor; and the chair of the action team. The action team shall also include the following ex officio nonvoting members: The regional director of the United States environmental protection agency; the regional administrator of the national marine fisheries service; and the regional supervisor of the United States fish and wildlife service. The members representing cities and counties shall each be reimbursed for travel expenses as provided in RCW 43.03.050 and 43.03.060.
(2) The action team shall:
(a) Prepare a Puget Sound work plan and budget for inclusion in the governor's biennial budget;
(b) Coordinate monitoring and research programs as provided in RCW 90.71.060;
(c) Work under the direction of the action team chair as provided in RCW 90.71.040;
(d) Coordinate permitting requirements as necessary to expedite permit issuance for any local watershed plan developed pursuant to rules adopted under this chapter;
(e) Identify and resolve any policy or rule conflicts that may exist between one or more agencies represented on the action team;
(f) Periodically amend the Puget Sound management plan;
(g) Enter into, amend, and terminate contracts with individuals, corporations, or research institutions for the purposes of this chapter;
(h) Receive such gifts, grants, and endowments, in trust or otherwise, for the use and benefit of the purposes of the action team. The action team may expend the same or any income therefrom according to the terms of the gifts, grants, or endowments;
(i) Promote extensive public participation, and otherwise seek to broadly disseminate information concerning Puget Sound;
(j) Receive and expend funding from other public agencies;
(k) To reduce costs and improve efficiency, review by December 1, 1996, all requirements for reports and documentation from state agencies and local governments specified in the plan for the purpose of eliminating and consolidating reporting requirements; and
(l) Beginning in December 1998, and every two years thereafter, submit a report to the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the legislature that describes and evaluates the successes and shortcomings of the current work plan relative to the priority problems identified for each geographic area of Puget Sound.
(3) By July 1, 1996, the action team shall begin developing its initial work plan, which shall include the coordination of necessary support staff.
(4) The action team shall incorporate, to the maximum extent possible, the recommendations of the council regarding amendments to the Puget Sound management plan and the work plan.
(5) All proceedings of the action team are subject to the open public meetings act under chapter 42.30 RCW.
[1998 c 246 § 14; 1996 c 138 § 3.]
(1) By June 1, 1996, the governor shall appoint a person in the governor's office to chair the action team. The chair shall serve at the pleasure of the governor.
(2) The chair shall be responsible for:
(a) Organizing the development of the council recommendations;
(b) Organizing the development of the work plan required under RCW 90.71.050;
(c) Presenting work plan and budget recommendations to the governor and the legislature;
(d) Overseeing the implementation of the elements of the work plan that receive funding through appropriations by the legislature; and
(e) Serving as chair of the council.
(3) The chair of the action team shall be a full-time employee responsible for the administration of all functions of the action team and the council, including hiring and terminating support staff, budget preparation, contracting, coordinating with the governor, the legislature, and other state and local entities, and the delegation of responsibilities as deemed appropriate. The salary of the chair shall be fixed by the governor, subject to RCW 43.03.040.
[1996 c 138 § 5.]
Effective date -- 1996 c 138 § 5: "Section 5 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 shall take effect immediately [March 25, 1996]." [1996 c 138 § 19.]RCW 90.71.050
(1)(a) Each biennium, the action team shall prepare a Puget Sound work plan and budget for inclusion in the governor's biennial budget. The work plan shall prescribe the necessary federal, state, and local actions to maintain and enhance Puget Sound water quality, including but not limited to, enhancement of recreational opportunities, and restoration of a balanced population of indigenous shellfish, fish, and wildlife. The work plan and budget shall include specific actions and projects pertaining to salmon recovery plans.
(b) In developing a work plan, the action team shall meet the following objectives:
(i) Use the plan elements of the Puget Sound management plan to prioritize local and state actions necessary to restore and protect the biological health and diversity of Puget Sound;
(ii) Consider the problems and priorities identified in local plans; and
(iii) Coordinate the work plan activities with other relevant activities, including but not limited to, agencies' activities that have not been funded through the plan, local plans, and governmental and nongovernmental watershed restoration activities.
(c) In developing a budget, the action team shall identify:
(i) The total funds to implement local projects originating from the planning process developed for nonpoint pollution; and
(ii) The total funds to implement any other projects designed primarily to restore salmon habitat.
