AG McKenna appeals water rights ruling

Chris Rizo Jul. 7, 2008, 7:26pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. (Legal Newsline) - Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna said Monday the state will appeal a recent court ruling that found three sections of the state's Municipal Water law to be invalid.

The Municipal Water Law, enacted in 2003, is aimed at protecting water service for residents. 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. A King County Superior Court judge found some provisions of the law to be 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 Republican AG added.

The Supreme Court may choose to hear the case or send it to the Court of Appeals to be heard.

In June, King County Superior Court Judge Jim Rogers ruled that three sections of the Municipal Water Law were invalid because they violate the constitutional separation of powers between the legislative and judicial branches of government.

Rogers said the Legislature had overstepped its authority by setting aside an earlier state Supreme Court ruling on water rights.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at

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