Senate Passes Environmental Bills

The State Senate took up and passed several environmental bills today.

The highest profile bill was Substitute SB 6001 addressing global warming. The bill establishes state goals for reducing greenhouse gases and promotes the use of cleaner energy.

Also passing today was Second Substitute SB 6117 promoting the use of reclaimed water. Reclaimed water is part of the AIA/WA’s water conservation focus.

Engrossed Substitute SB 5372 establishes the Puget Sound Partnership as a new state agency focused on cleaning up Puget Sound. The bill sets a goal of attaining a healthy Puget Sound by 2020. While there are many bills dealing with water quality, ESSB 5372 sets the overall regulatory framework to coordinate efforts.

The Energy Freedom Program was enacted in 2006 to promote the development of renewable energy resources in the farming industry. These efforts include the conversion of farm waste into energy. SB 5383 expands the program to include wind power projects owned by community action agencies in the state.

SB 5421 adopts The Uniform Environmental Covenants Act (UECA). Environmental covenants control future use of contaminated land to ensure it that it is appropriately developed. The UECA ensures that environmental covenants remain legally valid over the long term. Adoption of the UECA is an important step in the future redevelopment of brownfields and other contaminated sites.