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Chapter 43.143 RCW Ocean resources management act

Legislative findings.
(1) Washington's coastal waters, seabed, and shorelines are among the most valuable and fragile of its natural resources.

(2) Ocean and marine-based industries and activities, such as fishing, aquaculture, tourism, and marine transportation have played a major role in the history of the state and will continue to be important in the future.

(3) Washington's coastal waters, seabed, and shorelines are faced with conflicting use demands. Some uses may pose unacceptable environmental or social risks at certain times.

(4) The state of Washington has primary jurisdiction over the management of coastal and ocean natural resources within three miles of its coastline. From three miles seaward to the boundary of the two hundred mile exclusive economic zone, the United States federal government has primary jurisdiction. Since protection, conservation, and development of the natural resources in the exclusive economic zone directly affect Washington's economy and environment, the state has an inherent interest in how these resources are managed.

[1997 c 152 1; 1989 1st ex.s. c 2 8.]


Legislative policy and intent Moratorium on leases for oil and gas exploration, development, or production Appeals from regulation of recreational uses Participation in federal ocean and marine resource decisions.
(1) The purpose of this chapter is to articulate policies and establish guidelines for the exercise of state and local management authority over Washington's coastal waters, seabed, and shorelines.

(2) There shall be no leasing of Washington's tidal or submerged lands extending from mean high tide seaward three miles along the Washington coast from Cape Flattery south to Cape Disappointment, nor in Grays Harbor, Willapa Bay, and the Columbia river downstream from the Longview bridge, for purposes of oil or gas exploration, development, or production.

(3) When conflicts arise among uses and activities, priority shall be given to resource uses and activities that will not adversely impact renewable resources over uses which are likely to have an adverse impact on renewable resources.

(4) It is the policy of the state of Washington to actively encourage the conservation of liquid fossil fuels, and to explore available methods of encouraging such conservation.

(5) It is not currently the intent of the legislature to include recreational uses or currently existing commercial uses involving fishing or other renewable marine or ocean resources within the uses and activities which must meet the planning and review criteria set forth in RCW 43.143.030. It is not the intent of the legislature, however, to permanently exclude these uses from the requirements of RCW 43.143.030. If information becomes available which indicates that such uses should reasonably be covered by the requirements of RCW 43.143.030, the permitting government or agency may require compliance with those requirements, and appeals of that decision shall be handled through the established appeals procedure for that permit or approval.

(6) The state shall participate in federal ocean and marine resource decisions to the fullest extent possible to ensure that the decisions are consistent with the state's policy concerning the use of those resources.

[1997 c 152 2; 1995 c 339 1; 1989 1st ex.s. c 2 9.]


Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter:

(1) "Coastal counties" means Clallam, Jefferson, Grays Harbor, and Pacific counties.

(2) "Coastal waters" means the waters of the Pacific Ocean seaward from Cape Flattery south to Cape Disappointment, from mean high tide seaward two hundred miles.

[1989 1st ex.s. c 2 10.]


Planning and project review criteria.
(1) When the state of Washington and local governments develop plans for the management, conservation, use, or development of natural resources in Washington's coastal waters, the policies in RCW 43.143.010 shall guide the decision-making process.

(2) Uses or activities that require federal, state, or local government permits or other approvals and that will adversely impact renewable resources, marine life, fishing, aquaculture, recreation, navigation, air or water quality, or other existing ocean or coastal uses, may be permitted only if the criteria below are met or exceeded:

(a) There is a demonstrated significant local, state, or national need for the proposed use or activity;

(b) There is no reasonable alternative to meet the public need for the proposed use or activity;

(c) There will be no likely long-term significant adverse impacts to coastal or marine resources or uses;

(d) All reasonable steps are taken to avoid and minimize adverse environmental impacts, with special protection provided for the marine life and resources of the Columbia river, Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor estuaries, and Olympic national park;

(e) All reasonable steps are taken to avoid and minimize adverse social and economic impacts, including impacts on aquaculture, recreation, tourism, navigation, air quality, and recreational, commercial, and tribal fishing;

(f) Compensation is provided to mitigate adverse impacts to coastal resources or uses;

(g) Plans and sufficient performance bonding are provided to ensure that the site will be rehabilitated after the use or activity is completed; and

(h) The use or activity complies with all applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations.

[1989 1st ex.s. c 2 11.]


Captions not law.
Section captions as used in this chapter do not constitute any part of the law.

[1989 1st ex.s. c 2 18.]


Short title.
Sections 8 through 12 of this act shall constitute a new chapter in Title 43 RCW and may be known and cited as the ocean resources management act.

[1989 1st ex.s. c 2 19.]


Severability 1989 1st ex.s. c 2.
If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.

[1989 1st ex.s. c 2 20.]