Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 2008 NO. 1 > Jan 3 2008

1.  The Growth Management Act (GMA) does not apply directly to a site-specific decision such as siting a wetlands mitigation bank, although the GMA applies to the development regulations and comprehensive plans.  2.  Certification of a wetlands mitigation bank by the Department of Ecology does not legally obligate a county to issue required permits for the bank.  3.  The Department of Ecology’s certification of a wetlands mitigation bank does not make the Growth Management Act (GMA) or the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) inapplicable.  4.  The substantive provisions of the Growth Management Act (GMA) do not apply to the Department of Ecology’s certification of a wetlands mitigation bank.

AGO 1991 NO. 9 > Mar 12 1991

Chapter 90.70 RCW authorizes the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority to make recommendations regarding the protection of wetlands.  However, chapter 90.70 RCW does not empower the Authority to set minimum standards for wetlands protection or to require local governments to adopt the Authority's recommendations.

AGO 1991 NO. 21 > Jun 11 1991

The legislative authority of the State of Washington is vested in the Legislature.  In absence of a statute or constitutional provision that serves as a source of authority authorizing the Governor to act, the Governor cannot create obligations, responsibilities, conditions or processes having the force and effect of law by the issuance of an executive order.

AGO 1989 NO. 21 > Dec 19 1989

1.The Department of Ecology has limited authority under chapters 90.48, 90.54 and 90.58 RCW, and certain other statutes to adopt wetlands rules as envisioned in the 1989 Puget Sound Water Quality Authority Management Plan; the exact extent of this authority requires a point-by-point analysis of the subjects covered in the Plan and the type of rule envisioned.2.Chapter 90.70 RCW, creating the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority and authorizing the development of a management plan for Puget Sound, granted no additional authority to the Department of Ecology to engage in wetlands regulation; thus, in implementing the plan, the Department is limited to activities the Department had pre‑existing statutory authority to undertake.