Orcutt introduces legislation to streamline natural resources management

'Ultimately, I want to find cost savings for the state and streamline the permit process for the private sector,' says Orcutt


Having spent nearly 20 years in natural resources management in Washington state, Rep. Ed Orcutt has a uniqueincommittee perspective on the permitting process and the many layers of bureaucracy affecting the private sector when it comes to natural resources.

Today, the Kalama Republican introduced legislation to streamline Washington's natural resource management by eliminating the duplication and, sometimes, triplication of effort involved when a permit is submitted for approval.

“Ultimately, I want to find cost savings for the state and streamline the permit process for the private sector,” said Orcutt.  “I strongly believe that we can accomplish this while still maintaining the safeguards and integrity of our state's environmental protections.”

Orcutt's proposal, House Bill 3090, would limit the number of people involved in the administration of environmental regulations by limiting permitting to a single agency.

For example, instead of having the Department of Ecology (DOE), the Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reviewing forest practices applications, the new law would require only that DNR personnel review the application.

“In many cases, you end up having multiple people from multiple agencies looking over the same permit required under a single existing law,” said Orcutt.  “That does little more than add to the cost and time of approving the permit and can lead to unnecessary and unauthorized conditions being added.  If we can help streamline the process, the state can realize some savings in the budget and small forestland owners and employers can more quickly get their permits to get people to work; and that's the ultimate goal.”

Orcutt said his bill was carefully crafted to maintain each agency's participation in the rule-making process of other agencies.  His proposal would just limit the day-to-day administration after a rule is passed.

The 60-day 2010 legislative session ends on March 11.


For more information, contact: Brendon Wold, Senior Information Officer: (360) 786-7698


Washington State House Republican Communications