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Bob Larson Hirst Response from Kretz
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: January 18, 2018

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I’m Bob Larson. Rural landowners in Washington have been shackled by water rights restrictions, thanks to the Supreme Court’s Hirst decision. But, what if large cities had to abide by the same regulations?

Republicans want to roll back the Hirst ruling to allow for the drilling of certain domestic wells. Representative Joel Kretz of Wauconda says Seattle-area Democrats, backed by tribes and environmentalists, have blocked that effort …

JOEL KRETZ … “I think it’s easy for an urban legislator to say, ‘Well, let’s just keep supporting that kind of policy when it doesn’t affect their people.’”

So, to give them a taste of their own medicine, Kretz has introduced legislation that sets new water standards for cities with over 100-thousand people …

JOE KRETZ … “If they want to take water out of the rural parts of the state and make it unavailable, then I think we need to look at the impacts of the urban parts of the state.”

Under the proposal, new single-family homes in the larger urban areas would be limited to 350 gallons of water per day. Multi-family structures could only use 150 gallons a day, but it they want more, it would cost a dollar per gallon.

The ‘One Washington Water Act’ also requires an environmental impact statement before a building permit is issued that would take into account impacts on instream flows, Pacific salmon and tribal treaty rights…

JOEL KRETZ … “It’s similar to the proposals that they want to enact on rural Washington. And so we feel like, One Washington, baby! Let’s spread the love all around the state and all be living under the same kind of regulations.”

The measure now awaits a hearing in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

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