Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Rep. Buys' "well definition" bill passes 97-0

State Rep. Vincent Buys' first prime-sponsored bill was passed unanimously by the Washington State House of Representatives Feb. 28.

Here's the story from the House Republicans' website:
Rep. Vincent Buys’ definition of a ‘well’ bill passes out of Washington State House of Representatives

Rep. Vincent Buys saw his first prime-sponsored bill, which would clarify the definition of a “well,” pass out of the Washington State House of Representatives on a 97-0 vote today.

House Bill 1467 would modify the definition of a “well” under the Water Well Construction Act (WWCA). Any device inserted into the soil at less than ten feet to test water quality or soil sample would not be considered a well.

“Currently, anyone inserting a soil sampler even a couple inches into the soil could be subject to the well permitting process,” said Buys, R-Lynden. “Common sense tells us many holes or divots are not wells.

“Unfortunately, some in the Department of Ecology think otherwise. This is a concern for the agricultural community. They are afraid simple actions they take on their farms such as checking water tables, measuring moisture or taking groundwater samples could be classified as digging a well and subject to the permit process. This bill would restore a little common sense to our soil sampling and water measuring laws. I dug wells down in Haiti to provide clean water for impoverished communities. I understand what drilling a well is, and digging twelve inches into the soil is not a well.”

The bill is now headed to the Senate for consideration.
Buys' farming background helped him spot the well permitting problem.  Under current rules, someone could argue that post holes dug for fencing would require well permits.  Let's hope the Senate shows as much common sense as did the House; and let's also thank Rep. Buys for championing the bill.

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