Legislative Hot List

Week of January 16th 2017

Welcome to the 2017 Legislative Session!

Below you will find the environmental community’s Environmental Priorities Coalition first 2017 “Hot List”, a regular communication detailing positions on up to ten of the highest priority issues for the upcoming week. Separate Hot Lists are prepared for the House and Senate and distributed periodically throughout session. Please feel free to contact me at clifford@ctassociates.org if you have any questions and we hope you find this communication helpful!  We recommend that you print the Hot List, in order to have a usable copy. To view or print PDF version click here.

Respectfully,

Clifford R. Traisman,

State Lobbyist, Washington Conservation Voters & Washington Environmental Council

 

This year, the Environmental Priorities Coalition has three 2017 Priorities:

Water for People, Farms, and Fish

SB 5024 sponsored by Senator John McCoy, House bill sponsored by Representative Derek Stanford

It has been clear in communities across the state that Washington needs 21st century solutions for a balanced, reliable, and sustainable water supply. The state Supreme Court recently held in its Hirst decision that new housing development can only be approved where there is a reliable supply of existing water resources that won’t impact surrounding homes, farms, and rivers. Washington needs solutions that protect fish, farms, and homebuyers.

The bill the coalition hopes to introduce will require planning for growth in a way that protects instream flows and provides long-term reliability for clean, safe water to our homes and farms.

 Oil Transportation Safety

Bills to be introduced week of January 23rd by Representative Jessyn Farrell and Senator Reuven Carlyle

Crude oil remains a major threat to Washington’s communities, environment, and economy. Crude oil travels through our state by pipeline, trains, and tankers increasing risks for communities in every corner of our state. With the approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline through British Columbia and likely increases in export projects after the lifting of the crude oil export ban the urgency has never been greater. Tanker traffic through Puget Sound could increase by 700% from the Kinder Morgan project alone. There is currently a $4 million funding shortfall for existing protections while more oil is set to move by sea, pipeline, and rail. To guard against these risks, state leaders can pass legislation to protect iconic waters like Puget Sound, ensure sustainable funding for oil spill prevention and response, and address risks posed by pipelines.

Protecting All Communities from Toxic Pollution

Department of Ecology request legislation sponsored by Representative Strom Peterson and Senate side sponsor TBD

The voter-approved Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) has been a successful law dedicated to cleaning up thousands of toxic waste sites, preventing the use of harmful chemicals in products and manufacturing, controlling pollution to protect clean air and water, and supporting the participation of local communities in addressing toxic pollution threats.

The law relies on funding from a hazardous substance tax, which is an unpredictable funding source with high variability from year-to-year. This Priority will help solve a $70 million MTCA shortfall in the biennial budget that threatens to stall cleanups and work to reduce harmful pollution in our communities. To ensure funding is more stable and predictable in the future, this Priority applies a temporary surcharge to the existing tax when revenues decline significantly. When funding is restored, the surcharge goes away.

 

If you would like to be included in the inside scoop on the happenings in the capitol, send an email to nick@wcvoters.org.