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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 07, 2008
McKenna announces appeal of water rights decision

OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced the state will appeal a recent King County Superior Court ruling that suggests three sections of the Municipal Water law are invalid.

“We respectfully disagree with the Superior Court’s decision to strike down three of the eight challenged sections of the Municipal Water Law,” McKenna said. “We believe that the law as crafted by the Legislature is a constitutionally-sound way to protect our growing water needs while protecting the environment. I’m confident that our view will ultimately prevail in court.”

The Municipal Water Law was enacted in 2003 to protect water service for Washington state citizens. It requires water systems to plan for the future and use water efficiently. The law has been challenged by some Washington tribes and environmental groups.

On June 11, 2008, King County Superior Court Judge Jim Rogers ruled that three sections of the Municipal Water Law were invalid, suggesting they violate the constitutional separation of powers between the legislative and judicial branches of government.  Judge Rogers said the Legislature had overstepped its authority by in effect setting aside an earlier state Supreme Court ruling on water rights.

Notice of appeal has been filed via mail to the state Supreme Court. The Court may choose to hear the case or send it to the Court of Appeals.


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Contacts:

Janelle Guthrie, AGO Communications Director, (360) 586-0725

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