It’s official! Governor Inslee has passed 7 of the bills we advocated for or supported this session, making this a great year for clean water. We’ll advocate for the bills that did not pass this session again in 2021, so keep your eye out for opportunities to engage!


Reusable Bag Bill (SB 5323)

Single-use plastic bags are among the most commonly found items littering our roads and waters. This bill will ban thin film plastic bags at grocery and retail stores, encouraging the use of reusable bags statewide and preventing marine debris, starting January of 2021. We’re very excited to see our state adopt more sustainable options.

Signed in to law by the Governor on March 25, 2020

Suction Dredge Mining (HB 1261)

Bill HB 1261 ends the destructive practice of Suction Dredge Mining from stream segments designated as Critical Habitat for Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed Salmonids. Suction Dredge Mining degrades water quality through erosion and sedimentation, destroys aquatic habitat for endangered salmonids, kills eggs and larvae, and strips riparian vegetation. This bill brings Washington in compliance with the Clean Water Act.

Signed in to law by the Governor on March 18, 2020

Styrofoam Bill (SB 6213)

Styrofoam food container products are one of the top 10 most frequently found items on beach and stream cleanups worldwide. Bill SB 6213 would have protected our waters from certain marine debris, including clamshell containers, packing peanuts and foam coolers by prohibiting their sale or distribution in or into Washington. The bill passed in the Senate, but unfortunately was not called up for a vote in the House. We look forward to advocating in support of this bill to help it pass the finish line in 2021!


Drought & Water Shortage Preparedness Bill (HB 1622)

Washington Department of Ecology’s Drought Legislation HB 1622 concerning drought preparedness and response passed both the House and Senate. The bill modernizes Washington’s drought to effectively prepare for and respond to increasing drought emergencies and to protect our vulnerable communities.

Signed in to law by the Governor on March 27, 2020

Copper Bottom Paint / Anti-Fouling Bill (SB 6210)

Copper anti-fouling paint helps prevent the growth of organisms like barnacles and algae on boat hulls, but copper can leach from the paint and enter our waters when it is chipped or sanded off boats. Copper is toxic and harmful to salmon. The Department of Ecology introduced legislation this session that delays the current ban on copper antifouling paint until 2026. The bill SB 6210 allows Ecology to gather more information from paint manufacturers to ensure that safer, effective alternatives are feasible, before the ban goes into effect. Soundkeeper will continue to monitor this process as it unfolds, and push for the ban to be implemented, as intended, to protect our waterways.

Signed in to law by the Governor on March 18, 2020

Flushable Wipes (HB 2565)

This bill HB 2565 requires that non-flushable wipes be labeled as such. “Flushable wipes” like wet wipes, baby wipes, and moist towelettes, cause clogs in septic and waste water treatment systems.  This bill will prevent non-flushable wipes from being disposed of improperly, jamming up our waste water treatment plant system, and contributing microplastics to our waters.

Signed in to law by the Governor on March 25, 2020

Derelict Vessel Bill (SB 6528)

Derelict and abandoned vessels are a widespread problem in Washington State. They are a significant source of pollutants and marine debris, even before they sink. This bill will help reduce the amount of abandoned and derelict vessels impacting our waters by requiring more boats to be inspected prior to transfer and bolstering Washington Department of Natural Resource’s ability to manage these vessels. As of April 3rd, 2020, the fate of this bill is unclear as it authorized additional funding for WDFW. Because of the coronavirus, this bill may not make it in to law, as Washington prioritizes human health and other impacts caused by the virus.

Delivered to the Governor for signature on March 11, 2020

 C-PACER Bill (HB 2405)

The Property Accessed Clean Energy & Resilience Financing or C-Pacer bill passed. This legislation HB 2405 removes barriers to help commercial properties make clean energy and resilience updates and provides clear benefits to building owners and the environment: reduces utility bills, increases property values, generates local jobs, and incentivizes water and energy conservation.

Signed in to law by the Governor on March 18, 2020

Net Pen Fee Bill (SB 6613)

Marine finfish net pen farms discharge pollutants into our waters and so must comply with the Clean Water Act. Bill SB 6613 directs the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to adopt rules that provide for the recovery of actual costs incurred for inspecting, monitoring, and compliance testing of marine aquatic farms. This will ensure that the costs of Clean Water Act compliance are no longer born by the public.

Signed in to law by the Governor on March 27, 2020

Healthy Habitat, Healthy Orcas (the Ecological “Net Gain” Bill) (HB 2550)

Bill HB 2550 would modernize state land use, development, and environmental laws and regulations to result in a net gain of ecological health by replacing the current Washington State standard of “no net loss” for development with a new “net ecological gain” policy. The current policy of “no net loss” is not working: salmon runs have declined by 90% from their historic numbers, and our Southern Resident orca whales are down to 73 in number. While the bill did not pass this session, the newly adopted budget directs a group of experts to shape a plan to achieve a “net ecological gain” standard, which will protect and restore habitat across the state. This continues important work on this key Orca Task Force recommendation to restore salmon runs and protect our gravely threatened orca populations.

Sharps Bill (HB 2360) (STILL IN HOUSE)

Bill HB 2360 would establish a Sharps Stewardship Program providing convenient and effective disposal of syringe waste, or sharps, from residents through collection sites and mail-back services. By requiring producers of sharps to ensure their safe collection and return, the bill protects people and waterways from dangerous plastic debris.

Water Withdrawals for Bottled Water Production (SB 6278)

This bill bans new permits for water bottling operations in Washington State. SB 6278 states “any use of water for the commercial production of bottled water is deemed to be detrimental to the public welfare and the public interest” and would apply retroactively to new permits filed after 1, January 2019. This bill did not make it out of its House of Origin this session.

Died in Committee