Rep. Norma Smith applauds establishment of the Advisory Council on Inter-Jurisdictional Regulatory Collaboration

Joining Gov. Jay Inslee, cooperating state agencies and federal partners, Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, attended an agreement signing yesterday to establish the Advisory Council on Inter-Jurisdictional Regulatory Collaboration (ACIRC).

The advisory council was created to reduce overlapping regulatory reviews and permitting processes required by state and federal entities. In 2014, a large mining company announced it would be closing its mine in the city of Republic at the end of this year because it was unable to acquire the proper permits to continue operations. As a result, hundreds of people will be losing their jobs. Soon after the company’s announcement, Smith strongly encouraged the new director of the Governor’s Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance (ORIA) to be proactive in finding solutions to address the lack of coordination between state and federal agencies.

Soon after, ORIA Director Jesus Sanchez hosted a forum with Gov. Inslee, legislators, businesses and organizations to discuss how to streamline the application and permit review process. Smith was in attendance, and continued to urge ORIA and the agencies present at the forum to reform a costly, time-consuming, and frustrating regulatory review process that was impacting the economic viability of entire communities. She said the focus needed to be on the people losing their jobs due to a lack of inter-jurisdictional agency coordination. The creation of ACIRC is what stemmed from that meeting.

“I am pleased with the creation of ACIRC, which provides the framework to drive inter-jurisdictional collaboration and coordination on key projects,” said Smith. “Regulatory reform has been a key focus of mine since I began serving in the Legislature. It is important we continue to enact effective reforms to address the needs of our citizens when government agencies aren’t working together for them. I look forward to developing solutions with the governor and members of ACIRC to not only increase coordination among agencies, but to also reduce regulatory burdens that can cost Washingtonians their livelihood.”

ACIRC is comprised of the following state and federal agencies:

  • Washington Governor’s Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance;
  • Washington Department of Archaeological and Historical Preservation;
  • Washington Department of Ecology;
  • Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife;
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers;
  • U.S. Bureau of Land Management;
  • U.S. Fish Wildlife Service;
  • U.S. Forest Service; and
  • U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Smith says while the establishment of ACIRC is a good start, there is more to do in Washington state to increase communication among state agencies.

“This agreement helps solve the communication problem between state and federal agencies with regard to their duplicative red tape and overlapping burdens on Washington businesses. However, it is important to note the state auditor’s performance audit on regulatory reform, published in July, revealed a serious lack of state agency regulatory coordination. While it is admirable we are improving the way this Washington communicates with the other Washington, there is much more to be done to increase communication between our own state agencies.”


Washington State House Republican Communications