A new Washington State rule will force Coffee Stands out of business and cancel your favorite Latte


A recent change to the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) rules that applies to coffee stands around the state will require stands to have ‘permanent plumbing’ installed, including toilets. The impact to many smaller coffee stands will be significant as the installation of permanent plumbing will require thousands of dollars of construction to each stand.

Some coffee stands are too small to contain a toilet and will be forced to close.

Many stands today use small water tanks or bottled water for coffee and cleanup operations and use toilets in adjacent buildings. Many coffee stand owners are understandably concerned if they can even afford to make the changes to comply with the new rules.

King 5 reports that a petition has been created by several of the affected coffee stand owners urging repeal of the new rules. The petition, as of this morning, had garnered 5,000 signatures.

The new WAC rules are yet another example of government passing a mandate on business with no thought for the fiscal impact. The small coffee stands are not built to contain large sinks, toilets and other plumbing and rely on adjacent buildings for those services. Ironically, if the coffee stand was mobile, the rules would not apply.

Coffee stands have been operating safely for decades. There is no underlying public health problem that needs to be addressed. Why is there suddenly a health hazard now?

The change in the rules should at least be suspended until public feedback and a review is completed on if the change in the rules is even required.

The WAC rule change was adopted in March 2022 and businesses have until September to comply.

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