Senator Honeyford proposes Water Bill Pt 2
Senator Jim Honeyford says Senate Bill 5003 is an attempt to give the Department of Ecology some flexibility in managing our water supply ...
JIM HONEYFORD ... "Well, essentially that gave the Department of Ecology the tools, allowed them to use overriding consideration of public interest again. That was taken away in one of their decisions. It would allow the department to consider the economic benefits for both in stream and out of stream for consideration. And allowed the applicant and the department to arrive at, what would be mitigation, to be used. I thought it was a reasonable solution."
Honeyford says changing the 2015 Foster ruling and last year's Hirst decision could take the entire session ...
JIM HONEYFORD ... "Oh I believe so, yeah. We'll keep working at trying to come up with a solution. It's not fair to people that own property that anticipate building a house. I talked with one landowner that they had put down an exempt well to water their stock and planning on building their house soon. And this decision came down and now they can't get a building permit."
Honeyford's bill was met last week by warnings from a tribal attorney and a DOE official who says reclaiming control lost in the Supreme Court rulings could lead to a court fight.
Honeyford says if we're afraid of lawsuits, we should go home and let the judges make the rules.