About the Coalition
The Environmental Priorities Coalition is made up of more than 20 statewide organizations working to safeguard our environment and the health of our communities in the legislature. For the 2020 legislative session, we have adopted four priorities essential for healthy communities and a thriving environment. Download the 2020 Environmental Priorities Summary.
Take action for a healthier environment for all Washingtonians. Educate and inform your neighbors, lobby our elected officials, and rally for environmental justice. From attending hearings, organizing in your community, attending town halls, to writing letters to the editor, we can help find the right role for you. Join hundreds of activists on January 30th for Environmental Lobby Day to push for key environmental legislation in Olympia!
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2020 Environmental Priorities
Clean Fuels Now
The transportation sector is responsible for nearly half of our climate and air pollution in Washington. We need our transportation to be clean, affordable, and accessible. A Clean Fuel Standard will require fuel producers and importers to reduce pollution from the fuels that power our transportation system. It is a tested and effective policy that would clean our air, give us more options to fuel our vehicles (such as electricity and local renewable biofuels), create economic development, cut climate pollution, and move us beyond oil.
contact | Kelly Hall, Climate Solutions | email@example.com
Reduce Plastic Pollution
Our local waterways, ocean, and recycling systems are overloaded with plastic pollution. Thin plastic bags that are used for just a few minutes and then thrown away pose a particular problem: only 6% ever get recycled. Single-use bags enter into our waterways and the ocean where they clog the stomachs of wildlife. They also clog recycling equipment where they are costly to remove and are the major contaminant in our commercial compost. The Reusable Bag Act would eliminate thin carry-home plastic bags at all retail establishments and help Washington address a growing recycling crisis.
contact | Bruce Wishart, Zero Waste Washington | firstname.lastname@example.org
Climate Pollution Limits
Climate action requires carbon reductions across the board and deep investments in healthier natural landscapes—shorelines, forests, and farms. This means setting credible and ambitious climate pollution limits, providing clear direction to meet these limits, and investing in nature-based solutions like trees and soils to capture excess carbon. This priority will update the state’s greenhouse gas limits to reflect current science and lay groundwork to reach net zero carbon emissions and beyond.
contact | Rebecca Ponzio, Washington Environmental Council | email@example.com
Healthy Habitat Healthy Orcas
With our beloved orcas facing extinction, bold actions to increase salmon populations are needed. After decades of development-related habitat loss we seek passage of a new standard, net ecological gain, to protect and restore habitat and leave our environment better than we found it for future generations. We will work with state and local governments to implement this key Orca Task Force recommendation to accomplish results now and in the future.
contact | Darcy Nonemacher, Washington Environmental Council | firstname.lastname@example.org
This agenda supports work that is important for environmental progress being led by partners outside the coalition. The 2020 Partnership Agenda is:
Expanding Apple Health Coverage Until Age 26
HB 1108 (Rep. Macri) and SB 5154 (Sen. Nguyen)
We know that immigrant, low income, and communities of color are disproportionately impacted by pollution and face a higher health impacts as a result. Ensuring health care access for young people – including 17,000 youth living at or near the poverty line and people unable to access federal coverage due to their documentation status. This bill is a wise investment and is one way to help communities grappling with health issues related to pollution and degradation of our environment.
Safe Train Crew Size Act
HB 1841 (Rep. Riccelli) and SB 5877 (Sen. Kuderer)
Oil train traffic has grown significantly in Washington in recent years, increasing the frequency of highly combustible materials traveling throughout the state at high speeds. At the same time, few measures have been implemented to address the public safety and environmental risks of this traffic. In 2016, an oil train caught fire and derailed in the Columbia River Gorge: 47,000 gallons of escaped oil, 2,960 tons of oil-drenched soil, and contaminated groundwater has led to $9 million in cleanup costs to date, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. Another train carrying liquid petroleum derailed in Grant County in 2019; the resulting fire burned for more than 24 hours. Establishing minimum crew sizes for trains carrying oil and other hazardous materials is a commonsense step – it would help with accident prevention and accident response, spotting and avoiding problems before they occur and acting quickly to mitigate damage when they do.
Voting Justice Reform Package
- SB 6313 – Youth voting: allows 17 year olds that would be 18 by the general election to vote in the primary election
- SB 6228 and HB 2292 – Voting rights restoration: restores the right to vote for those on community custody
- HB 2575 – Redistricting: modernizes the redistricting committee and process to increase transparency, efficiency, and public input
The health of our democracy depends on allowing communities to elect leaders of their choice to represent their needs today and in the future. Issues like climate change and pollution are important to many voters and people in the state, so improving access to voting is essential for finding smart solutions to these pressing problems. These bills take important steps to eliminate barriers to voting and ensure that the needs of communities are represented in our election system.
Bills to Watch
Want to stay up to date on policy in progress? 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
After passing years of backlogged environmental bills in 2019 , room opens to address long standing environmental issues like urgent climate action, orca and salmon recovery, and a growing crisis from plastic pollutionView more »
Washington State takes significant climate action in 2019! Governor Inslee will be signing legislation, including the strongest clean electricity bill in the nation.View more »
From clean energy to orca protection state marks more progress than any time in the last decadeView more »
From climate action to Puget Sound and orca recovery bills – it was a historic session for the environment! Thank your legislators today.