Overview of What We Do
The State Board of Health adopts rules according to the powers and duties granted to us by the Washington State Legislature. We have authority to develop many public health rules ranging from drinking water and onsite sewage systems to newborn screening and immunizations, just to name a few. Our rules impact health care providers and facilities, schools, day care centers, recreation sites, and businesses like restaurants and hotels. The Department of Health and local health jurisdictions implement and enforce our rules. We may delegate some of our rulemaking to the Department of Health.
How do we decide to begin rulemaking?
We may decide to start rulemaking based on changes in federal or state law, when we learn of changes in technology or the environment, or when we receive requests from our partners or the public. The rulemaking process is used to create, change or delete a rule. It must follow specific laws.
What governs our rulemaking?
The Washington State Legislature grants us the authority to adopt rules, and the process for adopting rules is governed by the following state laws:
- The Administrative Procedure Act requires us to engage the public in rule development and outlines the process we must follow.
- The Regulatory Fairness Act requires us to consider the impact of our rules on small businesses.