“What does the Constitution have to do with it”? asked Stuart Glasoe, Policy Advisory for the Washington State Board of Health.
The comment was made in 2017 at a meeting arranged by State Representative Mark Hargrove involving representatives from the State Department of Health, Citizens Optimizing OSS Management Washington (COOMWA), and legislative staff. The purpose was to discuss future legislation to address government over-reach regarding private ownership of Onsite Sewage Systems (OSS). COOMWA objected to wording in the WAC 246 -272A.0015:
(7) In order to implement the plan described in subsections (1) and (5) of this section, the local health officer may require the owner of the OSS to:
(b) Provide dedicated easements for inspections, maintenance, and potential future expansion of the OSS;
Four years of my life have been given to one little section in a Washington Administrative Code. It does have to do with the Constitution. Property owners do not give a blanket “easement”. Access to our property requires either our permission or a warrant. That was acknowledged by every elected member of the State Legislature in 2019.
As we currently wrestle with the State’s rules in relationship to COVID19, I have to caution those who cry, “That’s Unconstitutional!”. It may be. BUT, as citizens it is our challenge to find where government has stolen our Rights and challenge them. Challenges may lead to new legislation or a judicial process. Both can cost time and money. And there is no guarantee that either process will find in your favor. This is the government process we have allowed.
Here we are, with the same Governor and State Department of Health staff………