(2) In addition to the requirements identified under RCW 90.71.020(2)(a), the work plan and budget shall:
(a) Identify and prioritize the local and state actions necessary to address the water quality problems in the following locations:
(i) Area 1: Island and San Juan counties;
(ii) Area 2: Skagit and Whatcom counties;
(iii) Area 3: Clallam and Jefferson counties;
(iv) Area 4: Snohomish, King, and Pierce counties; and
(v) Area 5: Kitsap, Mason, and Thurston counties;
(b) Provide sufficient funding to characterize local watersheds, provide technical assistance, and implement state responsibilities identified in the work plan. The number and qualifications of staff assigned to each region shall be determined by the types of problems identified pursuant to (a) of this subsection;
(c) Provide sufficient funding to implement and coordinate the Puget Sound ambient monitoring plan pursuant to RCW 90.71.060;
(d) Provide funds to assist local jurisdictions to implement elements of the work plan assigned to local governments and to develop and implement local plans;
(e) Provide sufficient funding to provide support staff for the action team; and
(f) Describe any proposed amendments to the Puget Sound management plan.
(3) The work plan shall be submitted to the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the legislature by December 20th of each even-numbered year.
(4) The work plan shall be implemented consistent with the legislative provisos of the biennial appropriation acts.
[1998 c 246 § 15; 1996 c 138 § 6.]
In addition to other powers and duties specified in this chapter, the action team shall ensure implementation and coordination of the Puget Sound ambient monitoring program established in the Puget Sound management plan. The program shall include, at a minimum:
(1) A research program, including but not limited to methods to provide current research information to managers and scientists, and to establish priorities based on the needs of the action team;
(2) A monitoring program, including baselines, protocols, guidelines, and quantifiable performance measures. In consultation with state agencies, local and tribal governments, and other public and private interests, the action team shall develop and track quantifiable performance measures that can be used by the governor and the legislature to assess the effectiveness over time of programs and actions initiated under the plan to improve and protect Puget Sound water quality and biological resources. The performance measures shall be developed by June 30, 1997. The performance measures shall include, but not be limited to a methodology to track the progress of: Fish and wildlife habitat; sites with sediment contamination; wetlands; shellfish beds; and other key indicators of Puget Sound health. State agencies shall assist the action team in the development and tracking of these performance measures. The performance measures may be limited to a selected geographic area.
[1996 c 138 § 7.]
(1) Local governments are required to implement local elements of the work plan subject to the availability of appropriated funds or other funding sources.
(2) The council shall review the progress of work plan implementation. Where prescribed actions have not been accomplished in accordance with the work plan, the responsible agency shall submit to the council written explanations for the shortfalls, together with proposed remedies.
[1996 c 138 § 8.]
The chair of the action team shall hold public hearings to solicit public comment on the work plan.
[1996 c 138 § 9.]
(1) The *Puget Sound water quality authority shall have the following powers and duties in carrying out its responsibilities for the senior environmental corps created under RCW 43.63A.247:
Appoint a representative to the coordinating council;
Develop project proposals;
Administer project activities within the agency;
Develop appropriate procedures for the use of volunteers;
Provide project orientation, technical training, safety training, equipment, and supplies to carry out project activities;
Maintain project records and provide project reports;
Apply for and accept grants or contributions for corps approved projects; and
With the approval of the council, enter into memoranda of understanding and cooperative agreements with federal, state, and local agencies to carry out corps approved projects.
(2) The authority shall not use corps volunteers to displace currently employed workers.
[1992 c 63 § 15. Formerly RCW 90.70.027.]
*Reviser's note: The Puget Sound water quality authority and its powers and duties, pursuant to the Sunset Act, chapter 43.131 RCW, were terminated June 30, 1995, and repealed June 30, 1996. See 1990 c 115 §§ 11 and 12. Powers, duties, and functions of the Puget Sound water quality authority pertaining to cleanup and protection of Puget Sound transferred to the Puget Sound action team by 1996 c 138 § 11. See RCW 90.71.903.
Severability -- 1992 c 63: See note following RCW 43.63A.240.RCW 90.71.100
Shellfish - on-site sewage grant program -- Priority areas -- Memorandum of understanding.
