Good Alert HB639!

HB639 - Dana Young - If you look at previous alerts, you will remember that this is the bill which took treated domestic wastewater water out of the definition of Waters in the State, a very bad precedent asevery other type of discharger would want to be taken out of the definition. Itwould also have made it unlikely thatthe State and Water Management would involve the generators of this resource in water use planning.  But we do support reuse.

A very large and persistent contingentof lobbyists for the conservation groups (including all the FCC Charter organizations), coupled by the strong support from all of you and your emails helped us get Representative Dana Young's personal attention.  So did the Editorials and news articles. As she listened to the specific concerns, she asked for another set of amendments. These were produced, and carefully vetted with all the conservation groups involved. We are grateful to Representative Young for accepting these and for getting this done.

Section 1 of the bill, which removed domestic wastewater from the definition of Waters of the State, our biggest concern, was deleted from the bill, entirely.

The bill now clearly states that those who are involved in reuse are to be part of all the water management districts planning and water supply plans. This includes the District Water Management Plan which encompasses water supply and environmental issues.

Currently the districts do not require permits for the use of reclaimed water, this codifies that into law.  We don't love that, of course, but we felt that it might enhance the use of reclaimed water as the proponents felt, and that the specific inclusion of this resource in the District plans was a pretty good way to go. The bill passed out of committee today with our amendments.

This could not have been accomplished without your strong efforts and constant willingness to take action and get involved.  We are much stronger when we all take action together and focus on the important issues!

Vicki Tschinkel