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The State Legislative Session kicked off last week in Olympia – and it’s set to be a long one of at least 105 days. With major state budget fights ahead, many are predicting it will go much longer.
2016 was an intense political year and with so many challenges at the federal level, we will rely on state leaders to move us forward on protecting the health of our environment. We’ve been encouraged by how many of you have reached out and asked what you can do to be more involved and have an impact here in Washington.
This legislative session is that opportunity.
The Surfrider Foundation and our partners in the Washington Environmental Priorities Coalition will need your help more than ever. We have the chance to make Washington an example for the rest of country.
The Environmental Priorities Coalition has selected three opportunities to tackle vital environmental issues this year:
1. Water for People, Farms, and Fish – we’ve known for many years that communities need 21st Century solutions for a balanced, reliable, and sustainable water supply. This priority proposes real solutions that protect fish, farms, and homebuyers by providing a reliable supply of clean water to our homes and farms.
2. Oil Transportation Safety – provides safeguards against the risks from oil transport that continue to threaten the safety of our communities, the health of our environment, and local economies. With the approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline in British Columbia, increasing use of pipelines, and pressure to make Washington an oil export hub for the nation, the state must update protections to safeguard our waterways and our communities.
3. Protecting All Communities from Toxic Pollution – the Model Toxics Control Act has been a successful law dedicated to addressing toxic pollution throughout our state but the Act faces a $70 million funding shortfall that threatens to stall cleaning up toxic waste sites, successful pollution prevention programs, and supporting communities dealing with a harmful pollution problem. We will be advancing a funding solution to reduce harmful pollution today and over the long term.
In addition to these Priorities, there are many other important opportunities for legislative action this session, including climate and the state budget, that we’ll be following and communicating with you about over the next few months.
Sign up to be a part of the Priorities Rapid Response Team and you can get quick updates and opportunities to stand up for a clean and healthy environment in your community, in Olympia, and even from within your own home.
Together, we’ll be working to protect laws and investments around clean energy, clean air, clean water, and healthy communities – all of which create green jobs and make Washington a great place to live, work, and play.
Our voices together can build the future we all know we need, but we can’t do it without you.
Not sure who your State Senators and Representatives are? Find out here, sign up for their newsletter updates, and get to know them at an upcoming townhall meeting.