On a motion by the Department of Ecology for clarification, PCHB later explained its curious interpretation of the statute to mean that the Department of Ecology did not have the discretion to deny a permit for an exemption granted by statute.
PCHB addressed the issue of transferability of domestic water rights in the 1995 case of Knight v.
Ecology,(157) PCHB again addressed the domestic use exemption in a case involving issues strikingly similar to Green.
The holding by PCHB that exempt rights cannot be transferred helps define the nature of the water right obtained through an exempt withdrawal.
In Green, PCHB essentially assigned the Department of Ecology a perfunctory duty to issue domestic permits memorializing any domestic use.
169) On one hand, PCHB properly held that the Department of Ecology must deny permits, even for multiple domestic purposes, whenever withdrawals from groundwater threaten to impair hydraulically connected waters.