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)
You can use your voice to protect our water resources. Join us for Clean & Abundant Water Lobby Week to meet with your elected officials and have your voice heard. We will provide the resources and training you need. All experience levels welcome!
The 2022 legislative session is going mostly remote due to a spike in COVID cases. We are tracking bills, lobbying, and providing you with all the information you need to contact your legislators and urge them to protect our water resources.
When: January 31st- February 4th
Waste Reduction: RENEW Act (SB 5697)
Setting domestic wastewater discharge fees (SB 5585)
Training: We’ll hold a training session Jan 31st at 10am so you have the tools and confidence to lobby. The training will also be recorded. Details sent when you sign up.
What bills are we advocating for?
- The Lorraine Loomis Act for Salmon Recovery (HB 1838/ SB 5727): Some Puget Sound salmon species have declined by 90% compared to historical populations. The Act requires properly functioning riparian management zones around rivers and streams, including healthy vegetation to maintain cool waters. It also increases the focus on salmon recovery in land use planning for the future, with important financial assistance, monitoring, and accountability to address the urgency of the salmon crisis.
- The RENEW Act (SB 5697): Globally, 33 billion pounds of plastic enter the marine environment every year, devastating the world’s oceans, ecosystems, and communities. The Act will (among other provisions) 1) Establish an extended producer responsibility system that make producers of packaging and paper products responsible for the full lifecycle of their products; 2) Require that by 2031, 100% of the packaging and paper products made or sold into Washington is reusable, recyclable, or compostable.
- Setting Domestic Wastewater Discharge Fees (SB 5585): Ecology seeks authority to remove an outdated cap on fees that can be charged to municipalities for water quality permits, so that they can adequately support these communities with their permitting needs. Stagnant fees have led to an underfunding of the permit program, meaning Ecology cannot provide the support communities need to ensure their wastewater treatment facilities are functioning properly and protecting streams, rivers, and Puget Sound. The bill will remove the statutory cap on how much municipal jurisdictions may pay in wastewater discharge permit fees in RCW 90.48.465, and Ecology will work with communities to align Ecology’s permit staffing and resources with the workload in 2022, and then update the permit fees in rule in 2023.
- Conserving and Restoring Kelp Forests and Eelgrass Meadows (SB 5619 / HB 1661): Coastal ecosystems and marine vegetation provide an array of valuable ecosystem goods and services to deep water and nearshore environments in Puget Sound and along the coastline. In particular, kelp forests and eelgrass meadows act as three dimensional foundations for diverse and productive nearshore ecosystems, supporting food webs and providing important habitat for a wide array of marine life, including orcas and threatened and endangered salmon and salmonid species. These marine forests and meadows play an important role in climate mitigation and adaptation by sequestering carbon and relieving ocean acidification. Marine vegetation can sequester up to 20 times more carbon than terrestrial forests, and therefore represent a critical tool in the fight against climate change. The bill will have the Department of Natural Resources work with partners to establish a kelp forest and eelgrass meadow health and conservation plan that endeavors to, by the year 2040, conserve and restore at least 10,000 acres of kelp forests and eelgrass meadows.
What to expect: Brief training and short online meetings
We’ll hold one training shortly before Lobby Week begins, date/time TBD to go over:
- The do’s and don’ts of lobbying
- An overview of each of the bills, and talking points to help you support them.
- Details and a Zoom link will be provided after you sign up.
Participants will attend at least one (or more depending on your legislative district) 15-minute lobbying meeting with a representative via Zoom. Each meeting will be staffed with at least one member from a host organization to help guide and facilitate while we advocate for these priority bills. More info on training and meetings will be sent when you sign up!