On January 9, 2017, the Washington State Legislature convened for a four-month session of lawmaking and budgeting. It’s a big year with many priorities in front of our state officials, ranging from public education to addressing toxic cleanup sites like the Bellingham waterfront.
Track bills on the Washington State Legislature website: leg.wa.gov
In collaboration with the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy and our state's solar industry, the Clean Energy program is closely tracking legislative activity that would impact Whatcom County and northwest Washington. Issues we are following include:
In 2016, the legislature failed to renew the state’s solar program, and now clean energy is in danger. It’s time to update Washington’s solar policy, to protect the positive benefits of this program and to continue our state’s progress deploying clean and renewable energy.
Bill tracker: HB 1048HB 1663: Model Toxics Control Act keeps Washington on track in reducing harmful pollution (Clean Water Blog)
More information: solarstrongwa.org
In collaboration with Washington Environmental Council's Environmental Priorities Coalition, the Clean Water program is closely tracking legislative activity that would impact Whatcom County and the Salish Sea. For more information download a flyer of the 2017 legislative priorities and check out the Washington Environmental Coalition's public bill tracker. Issues we are following include:
Washington must restore and stabilize funding for the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA), the voter-approved law dedicated to cleaning up toxic waste sites, preventing harmful chemicals in manufacturing and products, controlling pollution to protect water quality, and supporting communities heavily impacted by toxic pollution threats.
The Washington State Supreme Court recently ruled that counties must make sure there is enough available water before issuing permits for new developments in rural areas. After the ruling, requests were made for a “legislative fix” to allow business as usual, neglecting the problem. Any proposed fix needs to protect in-stream flows and existing water rights.
Bill tracker: HB 1918
Oil transportation threatens the safety of our communities and the health of our environment. Washington state must prioritize legislation to protect our waterways, improve pipeline safety measures, and ensure funding for oil spill response.
Bill tracker: HB 1611
More information: Download the flyerPress release: Washington Legislators Address Growing Safety Threat from Oil Transportation
As residents of Washington state, it is our civic duty to engage in the legislative process and hold our elected officials accountable on environmental issues. If we don’t speak up for the environment, who will? How you can get involved:
HB 1611: Tell your legislators you care about protecting communities from crude oil (Clean Energy Blog)
HB 1611 and SB 5462: Oil transportation bill protects Salish Sea by holding industry accountable for oil spills (Clean Water Blog)
SB 5171: Bad bill threatens Cherry Point, tribal treaty rights (Clean Water Blog)
Clean Water priorities for the 2017 Washington State Legislature (Clean Water Blog)