About the Coalition
The Environmental Priorities Coalition is a network of over 20 leading environmental groups in Washington state that influence policy at the state level. We know that you support protections for people’s health and this place we call home, and our elected leaders are starting to respond. Working together, we can create a model for the nation and a true legacy for generations to come.
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2016 Environmental Priority
Safeguard Our Environment
Legislative Session ended in late March. To read a recap of the progress that was made with this Safeguard Our Environment Priority, read the end of session press release here
Too many of our cornerstone environmental laws are at risk of being rolled back.
In the face of political division and threats to our essential environmental protections, we’re drawing a line in the sand for clean air, water, and resilient lands by protecting the environmental and public health progress we’ve made together over the years.
The Safeguard Our Environment priority focuses on protecting critical laws and investments that improve public health, create green jobs, and make Washington a great place to live, work, and play.
An estimated 600,000 people in Washington have asthma, which is among the highest in the nation. Native and low-income communities are the most at risk. Air pollutants produce dangerous substances that harm neighborhoods and waterways. State leaders must protect existing authority and funding resources to continue to deal with the many threats posed by air pollution.
Clean energy development protects our environment and economy. This has resulted in thousands of good, local jobs and saved billions on power bills over the past two decades. Washington’s clean energy heritage and our leadership in clean tech innovation attract business and a talented workforce. Our state’s voter-approved clean energy law, Initiative 937, is responsible for increasing clean energy generation and stimulating ambitious energy efficiency achievements that reduce the monthly utility bills of households and businesses across the state. The law’s renewable energy standards support nearly 150 businesses and more than 4,500 local, family-wage jobs throughout Washington, while current efficiency investments are creating more than 4,660 direct and indirect jobs a year.
Clean & Abundant Water
Water is a precious and finite resource that communities depend on for drinking, fishing, recreation, and many other important services. Unfortunately, our waters are contaminated everyday with a wide range of harmful pollutants, and drought and climate change threaten water supplies for fish and people. Ensuring funding and policies that clean up toxic sites, prevent pollution at its source, and protect instream flows are essential in the face of a state funding crisis and other threats. We also have opportunities this session to adopt efficiency measures that reduce water and energy use so we can waste less of these precious resources.
Washington’s beautiful natural environment and accessible public lands are a significant part of our state’s heritage and economy. In 2015, we faced record wildfires, made worse by extreme weather and decades of fire suppression. To reduce risks from wildfires, we need to increase forest resilience and community preparedness in a way that reflects the best-available science. In addition to fire danger, a vocal minority is working to undermine our public lands for their own benefit. We have a responsibility to ensure these public lands are there for future generations – and not allow small groups of special interests to monopolize or misuse them.
During the state legislative session, WEC helps develop the Environmental Community Hot List for the State House and Senate—the 10 most important environmental bills being debated that week.
Environmental Priorities Coalition News
Challenges remain as Legislature leaves key issues and funding declines unaddressedView more »
A tax on oil and chemicals pays to clean up toxic messes. With prices down, the state is looking for cash.View more »
Puget Sound could be dealt an ecological death blow by an oil spill in its poorly flushed waters.View more »