The Center for Environmental Law and Policy and Waterkeepers Washington (Puget Soundkeeper, North Sound Baykeeper, Spokane Riverkeeper, Twin Harbors Waterkeeper, and Columbia Riverkeeper) invite you to join them for the inaugural Clean & Abundant Waters Lobby Day on Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 in Olympia.
Clean & Abundant Waters Lobby Day
January 15th, February 25th, 2020
11 am – 4:00 pm
United Churches of Olympia
110 11th Ave. SE
Olympia, WA 98501
Then Join Us for Happy Hour!
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Three Magnets Brewing Co.
600 Franklin St. SE, Ste, 105
Olympia, WA 98501
5 minute drive from the Capitol
On this day there will be meetings with legislators to advocate for bills that protect our waterways, salmon, and orca. Receive hands-on advocacy training, meet with your legislators, and connect with like-minded advocates and members from across the state.
Clean and abundant waters are the life force of the Pacific Northwest. From our iconic Southern Resident orcas and salmon, to Coast Salish tribes and communities who call the Pacific Northwest home, clean and abundant waters are the key to ensuring that our ecosystems and quality of life in this region is healthy. But, sadly, we are in grave trouble. Confirmed by the recent release of the 2019 State of the Sound report, we are nowhere close to cleaning up our waters and conditions are dismal. As the degradation of our waterways continue to outpace restoration efforts, and as our rivers and streams continue to struggle to meet minimum flows, MORE THAN EVER, WE MUST TAKE ACTION, TOGETHER, AND FIGHT FOR THE HEALTH OF OUR WATERS!
Please join in supporting these six legislative priorities for 2020.
2020 Clean & Abundant Waters Lobby Day Priorities:
Plastic Bag Ban (SB 5323 / HB 1205)
Prohibits the use of thin single-use plastic carryout bags in Washington and builds on local ordinances already in place throughout the state. As of August 2019, there are 32 jurisdictions, including Seattle, that have instituted plastic-bag ban laws.
Copper Antifouling Paint Ban
Boats kept in marinas, lakes, and other waterbodies are exposed to organisms such as algae or barnacles. When these organisms grow and colonize on the surface of vessels and structures, it is called “fouling” and can result in reduced performance and physical damage. To prevent these effects, boat owners often use hull paints that contain pesticides and other toxic chemicals. Copper-based hull paints have been the most popular antifouling choice since the 1980s. Although they are effective at discouraging organism growth, these paints also have toxic environmental impacts and can have significant negative effects on endangered salmon and other aquatic life. Contaminated runoff from boatyards (where old paint on vessel hulls is chipped and sanded off before repainting) is of particular concern. We expect a debate over existing requirements to phase out copper antifouling paint.
Motorized/Suction Dredge Mining Ban (SB 5322 / HB 1261)
Suction dredge mining takes place directly in river and stream channels using a floating, gas-powered vacuum attached to a sluice box. The miner vacuums up the river bottom and runs the sediment through a mechanized sluice to separate out gold flakes. The sediment is then spit back into the river in long, murky plumes. This causes harmful water quality impacts including turbidity, and occurs in areas designated as critical habitat for threatened or endangered steelhead, salmon, and bull trout, including spawning areas for Chinook salmon relied on by southern resident orcas. This legislation bans this type of mining in streams that are critical habitat for endangered salmon.
Water & Energy Conservation (HB 1796)
Climate change makes it imperative that we find ways to encourage energy conservation. Unfortunately, it also makes it likely that water will become scarcer and we will need to do more to conserve water. This bill tackles both problems. This legislation enables building owners to fund improvements in new and existing commercial, industrial, non-profit, and multi-family buildings that improve their long-term economic and environmental sustainability. This bill provides a new mechanism to allow building owners to invest in water and energy conservation improvements.
Water Transfers Out of Basin/Bottling Plants
In recent years, there have been several proposals to build water bottling plants throughout Washington. These facilities would cause a large volume of water to be transferred outside the basin in which they are sited and, in fact, outside of the region. At the same time, water speculators are increasingly interested in buying water rights to sell to the highest bidder. Many communities are concerned that, under these transactions, the water could be transferred outside the basin. We expect that there may be legislation offered to limit these activities.
Ecology Drought Legislation (HB 1622 / SB 5675)
Modernizing Washington’s drought statutes is important to effectively prepare for and respond to drought emergencies. This bill will create tools and resources to help build long-term drought resiliency among water users and communities throughout the state, improve the state’s ability to effectively respond to drought in the short term, and codify the best practices identified in the updated 2018 Washington State Drought Contingency Plan.
If you’d like to receive updates during the legislative session just subscribe to this text list. Alerts will be sent on priority bills and may ask you to contact your legislators when a bill is up for a vote!