Bill: HB 2957 — 2018
Reducing escape of nonnative finfish from marine finfish aquaculture facilities (Lytton, Peterson, Robinson)
Requires the department of ecology, the department of natural resources, and the department of fish and wildlife to continue the existing effort to update guidance and informational resources to industry and governments for planning and permitting commercial marine net pen aquaculture. Expires December 31, 2019.
Requires the facility operator, for marine finfish aquaculture of Atlantic salmon, to hire, at their own expense, a marine engineering firm approved by the department of fish and wildlife to conduct inspections.
HOUSE FLOOR AMENDMENT
(1) States the intent of the Legislature to phase out nonnative marine finfish aquaculture and to revisit the issue of marine finfish aquaculture once additional research becomes available. (2) Prohibits the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) from entering into a new lease, or renewing or extending an existing lease, where the use includes nonnative marine finfish aquaculture. (3) Authorizes the Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to permit activities associated with the use of marine net pens for nonnative marine finfish aquaculture only if such activities are performed in connection with a lease of state-owned aquatic lands in effect as of the effective date of the act. (4) Authorizes the Department of Ecology (Ecology) to issue National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits associated with nonnative marine finfish aquaculture only if such activities are performed in connection with a lease of state-owned aquatic lands in effect as of the effective date of the act. (5) Requires Ecology, WDFW, DNR, and the Department of Agriculture (WSDA) to continue the existing effort to update guidance for planning and permitting commercial marine net pen aquaculture. Requires the departments to continue to seek advice and technical assistance from the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, and the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, and to invite consultation and participation from the University of Washington school of aquatic and fishery sciences, Western Washington University, Washington State University, Northwest Indian College, and additional authorities, as appropriate, including federally recognized Indian tribes. Requires the guidance to address the following topics, among others: The state of the science concerning marine finfish aquaculture impacts on native fish, shellfish, and wildlife; best management practices for the safe and effective operation of finfish aquaculture in the marine environment; and recommendations for future legislative oversight of marine finfish net pen aquaculture. Requires the Departments to submit a report containing the recommendations to the Legislature by November 1, 2019. (6) Requires WSDA and WDFW to implement various statutes concerning fish and aquaculture consistent with the phase out of nonnative marine finfish aquaculture contained in the act. Provides that separation from employment as a result of the act qualifies a person as a dislocated worker for the purposes of the Training Benefits Program, which provides extended unemployment benefits while a person participates in approved training for another career. (7) Requires any marine finfish aquaculture facility permitted by WDFW to be periodically inspected by a marine engineering firm.
Hearing Date: Thursday, February 22, 2018 -- 1:30 pm
WA State Legislature Link:
http://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2957&Year=2017 (opens a new browser tab)