2016 Legislative Priorities
Environment Washington is a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization. Whether it’s enjoying Puget Sound, exploring Mount Rainier, or enjoying a special place closer to home, Washington’s natural wonders enrich our lives in countless ways. Yet the places we love and the values we share are too often threatened. We research the issues and educate the public about what’s at stake. Environment Washington draws on 30 years of success in tackling our state’s top environmental problems.
More Clean Energy: Go Solar, Washington
Solar power is on the rise, and for good reason. Harnessing the virtually unlimited pollution-free power of the sun increases our energy independence and keeps energy dollars in our economy, while putting people to work in our communities. While solar is a growing success story nationally, Washington State is lagging many other states in solar development.
- Environment Washington supports HB 2346, which would extend the state’s successful Renewable Energy Cost Recovery Incentive Payment Program. This program has effectively encouraged thousands of Washington residents and businesses to invest in and install solar in their neighborhoods. Extending this program with an ambitious incentive program is important for Washington’s energy future and security.
Clean Water for Washington
Clean water is vital to our health and our environment, and here in Washington State, it’s integral to our quality of life. From the Columbia River to Lake Chelan to the Puget Sound, our waterways provide some of our most treasured natural resources, and drinking water sources. And public support for clean water is overwhelming. Our Clean Water program has worked to address a variety of threats to the health of our waterways, from sewage overflows to industrial sources. But today, research shows a new threat looming over Washington’s waters: factory farms. Quite simply, industrial-scale dairy operations generate an enormous volume of waste without adequate controls to keep it out of our water.
- Environment Washington opposes SB6568, which would take away the rights of communities to enforce permit violations for the vast majority of industrial dairies in the state; prevent the public from accessing information about how these factory farms are affecting water quality; weaken transparency; and shut the public out of a process that is already plaguing public health and the environment.
Protecting Public Health from Toxic Exposure
In today’s world, toxic chemicals are everywhere—in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and the products we use. These chemicals pose an ever-increasing risk to human health and the environment—scientific evidence continues to link chemical exposure to increasing numbers of health problems, including asthma, certain types of cancer, infertility, learning disabilities, neurological diseases, obesity, and more.
- Environment Washington supports HB 2545/SB 6440, the Toxic-Free Kids and Families Act. Our children deserve a safe and healthy world. The Toxic-Free Kids and Families Act phases out toxic flame retardants in children’s products and home furniture, securing a healthier future for our kids, firefighters, and families.
No Bees, No Food
Millions of bees are dying off, with alarming consequences for our environment and our food supply. We rely on bees to pollinate everything from almonds to strawberries to the hay used to fee dairy cows. What happens if the bees disappear? It’s simple: No bees, no food. Scientists point to several causes behind the problem, including global warming, habitat loss, parasites and a class of bee-killing insecticides known as neonicotinoids (or neonics).
- Environment Washington is calling on the EPA to declare a nationwide moratorium on the use of bee-killing neonics.