The “Hirst fix”: Important resources for your clients
In January, Governor Jay Inslee signed REALTOR®-endorsed SB 6091, better known as the “Hirst fix.” Anyone buying, selling, or building a home that gets its water supply from a private well should know how the fix affects them.
A 2016 decision by the Washington Supreme Court in the Hirst case said local governments could no longer rely on Department of Ecology permit decisions and regulations to determine whether a new home connecting to a well for its water supply would harm instream flows for fish.
Instead, each local government would have to make its own determination for every new home that needed to connect to a well. Many local governments throughout Washington were unable comply, so they refused to issue permits for, or severely restricted, construction of new homes served by a well.
The Hirst fix essentially reverses this decision and provides relief for most, but not all, areas of the state. We’re here to make sure you have resources you can share with your clients who want to investigate how they may be affected by the new law:
- Downloads and resources from Washington REALTORS®, including details about an upcoming webinar that will provide more in-depth information
- Washington Department of Ecology update on the Hirst Fix, including local government contact information by county
- Washington Department of Ecology Instream Flow Rule Status Map
- Washington Department of Ecology Domestic Permit-exempt Withdrawals: New Regulations (2018 Legislation: ESSB 6091)
- Basin-by-basin breakdown of the applicable exempt well allowances from the Washington Water Policy Alliance
For more information, don’t miss the free Hirst fix update conference call with Washington REALTORS® on Friday, February 16 at 1:30 p.m.
Questions? Contact Washington REALTORS® Director of Public Policy Bill Clarke.