SB 5805 is a law currently under consideration in the Washington State Legislature that would fast-track the permitting process for certain kinds of projects, such as coal ports. If it passes, it would expand the exceptions to the normal environmental review process. Currently, the law allows for an expedited environmental review in only very limited circumstances, namely manufacturing and research projects that have a net environmental benefit, such as a solar panel manufacturer, or the restoration of a salmon stream.
SB 5805 makes it so other types of projects, such as coal ports, can avoid an adequate environmental review. It goes further -- if designated, agencies would be required to fast-track:
Projects would no longer have to demonstrate a net environmental benefit to be considered, and all projects that apply for fast-tracking and have a "significant economic benefit" to the state would be designated under the law. Gravel mines, coal exports, even fracking operations would be allowed to go through an inadequate, fast-tracked review process.
The environmental review process is one of the best tools we have to protect our communities from environmental and public health disasters. It allows us to do thorough studies to identify potential harms, develop and require mitigations, and determine if there is a basis for rejecting projects that can't meet our state environmental standards. It gives us the opportunity to prevent mistakes before we make them. SB 5805 would allow some of the most destructive projects to bypass this review.
TELL YOUR STATE SENATOR: DON'T FAST-TRACK COAL EXPORTS!