Settlement Reached and PCHB Decisions Vacated in Painted Summer Hills Case

Published Jul 16, 2012

In a closely-watched appeal involving a change to allow additional homes to be supplied with water under a community domestic water right permit, the water right holder and the Department of Ecology reached a settlement in which they jointly requested vacation of the Pollution Control Hearings Board’s decisions.  The PCHB had ruled on summary judgment that allowing domestic water supply to 19 homes instead of 12 homes was a permissible change in the manner of use of the groundwater permit.  After Ecology appealed the PCHB’s decision to the Court of Appeals, the parties reached a settlement under which Ecology issued a superseding permit and the parties stipulated to vacation of the PCHB’s decisions.  On June 19, 2012, the PCHB issued an order vacating its decisions in accordance with the parties’ settlement agreement.  Tupper Mack Wells represented the water right holder, Painted Summer Hills, LLC.

Several of the issues and arguments in the Painted Summer Hills case will likely arise in the future and continue to be hotly debated.  Tupper Mack Wells attorney Sarah Mack will discuss this case at the “Water Rights Transfers in 2012” seminar co-chaired by Matt Wells and Maia Bellon on September 27, 2012.  For more information on the Painted Summer Hills case, contact Sarah Mack at  For more information on the seminar, contact Matt Wells at

  • To view the agenda for the Water Rights Transfers seminar, click here.