Notes from QV – ESWG Monthly Meeting January 12, 2023
Attending: Patricia, Ian, Dorene, Maggie, Susan, Ranae
Reminder to Sign Up for Quaker Lobby Day
No new sessions for us this next week but more coming.
Priority 1: Right to Repair
- Update from Ian – Bill hasn’t been submitted yet; Gregorson has planned to introduce it soon; the wording is basically the same as the NY bill; Kretz is the Republican co-sponsor from the NE part of state.
Priority 2: Bills or budget items that weaken Climate Commitment, Clean Fuel Standards, or Clean Energy Transformation Acts – This will be moving to the Secondary Attentions list (top of the list)
- Leni was not able to attend, but wrote, “I am following the Climate Commitment Act and the Clean Energy Transformation implementation process with the Department of Ecology. I am also following the Environmental Justice Council, which is staffed by the Department of Health. Monitoring the steps being taken as these pieces of legislation we lobbied for in the last two sessions is a new activity for the ESWG, and of course is separate from our legislative priorities.”
- Group decision – Ongoing monitoring of Climate Commitment Act and Clean Energy Transformation Act will become a Secondary Attention. Leni will follow and keep us informed.
- Maggie will keep us informed of progress on the Clean Fuel Standards Bill implementation; Climate Solutions is following this, and she will be hearing from them.
Priority 3: Environmental Justice Council – This will be moving to the Secondary Attentions list
- See Leni’s note above.
- Group decision – Ongoing monitoring of The climate Commitment Act will become a Secondary Attention. Leni will follow and keep us informed.
Updates on Secondary Attentions
- Update from Alan (if he is able to come) on Forests and Deforestation – Alan was not able to come.
- Updates from Dorene (if relevant) on Housing Related to Environment – There may be action related to building of roads; Dorene will keep us informed.
- Update from David (if any new) on Energy Footprint of Houses
- Update from Ranae on Plastic Pollution bills – See written report before for details. HB 1033 (compost) and HB 1085 (plastic). We may move HB 1085 to one of our priority issues if some of the issues get resolved enough so that it moves along. Ranae will continue to follow these.
Viewing and Thoughts about the Picture for Our Home Page
- We looked at possible images to replace the seal entangled in plastic. We would like to have a rotation of images for our page that show the kind of work we do and the issues we are attending to. We discussed getting a picture of people from our group meeting with legislators, a picture of foresters at work, a picture from the harbor of landscape and Mount Rainier and city and nature. Please look for appropriate pictures without copyright issues; they need to be horizontal, not vertical. For the time being we’ll ask Gabi to put Sarah-Grace’s picture of a frog in a flower on our page; it indicated the community of species but not directly what kinds of issues we’re working on.
Suggested Items for Next Agenda or Email Follow-up –
- Send Ranae any of these you may have.
Report from Ranae on HB 1033 and HB 1085
HB 1033 – January 10, 2023 House hearing
Most testimony strongly in favor (high school student, WA counties solid waste people, Women Voters, etc.). The WA Hospitality Association would like a seat at the table and was left out but is otherwise in favor. The DOE is doing a study that won’t be done until the end of 2023 and would like a relaxed timeline to take their data into account. A bio-plastics representative wants better marking to distinguish between backyard compostable and industrial compostable because people get confused.
My thoughts – The objections are solid and will likely to used to amend the bill. The bio-plastics guy confused some of the legislators because of the use of the word “plastics.” He means things made from corn, hemp, etc., when he says “bioplastics” but because they are called “plastic” people get confused. The point that people are confused is well taken. This bill tries to address that.
HB 1085 – January 10, 2023 House hearing
Half of testimony was strongly in favor, including a college student and a representative of the Latino Community Fund. Much favorable testimony from groups concerned with the ocean and cleanup efforts. The requirement that fountains all have refillable bottle spouts had the least negative, except for a request that it be stipulated that this relates to Industrial Code for Buildings, not all buildings. The regulation about Styrofoam in floating docks had a lot of pushback from industry and boating groups who said there is not a good alternative that doesn’t create a lot more landfill waste (air-filled floats that don’t last as long) and that more differentiation should be made between soft-covered floatation structures and hard-covered. Some of those associations had not been told about the bill until it was read; they asked to be part of the conversation. A drafter of the bill said that was right, that some groups had been consulted but that these had been missed and would be included now. The requirement that hospitality groups stop using small bottles of shampoo and the like but use refillable instead was met with mostly approval except that industry people said they wanted a law like the California one instead. The differences seem to be that the California bill doesn’t apply to lotions (only shampoo and conditioner) and that it gave a longer timeline for compliance. A hotel rep asked that tax benefits be made to offset the cost of compliance. The proponents said that WA wants to go beyond what California requires and that the industry will save a lot of money by doing this, according to studies. One guy implied that the plastic pollution problem comes from the encampments of unhoused people, not the rest of us. Another person asked that the media take on a bigger role in educating people so that people stop using single-use plastic and stop littering it.
My observations – this bill is more difficult because of the three different aspects of plastic pollution that are being addressed. Everyone agreed that they don’t want plastic to get into the water.