Photo by Michael Brunk

Priority to protect laws and investments in clean energy, clean air and water, and healthy lands

OLYMPIA – Today, as the Washington state legislative session begins, the Environmental Priorities Coalition launched its 2016 Priority, Safeguard Our Environment, a campaign focusing on holding the line on the past decade of progress on protecting public and environmental health.

The Priorities Coalition customarily selects up to four Priorities, this year it has opted to focus on one campaign to safeguard essential environmental laws and investments in four areas: clean energy, clean air, clean and abundant water, and healthy lands.

“The four planks of this campaign – clean energy, clean air, clean and abundant water, and healthy lands – are values shared by every Washingtonian,” said Washington Environmental Council president Becky Kelley. “We’ve made significant progress in the past decade in building a sustainable economy and protecting Washington’s environment – we need to keep that progress intact and pave the way for more progress to be made now and in the future.”

The 2016 legislative session is scheduled to last 8 weeks and, unlike 2015’s marathon year, is expected to stay relatively close to that timeline.

“Political division and the compressed timeline of the 2016 session mean it’s more important than ever to make sure we have good tools to protect the environment and communities,” said Clifford Traisman, Environmental Priorities Coalition lead lobbyist. “Too much is at stake and our elected leaders must keep their eye on the ball.”

Issues expected to be key components of Safeguard Our Environment include maintaining the successful, voter-approved I-937, the Clean Energy Initiative; funding pollution-prevention and toxic-site cleanup efforts; and preserving authority and resources for core programs that reduce health-damaging air pollution.


Contact: Kerry McHugh, 206.902.7555,


The Environmental Priorities Coalition is a network of more than 20 leading environmental groups in Washington state. Formed in 2003, the Environmental Priorities Coalition selects priority issues as a community each legislative session. To learn more visit,


American Rivers | Audubon Washington | Climate Solutions | Conservation Northwest | Defenders of Wildlife | Earth Ministry | Environment Washington | Fuse | Heart of America Northwest | The Lands Council | League of Women Voters of Washington | NW Energy Coalition | Sierra Club Cascade Chapter | Sound Action | Surfrider Foundation | Washington Conservation Voters | Washington Environmental Council | Washington Toxics Coalition | Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition | Zero Waste Washington