70.116.050  <<  70.116.060 >>   70.116.070

Approval of coordinated water system planLimitations following approvalDispute resolution mechanismUpdate or revision of plan.

(1) A coordinated water system plan shall be submitted to the secretary for design approval within two years of the establishment of the boundaries of a critical water supply service area.
(2) The secretary shall review the coordinated water system plan and, to the extent the plan is consistent with the requirements of this chapter and regulations adopted hereunder, shall approve the plan, provided that the secretary shall not approve those portions of a coordinated water system plan that fail to meet the requirements for future service area boundaries until any boundary dispute is resolved as set forth in RCW 70.116.070.
(3) Following the approval of a coordinated water system plan by the secretary:
(a) All purveyors constructing or proposing to construct public water system facilities within the area covered by the plan shall comply with the plan.
(b) No other purveyor shall establish a public water system within the area covered by the plan, unless the local legislative authority determines that existing purveyors are unable to provide the service in a timely and reasonable manner, pursuant to guidelines developed by the secretary. An existing purveyor is unable to provide the service in a timely manner if the water cannot be provided to an applicant for water within one hundred twenty days unless specified otherwise by the local legislative authority. If such a determination is made, the local legislative authority shall require the new public water system to be constructed in accordance with the construction standards and specifications embodied in the coordinated water system plan approved for the area. The service area boundaries in the coordinated plan for the affected utilities shall be revised to reflect the decision of the local legislative authority.
(4) The secretary may deny proposals to establish or to expand any public water system within a critical water supply service area for which there is not an approved coordinated water system plan at any time after two years of the establishment of the critical water supply service area: PROVIDED, That service connections shall not be considered expansions.
(5) The affected legislative authorities may develop and utilize a mechanism for addressing disputes that arise in the implementation of the coordinated water system plan after the plan has been approved by the secretary.
(6) After adoption of the initial coordinated water system plan, the local legislative authority or the secretary may determine that the plan should be updated or revised. The legislative authority may initiate an update at any time, but the secretary may initiate an update no more frequently than once every five years. The update may encompass all or a portion of the plan, with the scope of the update to be determined by the secretary and the legislative authority. The process for the update shall be the one prescribed in RCW 70.116.050.
(7) The provisions of subsection (3) of this section shall not apply in any county for which a coordinated water system plan has not been approved under subsection (2) of this section.
(8) If the secretary initiates an update or revision of a coordinated water system plan, the state shall pay for the cost of updating or revising the plan.

NOTES:

Findings1995 c 376: "The legislature finds that:
(1) Protection of the state's water resources, and utilization of such resources for provision of public water supplies, requires more efficient and effective management than is currently provided under state law;
(2) The provision of public water supplies to the people of the state should be undertaken in a manner that is consistent with the planning principles of the growth management act and the comprehensive plans adopted by local governments under the growth management act;
(3) Small water systems have inherent difficulties with proper planning, operation, financing, management and maintenance. The ability of such systems to provide safe and reliable supplies to their customers on a long-term basis needs to be assured through proper management and training of operators;
(4) New water quality standards and operational requirements for public water systems will soon generate higher rates for the customers of those systems, which may be difficult for customers to afford to pay. It is in the best interest of the people of this state that small systems maintain themselves in a financially viable condition;
(5) The drinking water 2000 task force has recommended maintaining a strong and properly funded statewide drinking water program, retaining primary responsibility for administering the federal safe drinking water act in Washington. The task force has further recommended delegation of as many water system regulatory functions as possible to local governments, with provision of adequate resources and elimination of barriers to such delegation. In order to achieve these objectives, the state shall provide adequate funding from both general state funds and funding directly from the regulated water system;
(6) The public health services improvement plan recommends that the principal public health functions in Washington, including regulation of public water systems, should be fully funded by state revenues and undertaken by local jurisdictions with the capacity to perform them; and
(7) State government, local governments, water suppliers, and other interested parties should work for continuing economic growth of the state by maximizing the use of existing water supply management alternatives, including regional water systems, satellite management, and coordinated water system development." [ 1995 c 376 § 1.]
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