It was a great day in Olympia on January 30th for Environmental Lobby Day as the rain subsided, and environmental activists from around the state traveled from far and wide to make their voices heard in support of Reducing Plastic Pollution, Clean Fuels Now, Climate Pollution Limits, and Healthy Habitat, Healthy Orcas (aka the 2020 Environmental Priorities).

All 5 Washington Chapters sent leaders to participate in constituent meetings with their Representatives and Senator to advocate for the environmental priorities. For some, it was their first time at our Capital meeting their legislators, and for others it’s become an annual event.

Left to right, Olympia Chapter Rise Above Plastics Coordinator Christine Rayburn, WA Policy Manager Gus Gates, and South Sound Ocean Friendly Restaurants Coordinator Ranell Nystrom

Below is a quick rundown of the bills that we are working on this session, along with one pagers to help better understand the issues so you can pick up the phone, or send a quick email in support to your legislators. If you’d like any assistance or have any questions, please contact WA Policy Manager Gus Gates.

Reusable Bag Bill- SB 5323: Reducing pollution from plastic bags by establishing minimum state standards for the use of carryout bags at retail establishments. The bill has passed the Senate, and currently sits in the House where a few technical fixes are expected, likely to have a hearing in House Environment and Energy Committee the week of February 10th. Read the full text.

Expanded Polystyrene (Styrofoam) Ban- SB 6213: Relating to restrictions around certain expanded polystyrene products like food ware, packaging peanuts and recreational coolers. Currently sitting in the Senate Ways & Means Committee, expected to have a full vote by the Senate soon. Read the full text.

Offshore Drilling Infrastructure Ban- SB 6432: A bill that would require the state and local governments, in adopting guidelines for shorelines of statewide significance, to prohibit infrastructure for handling or transporting extracted gas and oil. Currently sitting in Senate Rules Committee, expected to have a vote by the full Senate soon. Read the full text.