Understanding the Whatcom County v. Hirst Decision: What the Ruling Means for Residential Wells in Washington (#873)

Presented on Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Discover how a recent court ruling in the State of Washington may impact water wells in the region, as well as the professionals who work with them, during this hour-long online presentation.

The Washington State Supreme Court issued a 6-3 ruling on October 7, 2016 that significantly affects Whatcom County’s exemption of private wells for new homes in rural areas.

The court ruled that counties cannot approve new development using permit-exempt wells if there would be impairment to instream flows or impact to closed water bodies.

Over time, the decision is expected to have an impact on groundwater professionals doing business in the state.

Peter G Scott, J.D.
Peter G. Scott, Law Offices, PLLC, Bozeman, MT
Peter G. Scott, J.D., founded Scott Law in 2015. His civil practice focuses on real property, water rights, land use, and environmental law. Scott is a member of the bar and admitted to practice before state and federal courts in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. He is a registered lobbyist and has served as litigation and regulatory counsel for development entities, local governments, utilities, manufacturers, and natural resource companies across the Pacific Northwest. Prior to law school, Scott served in the U.S. Navy as a nuclear power plant operator and diver. After receiving a B.S. in geology from UMass, he fought fires and worked as a hydrogeologist with a Bozeman engineering firm while attending graduate school at Montana State University. Scott attended law school in Oregon and clerked for the chief justice of the Oregon Supreme Court before entering private practice with the Seattle law firm of Preston Gates & Ellis. From 2007 until 2015, Scott was a partner with Gough, Shanahan, Johnson & Waterman.

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