Washington’s 2022 legislative session starts January 10, 2022 and lasts only 60 days this year. But even with a shorter session, the Environmental Priorities Coalition will continue fighting for people and the environment — making sure we maintain our commitment to address the climate crisis, salmon recovery, and help sustain healthy communities for generations to come.
The work we do now will be as significant as last year’s historic session, when we passed a Clean Fuels Standard, the HEAL Act, Climate Commitment Act, wildfire funding and more. We need you to help advance our collective priorities. Join in by signing up here!
2022 Environmental Priorities:
LORRAINE LOOMIS ACT FOR SALMON RECOVERY
Across the state, salmon are on the brink of extinction. Some Puget Sound salmon species have declined by 90% compared to historical populations. In the Columbia River basin, returns are as little as 2% of historical levels. The Governor is proposing habitat legislation as a tribute to Lorraine Loomis (Swinomish Tribe, and Chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission) longtime champion for the salmon. The Act requires tree buffers tall and wide enough to shade rivers and streams. The Act also requires shifting to a standard of improving ecological conditions rather than habitat loss mitigation.
TRANSPORTATION FOR ALL
We need to fund a transportation system that reduces pollution and can support a range of transportation solutions including improving multimodal transportation choices, such as biking, walking, and public transit. Transportation dollars must be used in ways that deliver the best investments possible to help build a more efficient, affordable, and clean transportation system for all.
GMA SPRAWL LOOPHOLE
The current sprawl loophole undermines the intent of the Growth Management Act (GMA) by allowing counties to subvert the Growth Management Hearing Board (GMHB) appeals process to illegally build sprawling developments that devours farmlands, forests, and critical habitats. The loophole locks in outdated rules, and puts a financial strain on jurisdictions to provide adequate infrastructure, facilities, and services to new developments.
All across Washington, plastic waste litters Washington’s shorelines and waterways, filling landfills to capacity, and harming wildlife. Our recycling system needs to be modernized so packaging can actually be recycled, composted, or reused. The Renew Recycling Act addresses this waste by creating a set of graduated fees on packaging manufacturers based on how readily reusable, compostable, or recyclable their products are. These fees will be used to fund improvements in infrastructure, uniform access for residents across the state, and a clear list of what people can recycle. This bill will have the added benefit of shifting recycling costs away from ratepayers and onto the manufacturers.
Each year, we work to amplify important work for environmental progress led by partners.
The 2022 Partnership Agenda bills are:
BUY CLEAN AND BUY FAIR
Led by: Washington BlueGreen Alliance
Washington has an important role to play through investing in locally sourced materials , manufactured in facilities with high labor standards and minor environmental impact. The policy creates a reporting system with vital information on the environmental and labor impacts of structural materials used in state-funded infrastructure projects. During the 2021 session, the legislature funded the creation of a publicly accessible database to enable reporting and promote transparency. Passing Buy Clean and Buy Fair legislation sends a clear market signal of the growing demand for ethically-made low-carbon goods.
ENERGY FOR ALL
Led by: Front and Centered
Secure access to energy is crucial to keeping Washington residents healthy, safe, learning, working, and thriving, and will facilitate a Just Transition to clean energy. The Governor and Utilities and Transportation Commission moratoriums on shut-offs helped sustain residential energy service in Washington and protected the public. But these protections are temporary and utilities are already seeking to collect on debt. This legislation establishes access to home energy as a basic need and an essential resource that should be accessed in full dignity without uncertainty about affordability and threats of disconnection.
Set the stage for progress! Support these environmental priorities by meeting with or contacting your legislators. To learn more, click here!