Navigation Top
AGO Logo Graphic
AGO Header Image
File a Complaint
Contact the AGO
AGLO 1974 No. 18 - February 04, 1974
AGO Opinion Header Image
Slade Gorton | 1969-1980 | Attorney General of Washington

OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- STATE ‑- THERMAL POWER PLANT SITE EVALUATION COUNCIL ‑- COUNTIES ‑- COMPOSITION OF COUNCIL ‑- COUNTY REPRESENTATIVE

The representative of a county who is to be appointed to the thermal power plant site evaluation council under RCW 80.50.030(4) whenever an application for a proposed thermal power plant site within the county is filed with the council is required to be a member of the legislative authority of the county.

                                                                   - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                                                                 February 4, 1974

Thermal Power Plant Site Evaluation Council
820 East Fifth Avenue
Olympia, Washington 98504                                                                                                               Cite as:  AGLO 1974 No. 18

Attention:  Mr. Joseph F. Lightfoot
            Executive Secretary

Gentlemen:

            By recent letter you have requested our opinion on a question which we paraphrase as follows:

            Is the representative of a county who is to be appointed to the thermal power plant site evaluation council under RCW 80.50.030(4) whenever an application for a proposed thermal power plant site within the county is filed with the council required to be a member of the legislative authority of the county?

            We answer this question in the affirmative.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            By its enactment of chapter 45, Laws of 1970, Ex. Sess., the legislature established a "thermal power plant site evaluation council" for the purpose of reviewing and evaluating all proposals for the construction of thermal power plants in this state.  The composition of this council, as prescribed by § 3 of the act, now codified as RCW 80.50.030, is as follows:

            ". . .

            "(2) The chairman of the council shall be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate and shall serve at the pleasure of the governor.  The salary of the chairman shall be determined pursuant to the provisions of RCW 43.03.028 as now or hereafter amended.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            "(3) The council shall consist of the directors, administrators, or their designees, of the following departments, agencies and commissions or their statutory successors:

            (a) Water pollution control commission (b) Department of water resources (c) Department of fisheries (d) Department of game (e) State air pollution control board (f) Department of parks and recreation (g) Department of health (h) Interagency committee for outdoor recreation (i) Department of commerce and economic development (j) Utilities and transportation commission (k) Office of program planning and fiscal management (l) Department of natural resources (m) Planning and community affairs agency (n) Department of civil defense (o) Department of agriculture.

            "(4) The county legislative authority of every county wherein an application for a proposed thermal power plant site is filed shall appoint a member to the council.  The member so appointed shall sit with the council only at such times as the council considers the proposed site for the county which he represents and such member shall serve until there has been a final acceptance or rejection of such proposed site."

            Your question involves subsection (4) of this statute.  In determining its meaning we think it highly significant to note that its first sentence speaks of the appointment of a "member to the council" rather than a "member of the council."  Thus, the individual appointed is already to be a member of some other body prior to his appointment to the council ‑ and in the context of the statute that other body can only be the "county legislative authority" itself.

            Likewise, the second sentence of this subsection, in stating that

            ". . .  The member so appointed shall sit with the council only at such times as the council considers the proposed site for the county which he represents . . ."

             [[Orig. Op. Page 3]]

            seems to be saying that the individual appointed thereunder, rather than becoming a member of the council itself, is simply to sit with it whenever, but only whenever, it is engaged in a consideration of the proposed site in his county.  Thus again, the word "member" is used to describe the person appointed rather than his status upon being appointed.

            Accordingly, in answer to your question as above paraphrased, it is our considered opinion that the representative of a county who is to be appointed to the thermal power plant site evaluation council under RCW 80.50.030(4) whenever an application for a proposed thermal power plant site within the county is filed with the council is required to be a member of the legislative authority of the county.

            We trust the foregoing will be of assistance to you.

Very truly yours,

SLADE GORTON
Attorney General

DARREL L. PEEPLES
Assistant Attorney General

Content Bottom Graphic
AGO Logo