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Feb. 7th Hot List - State House

This is the Legislative Hot List for the State House. It outlines the environmental community's positions on important environmental Housebills and budget provisions for the week of February 7, 2011.

Feb. 7th Hot List - State House

HOUSE COMMITTEE ACTION

HB 1157: Regarding the forest practices permitting system.

Agriculture and Natural Resources: Possible Executive Session
POSITION: OPPOSE

  • This bill will create permits that will be in effect for 10 years.
  • It circumvents the Adaptive Management Rule making process.


HB 1192: Ensuring the viability of small forest landowners.

Agriculture and Natural Resources: Public Hearing
POSITION: OPPOSE

  • This bill will undermine the Forests and Fish Habitat Conservation Plan by changing the existing rules without going through the adaptive management program.
  • We are supporting HB 1509 / SB 5551, which will help Small Forest Landowners.

 

HB 1233: Streamlining state environmental permitting through the elimination of the hydraulics project approval process.

Agriculture and Natural Resources: Public Hearing
POSITION: OPPOSE

  • Eliminates the Department of Fish and Wildlife HPA permit program, which is designed to protect salmon and other fish.
  • Loss of this program would likely seal the fate of many threatened fish stocks.


SHB 1319: Regarding the safety of certain children's products.

Environment: Possible Executive Action
POSITION: SUPPORT

  • Lead is just the tip of the toxic iceberg when it comes to toys and children's products. Recently, there has been cadmium in Shrek glasses, formaldehyde in baby blankets, and toluene in "slime" toys. The law passed in 2008 gives the state the ability to get information from manufacturers on what harmful chemicals are in these products.
  • The Children's Safe Products bill of 2011 takes the logical next step and allows the state to ask manufacturers to identify safer alternatives and report back to the legislature on what further actions may be needed to protect children. The striker clarifies the definition of children’s products and exempts certain products (forest and paper, food and drugs, and medical devices). It also preserves the legislature’ s authority to ban or restrict toxic chemicals in children’s products.

 

HB 1380: Concerning the relinquishment of a water right.

Agriculture and Natural Resources: Possible Executive Session
POSITION: OPPOSE

  • This bill eliminates the relinquishment of an unused portion of a water right.
  • This extreme approach to relinquishment reform is unnecessary. Ecology already has a successful program in place (the Trust Water Rights Program) that can protect water rights from relinquishment while also encouraging conservation and preventing wasteful water use.

 

HB 1478: Delaying or modifying certain regulatory and statutory requirements affecting cities and counties.

Local Government: Possible Executive Session
POSITION: OPPOSE

  • This bill will derail the planned adoption of the Phase II Stormwater Permit which is critical for Puget Sound and other polluted waters across the state and weaken other laws our communities depend on, like the growth management act and shoreline management act.
  • The environmental community understands and appreciates the position our local governments are in. We are asking that Sections 4, 13, 14 and 15 of the bill be removed; we're willing to compromise on the rest of the bill.

 

HB 1489: Limiting the use of fertilizer containing phosphorus. (a.k.a. Clean Fertilizers, Healthier Lakes and Rivers).

Environment: Possible Executive Action
POSITION: SUPPORT

  •  Phosphorous from residential lawn fertilizers is a major water quality pollutant that if not managed could require local governments to spend millions on wastewater treatment plant upgrades.
  • This bill manages the sale of lawn fertilizers containing phosphorus and has the support of Scott's Miracle Grow, Avista Corp., Inland Paper Company, Fred Meyer, The Retail Association, local governments and environmental groups.

 

HB 1536: Providing a congestion reduction charge to fund the operational and capital needs of transit agencies.

Transportation: Public Hearing
POSITION: SUPPORT

  • This bill preserves jobs, reduces congestion, and protects the environment by authorizing local governments and transit agencies in Puget Sound to impose a temporary congestion reduction charge to provide emergency funding for our critical transit service.
  • Transit service faces a funding crisis in Washington State. Plummeting sales tax revenue is forcing transit agencies to slash service despite record-setting ridership.

 

HB 1662: Addressing appeal and permit procedures under the shoreline management act.

Local Government: Public Hearing & Possible Executive Session
POSITION: OPPOSE

  • This bill changes the appeals mechanism of the Shoreline Management Act. Instead of appealing to the Shoreline Hearings Board, citizens would appeal to Superior Court.
  • This change will cost both property owners and the state more money.


HB 1702: Establishing a process for the payment of impact fees through provisions stipulated in recorded covenants.

Local Government: Public Hearing & Possible Executive Session
POSITION: OPPOSE

  •  Impact fees were created to ensure that in many ways, new growth helps pay its way. HB 1702 makes the impact fee process more expensive and less certain. It requires that developers be allowed to shift paying impact fees from when developers obtain their building permits to when the home buyers buy the home.
  • This shift in payment gives counties and cities less time to use that impact fee to make the necessary improvements and means that the public facilities needed to reduce the environmental impacts of growth will be delayed until well after the impacts of development occur.

 

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