2015 Legislative information
Each year, the Department of Ecology (Ecology) works with the Governor and the Legislature to identify legislative actions that are needed to help Ecology:
Zero Emission Vehicle
Ecology is currently evaluating Washington’s Clean Car Program. There are opportunities to expand the reach of Washington’s Clean Car Program to include improved emissions from other categories of vehicles, including improved standards for medium-duty trucks (larger pickups and vans). This would reduce overall emissions of harmful pollution to the environment and better protect public health.
Maintaining Water Power License Fees
Water power license fees required for Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licensed water power projects will expire June 30, 2017. Fees enable Washington State agencies to help the hydropower industry meet federal licensing requirements that protect water quality. They also protect, mitigate, and enhance fish, wildlife, and habitat. This proposal is to eliminate the sunset date of the fees to ensure funds are available to help the Department of Ecology and Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) staff respond to the needs of hydropower operators.
Applying a Fiscal Growth Factor for Toxics Funds
Without an inflation adjustment, the purchasing power of the State and Local Toxic Control Accounts will decline. Ecology is proposing a fiscal growth factor to the cap on the State and Local Toxics Accounts, so that funding for cleanup, prevention, and hazardous waste management work is adjusted for inflation over time. Stable, predictable, inflation-adjusted funding for the State and Local Toxics Accounts is important for Washington to efficiently continue to prevent and reduce toxic threats, and to protect and restore Puget Sound.
Reducing Flood Control Assistance Account Program Funding
Since the 2009-11 biennium, the adopted State Operating budgets have included a $2.0 million reduction in Flood Control Assistance Account Program (FCAAP) funding. Ecology proposes to continue this reduction through the 2015-17 and 2017-19 biennia.
Adding Products to Electronic Product Recycling (E-cycle)
The E-Cycle program has been in operation for over five years. It is well established and running smoothly. Other states with programs similar to E-Cycle Washington are adding peripheral devices, and it is time for Washington to do so as well. Ecology is proposing to amend the authorizing law for the E-Cycle program (Chapter 70.95N RCW) by expanding the definition of “covered electronic product” to include certain “peripheral” devices,
Vickie Van Ness
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