(1) The action team shall establish a shellfish - on-site sewage grant program in Puget Sound and for Pacific and Grays Harbor counties. The action team shall provide funds to local health jurisdictions to be used as grants to individuals for improving their on-site sewage systems. The grants may be provided only in areas that have the potential to adversely affect water quality in commercial and recreational shellfish growing areas. A recipient of a grant shall enter into an agreement with the appropriate local health jurisdiction to maintain the improved on-site sewage system according to specifications required by the local health jurisdiction. The action team shall work closely with local health jurisdictions and shall endeavor to attain geographic equity between Willapa Bay and the Puget Sound when making funds available under this program. For the purposes of this subsection, "geographic equity" means issuing on-site sewage grants at a level that matches the funds generated from the oyster reserve lands in that area.
(2) In the Puget Sound, the action team shall give first priority to areas that are:
(a) Identified as "areas of special concern" under WAC 246-272-01001; or
(b) Included within a shellfish protection district under chapter 90.72 RCW.
(3) In Grays Harbor and Pacific counties, the action team shall give first priority to preventing the deterioration of water quality in areas where commercial or recreational shellfish are grown.
(4) The action team and each participating local health jurisdiction shall enter into a memorandum of understanding that will establish an applicant income eligibility requirement for individual grant applicants from within the jurisdiction and other mutually agreeable terms and conditions of the grant program.
(5) The action team may recover the costs to administer this program not to exceed ten percent of the shellfish - on-site sewage grant program.
(6) For the 2001-2003 biennium, the action team may use up to fifty percent of the shellfish - on-site sewage grant program funds for grants to local health jurisdictions to establish areas of special concern under WAC 246-272-01001, or for operation and maintenance programs therein, where commercial and recreational uses are present.
[2001 c 273 § 3.]
This act may be known and cited as the Puget Sound water quality protection act.
[1996 c 138 § 15.]
Captions used in this chapter do not constitute any part of the law.
[1996 c 138 § 14.]
Nothing in *RCW 43.131.370 shall affect the implementation and requirements of the Puget Sound water quality management plan existing on June 30, 1995, or such other effective date of repeal of the laws referenced in *RCW 43.131.370. The implementation of the plan on and after that date shall be the responsibility of such entities as are provided by the legislature.
[1990 c 115 § 13. Formerly RCW 90.70.902.]
*Reviser's note: RCW 43.131.370, which sunsetted the Puget Sound water quality authority June 30, 1996, has been decodified. See Table of Disposition of Former RCW Sections, Volume 0.RCW 90.71.903
Transfer of powers, duties, and functions -- References to executive director or Puget Sound water quality authority.
(1) The powers, duties, and functions of the Puget Sound water quality authority pertaining to the cleanup and protection of Puget Sound are transferred to the Puget Sound action team. All references to the executive director or the Puget Sound water quality authority in the Revised Code of Washington shall be construed to mean the chair of the action team or the action team when referring to the functions transferred in this section.
(2)(a) All reports, documents, surveys, books, records, files, papers, or written material in the possession of the authority pertaining to the powers, functions, and duties transferred shall be delivered to the custody of the action team. All cabinets, furniture, office equipment, motor vehicles, and other tangible property employed by the authority in carrying out the powers, functions, and duties transferred shall be made available to the action team. All funds, credits, or other assets held in connection with the powers, functions, and duties transferred shall be assigned to the action team.
(b) Any appropriations made to the authority for carrying out the powers, functions, and duties transferred shall, on June 30, 1996, be transferred and credited to the action team.
(c) Whenever any question arises as to the transfer of any personnel, funds, books, documents, records, papers, files, equipment, or other tangible property used or held in the exercise of the powers and the performance of the duties and functions transferred, the director of financial management shall make a determination as to the proper allocation and certify the same to the state agencies concerned.
(3) All rules and all pending business before the authority pertaining to the powers, functions, and duties transferred shall be continued and acted upon by the action team. All existing contracts and obligations shall remain in full force and shall be performed by the action team.
(4) The transfer of the powers, duties, functions, and personnel of the authority shall not affect the validity of any act performed before June 30, 1996.
(5) If apportionments of budgeted funds are required because of the transfers directed by this section, the director of financial management shall certify the apportionments to the agencies affected, the state auditor, and the state treasurer. Each of these shall make the appropriate transfer and adjustments in funds and appropriation accounts and equipment records in accordance with the certification.
[1996 c 138 § 11.]