Governor signs Rep. Shea bill that will expand construction of environmentally-friendly fresh water docks


March 17, 2014

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Governor signs Rep. Shea bill that will expand construction of environmentally-friendly fresh water docks

A measure that will incentivize the use of environmentally-friendly materials in the construction of fresh water docks was signed into law today by Gov. Jay Inslee.

House Bill 1090 was introduced by 4th District State Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, at the request of a local dock manufacturer in the Spokane area who was concerned a state permitting law was blocking dock owners from replacing their old, outdated and sometimes hazardous docks.

Under the Shoreline Management Act, fresh water docks that exceed the fair market of $10,000 are required to first obtain a substantial development permit from the state before they can be constructed.

“Getting a permit can be very difficult, time-consuming and expensive. In the meantime, we have old and aging docks that can leach materials into the water and may not be good for the environment,” said Shea. “Many dock owners are willing to spend the extra dollars to build and replace fresh water docks using environmentally-friendly materials. However, they are not willing to go through the lengthy permitting process. So the dock manufacturer suggested we raise the threshold and clear the way for these docks to be replaced without the need of unnecessary and onerous permitting.”

Under the new law, the maximum value of a fresh water dock that qualifies for an exemption from substantial development permitting is increased from $10,000 to $20,000.

“The new environmentally-friendly fresh water docks are made of composite materials designed to last up to 25 years. This is good for dock owners because they won’t have to replace their docks every 10 years. It’s a win-win for them, for the environment, and for the dock manufacturers in Spokane County and across the state,” added Shea.

The bill is among those on Shea’s “Freedom Agenda” list of measures, which he said is the most successful slate of conservative bills in the past 20 years. The Freedom Agenda’s motto is: “Lower taxes, less government, more freedom!”

The new law becomes effective June 11.

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