2022 Legislative Session and Lobby Week

This year, CELP’s priorities are protecting and restoring adequate, healthy streamflows, honoring tribal rights and partnering with Tribes on water issues, adding and increasing water use efficiency standards and water conservation efforts, advocating for sustainable and equitable water policies and management, and increasing collaboration on water issues.

4th Annual Clean & Abundant Waters Lobby Week (virtual)

The 2022 legislative session is being help remotely again this year due to a spike in COVID cases. We are tracking bills, lobbying, and providing you will all the information you need to contact your legislators and urge them to protect our water resources.

The first week of February we hosted our 4th annual Clean & Abundant Waters lobby event. Thank you to everyone who joined us! With around 50 volunteers, we met with 28 legislators and their staff representing 13 legislative districts. It is so important to meet with your elected officials on water and environmental policies and show you care. We greatly appreciate everyone who made this week possible and participated. Thank you!

Partners: RE Sources and North Sound Baykeeper, Spokane RiverkeeperTwin Harbors Waterkeeper, and Puget Soundkeeper Alliance.

Priority bills: 

Salmon Recovery: Lorraine Loomis Act (HB 1838/ SB 5727)– not moving forward

Salmon Recovery: Operating Budget items: Support

Waste Reduction: RENEW Act (SB 5697): Support — not moving forward

Updating Outdated Sewage Treatment Plant Permit Fees (SB 5585): Support – Passed the Senate and moved to House

Conserving and restoring kelp forests and eelgrass meadows (SB 5619): Support- Passed the Senate and moved to House

Relating to clarifying the existence of riparian stock watering rights (SB 5882) : Oppose- not moving forward!

You can still contact your legislators about our priority bills.

Resources to participate during the legislative session:

Find your legislative district

Find and contact your Senator

Find and contact your Representatives

Participate in the Process

Other CELP Priorities this session

CELP is keeping an eye on a few other bills to ensure good water policies are passed and harmful water policies are stopped or changed.

Adding a climate resilience element to water system plans. SB 5626 – PASSED THE SENATE in the House

Summary: Adds a climate resilience element to water system plans

CELP’s Position: Support

Status: Feb 12 1st substitute bill substituted (ENET 22).(View 1st Substitute)Rules suspended. Placed on Third Reading. Third reading, passed; yeas, 30; nays, 19; absent, 0; excused, 0. (View Roll Calls)

IN THE HOUSE

Feb 16 First reading, referred to Environment & Energy.

Feb 22 Scheduled for public hearing in the House Committee on Environment & Energy at 8:00 AM (Subject to change). (Committee Materials)Feb 24 Scheduled for executive session in the House Committee on Environment & Energy at 10:00 AM (Subject to change). (Committee Materials)

Water Storage SB 5632 – dead

Summary: Investment in water infrastructure

CELP’s Position: Oppose in its current form

We understand the need for these type of projects as weather patterns change due to climate change, but we can not support this bill with out including projects for funding for instream beneficial use that would restore stream flows and decrease water temperatures for fish.

We are also concerned about the potential of funding projects that would block fish passage and/or increase stream temperatures. Any dam or flood reduction project must not harm fish or block fish passage.

We would recommend that any project to mitigate climate change be vetted through UW’s climate impacts group, and consult any tribe that might be affected by the project. 

Status: Dead

Drought Bill SB 5746 – PASSED THE SENATE in the House

Summary: Concerning drought preparedness, response, and funding.

CELP’s Position: Support

Status: Feb 11 2nd substitute bill substituted (WM 22).(View 2nd Substitute) Rules suspended. Placed on Third Reading. Third reading, passed; yeas, 49; nays, 0; absent, 0; excused, 0. (View Roll Calls)

IN THE HOUSE Feb 13 First reading, referred to Rural Development, Agriculture & Natural Resources.

Feb 18 Scheduled for public hearing in the House Committee on Rural Development, Agriculture & Natural Resources at 8:00 AM (Subject to change). (Committee Materials) Feb 23Scheduled for executive session in the House Committee on Rural Development, Agriculture & Natural Resources at 10:00 AM (Subject to change). (Committee Materials)

Stock Watering Bill SB 5882– Dead, Successfully stopped!

Summary: Relating to clarifying the existence of riparian stock watering rights

CELP’s Position: Oppose

We are firmly against this bill because it attempts to expand riparian rights beyond what was codified in the 1917 water code. We have a long history in Washington that shows that the prior appropriation system only has allowances for riparian uses in certain limited circumstances.  Only those riparian rights that existed in 1917 are recognized in the water code (Department of Ecology v. Abbott, 1985). Riparian rights for stock watering that did not exist in 1917 are not exempt from the water permit process. As our water becomes scarcer, it is necessary for the state to understand where all the water is going in order to best manage the resource for people, wildlife, and agriculture.  

Status: Feb 3 Executive action taken in the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks at 1:30 PM. (Committee Materials) AWNP – Majority; 1st substitute bill be substituted, do pass.(View 1st Substitute)(Majority Report) Minority; do not pass. (Minority Report) Passed to Rules Committee for second reading.

Sustaining hydropower license fees HB 1931 – PASSED THE HOUSE in the Senate

Summary: eliminates the sunset date on hydropower fees that support agency participation in hydropower licensing

CELP’s Position: Support

Status: Feb 15 Floor amendment(s) adopted.Rules suspended. Placed on Third Reading.Third reading, passed; yeas, 95; nays, 2; absent, 0; excused, 1. (View 1st Engrossed)(View Roll Calls)