We are happy to report that most of Soundkeeper’s Legislative priorities are moving forward! Here are the latest developments from our Policy Team: 

  1. SB5022 Plastics and Recycling bill: We are excited to report that SB5022 was voted out of the House Appropriations Committee late on Thursday, April 1, with all key elements intact, including the Styrofoam ban. The bill must now move to Rules Committee before being scheduled for a vote on the House Floor. Look for an action alert when the bill is up for a vote so that you can help us with the final push out of the House! 
  1. SB5141 the HEAL Act: We are very pleased to share that SB5141 was voted out of the House Appropriations Committee after a hearing on Wednesday March 31. The bill now moves to Rules Committee before being scheduled for a vote on the House Floor. We are on the right track to get this to Governor Inslee’s desk, but we still need your support to get HEAL voted off the floor of the House of Representatives while ensuring that it remains strong. Contact your representative today and urge them to vote YES! on Senate Bill 5141.
  1. Puget Sound Nutrient General Permit Grant Program: This year, the Governor’s Budget and the Department of Ecology’s Budget both included $9,000,000 for a grant program to help municipalities implement requirements to control nutrient pollution from our municipal sewage treatment plants. However, the House Capital Budget, which came out on March 31, only includes $4,500,000. These amounts will need to be reconciled through the budget process, which will continue through April or May. 

New Policy Alert! Coho Pre-spawn Mortality/Urban Runoff Mortality Syndrome Funding

This legislative session, Soundkeeper and our partners have been working with legislators on a budget proviso for funding to study the tire chemical, 6PPD-quinone, which causes Urban Runoff Mortality Syndrome. Funding would come from the Model Toxics Control operating account and would be used by Ecology to assess the potential hazards of 6PPD (CAS 793-24-8) and other chemicals or chemical classes and breakdown products used as anti-oxidants and/or antiozonants in tires. Ecology would submit a technical memo to the appropriate committees of the Legislature by December 1, 2021. 

While Ecology’s budget included $523,000 and the Senate Budget included $195,000, the House Budget did not include funding for this important study. Soundkeeper and our partners are working with House leadership to include sufficient funding for the study in the House Operating budget and final budget.  For more background information on 6PPD and Urban Runoff Mortality Syndrome, check out this webinar from Salmon Safe B.C. and Dr Jenifer McIntyre on WSU’s research on tire dust and salmon mortality. 

Car Tires & Salmon Health: Exploring New Research on Stormwater Impacts Webinar