The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Alex Visser
WNPA Olympia News Bureau 

Hirst Decision weighs on legislature


January 17, 2018

With the 2018 Washington state legislative session kicking off, a 2016 state Supreme Court decision on water continues to make waves in the House and Senate.

The so-called Hirst decision in October 2016 set a precedent that compels local governments and landowners to take into account the availability of water before issuing permits to developers.

The decision came after the court determined that Whatcom County had been issuing permit exemptions that violated instream flow rules designed to protect stream water levels.

According to the Department of Ecology, instream flow rules hold that water withdrawn from underground aquifers could impact the water levels in streams and rivers withi...

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