Legislative Hot List

Week of March 6th, 2017

 

Below you will find the environmental community’s “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.

Respectfully,

Clifford R. Traisman
State Lobbyist, Washington Conservation Voters & Washington Environmental Council

 

POSSIBLE SENATE FLOOR ACTION

 

SB 5005: Converting an Agricultural Right to a Municipal Right without Ecology Review 

POSITION: OPPOSE

  • Under current law, when a water right is transferred from agricultural use to municipal use, Ecology does a review to ensure that the water right has been in continual use (i.e.-not relinquished). This bill would avoid that review, allowing relinquished rights to be revived.
  • This bill would likely result in a significant impact on instream flows and other existing rights.

 

SB 5232: Allowing incremental electricity produced as a result of efficiency improvements to hydroelectric generation projects whose energy output is marketed by the Bonneville power administration to qualify as an eligible renewable resource under the energy independence act.

POSITION: OPPOSE

  • Washington already relies extensively on hydropower to meet our electricity needs: In 2014, hydropower met 65% of total state load. I-937 builds on our strong hydropower foundation and diversifies our renewable resources rather than continuing to rely so heavily on one resource that is subject to drought and impacts from climate change.
  • Federal hydro efficiency upgrades should only be considered in the context of a comprehensive package such as HB 1334 that also strengthens and expands other aspects of I-937 into the future.

SB 5475: Small modular reactors tax

POSITION: OPPOSE

  • State tax exemptions should be reserved for manufacturing and sales of renewable energy resources which do not harm our environment, and for technologies that are proven safe and secure, rather than for manufacturing of products that risk the environment and public welfare.
  • No expiration date is provided for the tax exemption, nor is a date provided for the review to determine if jobs increased by at least 10%.

POSSIBLE HOUSE FLOOR ACTION

 

HB 1394: Columbia River Water Permits

POSITION: OPPOSE

  • Allows for new projects drawing water from the Columbia River to impact existing water rights, including instream flows.
  •   This bill would likely result in a significant impact on instream flows and other existing water rights.

HB 1476: Onsite Sewage Systems

POSITION: SUPPORT

  • Allows state review of local onsite septic plans.
  • Will help ensure protection of water quality and public health.

HB 1503:  Limiting Authority to Regulate Onsite Septic Systems

POSITION: OPPOSE

  • places restrictions on the ability of state and local governments to require independent inspections of onsite septic systems.
  • will affect the ability of state and local officials to protect water quality in Puget Sound and other bodies of water.

HB 1504: Concerning rail dependent uses for purposes of the growth management act and related and related development regulations

POSITION: OPPOSE

  • This bill would allow for protected agricultural land of long-term commercial significance to be turned into industrial parks adjacent to railroads. Goes directly against the goals of the GMA in protecting farmland and directing certain types of development into cities with related infrastructure.

HOUSE COMMITTEE ACTION

 

HB 1048: Promoting a sustainable, local renewable energy industry through modifying renewable energy system tax incentives and providing guidance for renewable energy system component recycling.

Finance Committee

POSITION: SUPPORT

  • Limits and gradually reduces over time the Production Credit Incentive for distributed generation projects.
  • Raises the amount of electricity that can receive an PCI to 2% of each utility’s power sales in 2014
  • Clarifies who can administer Community Solar projects, as well as size of projects
  • Provides a “made in Washington” bonus incentive to encourage the manufacturing sector.

 

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