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Published on Friday, March 21, 2014

Cultural and historic resources bill crosses the finish line

SB 2724 passed in the final days of the session. It creates a new public records exemption relating to archaeological and cultural resources information that cities receive from tribes or state agencies.  This bill will help address a problem relating to city participation in the State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation’s data sharing agreements.  Some city attorneys were concerned that while the data sharing agreement precluded releasing certain information about predicted locations of archaeological artifacts, cities could be compelled to do so because there was no specific exemption in the public records act.  This catch-22 caused some cities to not take advantage of this resource offered by the state, which ultimately works to help ensure development remain on track and not delayed because of unanticipated discovery of cultural resources.  

We appreciate the hard work of the sponsor Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self (D-Mukilteo), the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation and the Yakama Nation and Puyallup Tribe of Indians for working with us to improve this system.