WOSSA Advocacy - Current Legislation

House Bill 2267 and What it Means to WOSSA

Washington On-Site Sewage Association MembershipRecently, Jerry Stonebridge, John Thomas, and Bill Creveling had the pleasure of meeting with State Representative, Jan Angel. Representative Angel and other representatives authored House Bill 2267 to allow an amendment to the Comprehensive Growth Plan RCW 36.70A.110. We understand that a bill often changes throughout the process based on information gathered continued debate. Representative Angel welcomed the expertise of WOSSA and anyone else who can lend assistance to the creation of the fairest and best final document.

I think we are all familiar with the Comprehensive plans in our respective counties and have practiced accordingly since the GMA implementation in the early 1990’s. By and large, we have been able to fit well and work with the vision that the plan established. Specifically, the Comprehensive Growth Plan was needed to guide growth where it would best match services, employment centers, transportation routes, etc. It was also needed to account for critical areas and their significance to building and development. WOSSA supports the comprehensive plan.

As with any complex and forward looking plan, there are occasional and unpredictable cases that arise that make sewer connection difficult to impossible to achieve. These rare cases should be expected. Who would expect a long-range, complex plan to work perfectly for the next several decades for every property owner in every physical setting? While these rare cases don’t seem significant to the whole of us, they can certainly present a real difficulty to the property owner and the regulatory departments involved. Of particular interest are the cases where a property in a designated Urban Growth Area or Sewer Service Area is located such that sewer service is difficult or maybe impossible.

Per the Bill:

Examples where traditional sewer systems may not represent the most appropriate option include: Ensuring that sanitary needs are met for isolated pockets of land or areas with terrain that is difficult to serve; allowing properly functioning on-site septic systems to continue operating; and ensuring that sanitary needs are met in areas, urban or otherwise, where providing traditional sewer systems is cost-prohibitive."

This aspect of the Bill struck a chord with members of WOSSA. Many of us have experience with properties that are difficult or impossible to serve with public sewer, but possess the site conditions to provide for a fully compliant on-site wastewater system. We know that modern on-site wastewater design criteria are based in environmental science and public health. Therefore, this aspect of the bill makes good sense and would be a welcome addition to the RCW.

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