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Laws & Rules

Rule-Making and Economics

Below is a brief description of the economic analysis reports written for Ecology's proposed rules.  A list of rule related economic reports is available on our Publications Web site.


Small Business Economic Impact Statement (SBEIS)

The Regulatory Fairness Act requires state agencies to write a SBEIS for proposed rules that will impose more than minor costs to businesses. The purpose of the SBEIS is to look at how a rule might impact small businesses. When these impacts are identified the agency must try to find ways to reduce those impacts. Ecology's rule related SBEIS is completed by an economist.

Cost Benefit Analysis

The Administrative Procedures Act requires state agencies to conduct a Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) to determine if the benefits from a proposed rule out weigh the costs to implement the rule. This analysis is completed by an economist.

To complete this analysis the economist must consider existing laws and the law being implemented.  They must also evaluate the benefits and the costs that will result from the adoption of the rule. A preliminary version of this analysis is available when an agency officially proposes draft rule language.

Least Burdensome Alternative

The Administrative Procedures Act also requires state agencies to determine that the version of the rule the agency adopts is the least burdensome alternative.  To complete this analysis an economist will consider the proposed rule, as well as at least one alternative.  The version adopted must be the least burdensome for those who are required to comply with the rule while still achieving the goals and objectives of the law being implemented.

Maximum Net Benefits

A maximum net benefits analysis is only required for rule making related to water resource issues where water is being allocated among potential users and uses. The analysis is conducted by an economist to ensure that water is allocated to the highest valued beneficial uses and must address total costs and benefits to the people of the State of Washington. The costs must include opportunities lost. The alternatives available for this analysis are limited by existing water management laws.


Kasia Patora
Agency Economics Lead
(360) 407-6184