Thursday, September 24, 2009

Attorney General's Opinion on Exempt Wells

The Attorney General's opinion concerning exempt wells is now online

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Exempt Wells: Attorney General Weighs In

David Lester, writing in the Yakima Herald-Republic reports on the Attorney General's opinion on Ecology's authority to restrict new exempt wells.
YAKIMA, Wash. -- The Washington Department of Ecology has legal authority to forbid new water wells, including the small, individual wells being tapped for new homes in Kittitas County, concludes an opinion from the state Office of the Attorney General.

In a 16-page opinion released Tuesday, the attorney general provided the state agency some legal backing in its efforts to regulate groundwater but also indicated there are limits.

The attorney general said Ecology can't rely on negotiated agreements with counties to reduce the amount of water that can be drawn from such wells. Doing so, the opinion said, would be a modification of state law.