Agency Actions Subject to RCW 34.05.272

Ecology’s Water Quality Program (WQ) and Shorelands and Environmental Assistance Program (SEA) are required to identify the information sources relied upon in support of certain agency actions defined by RCW 34.05.272. This requirement was adopted by the Washington State Legislature in July 2013 (HB 1113) and modified in June 2014 (HB 2262). 

The law identifies significant legislative rules and certain types of technical guidance, technical assessments, and technical documents as the agency actions subject to its requirements. Examples of agency actions subject to RCW 34.05.272 include:

  • Water Quality General Permits: Every water quality general permit is issued with a companion Fact Sheet that identifies the sources of information and public process relied upon for issuing the general permit. The fact sheet can be found on the web page for each individual general permit. 
  • Shoreline Master Program Handbook: The online Shoreline Master Program (SMP) Handbook is updated in segments. Each updated segment includes an updated list of the information sources relied on for that segment. A list of information sources is also added to each new segment and the list is updated when the text is revised.

The law does not apply to individual permitting, compliance and enforcement decisions, or guidance provided by Ecology to local governments on a case-by-case basis. The law is not retroactive. An index of published documents subject to RCW 34.05.272 is available. For actions taken after June 12, 2014, the categories of information are identified as required. (see below)

Index of Agency Publications Subject to RCW 34.05.272

The publications on the following page have been determined to fall under the requirements of RCW 34.05.272

Information sources used in preparing these publications can be found in the bibliography, list of references or list of information sources at the back of each document. Information sources for rules can be found in the appendix of the Concise Explanatory Statement. (A complete file for all rules is available upon request from Ecology’s Rules Coordinator.) 

Documents prepared after June 12, 2014 also identify information sources by the following 11 categories: 
  1. Peer review is overseen by an independent third party. 
  2. Review is by staff internal to Department of Ecology. 
  3. Review is by persons that are external to and selected by the Department of Ecology. 
  4. Documented open public review process that is not limited to invited organizations or individuals. 
  5. Federal and state statutes. 
  6. Court and hearings board decisions. 
  7. Federal and state administrative rules and regulations. 
  8. Policy and regulatory documents adopted by local governments. 
  9. Data from primary research, monitoring activities, or other sources, but that has not been incorporated as part of documents reviewed under other processes. 
  10. Records of best professional judgment of Department of Ecology employees or other individuals. 
  11. Sources of information that do not fit into one of the other categories listed.