SB 6406 would modify protections of natural resources and is now in the Senate Rules Committee and may soon be on the Senate floor. Based on the following provisions in Part Three of the bill, we oppose SB 6406:
1) Section 317(2) (page 82) of the bill proposes striking the current statutory provision that permits citizens and environmental groups the standing to petition the Growth Management Board on issues of protection of aquifers for clean water and other issues. Our experience is that citizen standing is an important component in seeing that environmental laws are enforced.
2) The bill mandates rule-based exemptions to the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). For example, SB 6406 requires that the Department of Ecology (DOE) may not include any new subjects in updating its checklist, including climate change and greenhouse gasses. But DOE would have to increase the existing maximum threshold levels for the construction or location of residential developments, agricultural structures, or construction of a commercial building.
Contacting Senators is most pressing (especially those on the Senate Rules Committee — see below), but the bill may soon reach the House, so contacting House members is also important. Keep in mind that the Legislative Session ends March 8, so things are moving fast.
Thanks for all your help!
Steven Aldrich, Legislative Advocate
Sam Merrill, Legislative Chair
Friends Committee on Washington Public Policy
The following senators voted against SB 6406 in policy committee: Senators Murray, Conway, Fraser, Harper, Kohl-Welles, and Pridemore. Please thank them and encourage them to persist in opposing the bill (four of them are on the Rules Committee).
Senate Rules Committee Members (email addresses are: firstname.lastname@example.org)
|Owen, Brad (D) Chair||LEG 220||(360) 786-7700|
|Prentice, Margarita (D) Vice Chair||LEG 312||(360) 786-7616|
|Hewitt, Mike (R)||LEG 314||(360) 786-7630|
|Brown, Lisa (D)||LEG 307||(360) 786-7604|
|Carrell, Mike (R)||INB 102||(360) 786-7654|
|Conway, Steve (D)||JAC 213||(360) 786-7656|
|Eide, Tracey (D)||LEG 305||(360) 786-7658|
|Fraser, Karen (D)||LEG 404||(360) 786-7642|
|Harper, Nick (D)||JAC 226||(360) 786-7674|
|Haugen, Mary Margaret (D)||JAC 305||(360) 786-7618|
|Keiser, Karen (D)||JAC 224||(360) 786-7664|
|King, Curtis (R)||INB 205||(360) 786-7626|
|Kline, Adam (D)||JAC 223||(360) 786-7688|
|Kohl-Welles, Jeanne (D)||JAC 219||(360) 786-7670|
|McAuliffe, Rosemary (D)||LEG 403||(360) 786-7600|
|Parlette, Linda Evans (R)||LEG 316||(360) 786-7622|
|Pflug, Cheryl (R)||LEG 415||(360) 786-7608|
|Regala, Debbie (D)||JAC 233||(360) 786-7652|
|Schoesler, Mark (R)||INB 110||(360) 786-7620|
|Stevens, Val (R)||INB 105||(360) 786-7676|
|Zarelli, Joseph (R)||INB 204||(360) 786-7634|