Substitute House Bill 1423 - Session Law Chapter 132 Year 2021 as Recommended by Environment & Energy


Section 1

This section modifies existing section 70.15.3160. Here is the modified chapter for context.

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    1. Except as provided in RCW 43.05.060 through 43.05.080 and 43.05.150, and in addition to or as an alternate to any other penalty provided by law, any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter, chapter 70A.25 or 70A.450 RCW, RCW 70A.45.080 or 76.04.205, or any of the rules in force under such chapters or section may incur a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed ten thousand dollars per day for each violation. Each such violation shall be a separate and distinct offense, and in case of a continuing violation, each day's continuance shall be a separate and distinct violation. Enforcement actions related to violations of RCW 76.04.205 must be consistent with the provisions of RCW 76.04.205.

    2. Any person who fails to take action as specified by an order issued pursuant to this chapter shall be liable for a civil penalty of not more than ten thousand dollars for each day of continued noncompliance.

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    1. Penalties incurred but not paid shall accrue interest, beginning on the ninety-first day following the date that the penalty becomes due and payable, at the highest rate allowed by RCW 19.52.020 on the date that the penalty becomes due and payable. If violations or penalties are appealed, interest shall not begin to accrue until the thirty-first day following final resolution of the appeal.

    2. The maximum penalty amounts established in this section may be increased annually to account for inflation as determined by the state office of the economic and revenue forecast council.

  3. Each act of commission or omission which procures, aids or abets in the violation shall be considered a violation under the provisions of this section and subject to the same penalty. The penalties provided in this section shall be imposed pursuant to RCW 43.21B.300.

  4. All penalties recovered under this section by the department or the department of natural resources shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the air pollution control account established in RCW 70A.15.1010 or, if recovered by the authority, shall be paid into the treasury of the authority and credited to its funds. If a prior penalty for the same violation has been paid to a local authority, the penalty imposed by the department under subsection (1) of this section shall be reduced by the amount of the payment.

  5. To secure the penalty incurred under this section, the state or the authority shall have a lien on any vessel used or operated in violation of this chapter which shall be enforced as provided in RCW 60.36.050.

  6. Public or private entities that are recipients or potential recipients of department grants, whether for air quality related activities or not, may have such grants rescinded or withheld by the department for failure to comply with provisions of this chapter.

  7. In addition to other penalties provided by this chapter, persons knowingly under-reporting emissions or other information used to set fees, or persons required to pay emission or permit fees who are more than ninety days late with such payments may be subject to a penalty equal to three times the amount of the original fee owed.

  8. The department shall develop rules for excusing excess emissions from enforcement action if such excess emissions are unavoidable. The rules shall specify the criteria and procedures for the department and local air authorities to determine whether a period of excess emissions is excusable in accordance with the state implementation plan.

Section 2

This section modifies existing section 76.04.205. Here is the modified chapter for context.

  1. Except in certain areas designated by the department or as permitted under rules adopted by the department, a person shall have a valid written burning permit obtained from the department to burn:

    1. Any flammable material on any lands under the protection of the department; or

    2. Refuse or waste forest material on forestlands protected by the department.

  2. To be valid a permit must be signed by both the department and the permittee. Conditions may be imposed in the permit for the protection of life, property, or air quality and the department may suspend or revoke the permits when conditions warrant. A permit shall be effective only under the conditions and for the period stated therein. Signing of the permit shall indicate the permittee's agreement to and acceptance of the conditions of the permit.

  3. The department may inspect or cause to be inspected the area involved and may issue a burning permit if:

    1. All requirements relating to firefighting equipment, the work to be done, and precautions to be taken before commencing the burning have been met;

    2. No unreasonable danger will result; and

    3. Burning will be done in compliance with air quality standards established by chapter 70A.15 RCW.

  4. The department, authorized employees thereof, or any warden or ranger may refuse, revoke, or postpone the use of permits to burn when necessary for the safety of adjacent property or when necessary in their judgment to prevent air pollution as provided in chapter 70A.15 RCW.

  5. Any person who violates this section, any permit issued under this section, any rules that implement this section, or the silvicultural burning provisions set forth in chapter 70A.15 RCW, may incur a civil penalty pursuant to RCW 70A.15.3160. The department shall adopt a rule that establishes: (a) A framework for resolving conflicts that may arise related to this section, including the issuance of civil penalties pursuant to RCW 70A.15.3160 for violations of this section; and (b) the method by which penalties issued pursuant to RCW 70A.15.3160 for violations of this section will be calculated. The department shall conduct a public process to solicit input on the development of the rule.

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