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House Passes Taylor's Water Bill

Now considered by Senate

The state House of Representatives approved legislation Friday that would provide some regulatory protections to operators of water recreation facilities.

House Bill 1875, sponsored by 15th District Rep. David Taylor, would block the state from requiring equipment replacement or alterations at facilities which have a history of compliance and safe operation.

The measure was prompted by a situation in a western Washington county where an aquatic facility had operated under a joint plan between the state Department of Health and the local health jurisdiction. The facility had a clean record of safety and compliance, but when the joint plan ended, there was concern about what the department might do next.

Under current law, once a joint plan is dissolved and the state assumes enforcement responsibilities, the department has the authority to require a facility under its jurisdiction to alter or replace equipment that had been installed when the earlier joint plan was in effect.

Taylor's measure would prohibit the department from requiring water recreation facilities, such as public swimming pools, spas and waterslides, to make equipment changes where there is no evidence of a safety problem or that equipment is out of compliance, subject to a recall, or a change in specifications.

"Like a lot of Washington businesses, some aquatic facilities are struggling, and the last thing they need is the state ordering costly requirements for equipment replacement or alterations where there is no evidence of safety concerns or noncompliance," said Taylor, R-Moxee. "These are commonsense safeguards to protect businesses that are operating safely and responsibly."

Taylor noted that the bill would not alter existing standards for safety, sanitation, water quality and monitoring, inspection, permitting and enforcement at recreational water facilities.

The bill cleared the House unanimously and will now be considered by the Senate.

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