Earth Ministry’s Past Legislative Priorities

2016 Washington State Legislative Session

Toxic-Free Kids & Families Act – ESHB 2545 – PASSED!

Kid sitting on a couchPeople of faith know it’s just not right that our children play on and around household products containing toxic chemicals. It’s also not right that firefighters have disproportionate rates of cancer, which have been linked to these chemicals. The Toxic-Free Kids and Families Act will right these wrongs.

Hazardous flame retardants in upholstered furniture are linked to serious health effects such as cancer, lower IQ, neurobehavioral disorders, endocrine disruption, fertility problems, and many more. The good news is that there are safer alternatives.

The Toxic-Free Kids and Families Act protects the most vulnerable among us, especially children, families, public servants, and pets. Specifically the bill:

  • Bans 5 flame retardants (TCEP, TDCPP, TBBPA, HBCD, and Deca (BDE) in children’s products and furniture.
  • Gives the state’s health department the authority to ban through rulemaking additional cancer-causing and other harmful chemicals from being used as flame retardants in children’s products and furniture
  • Ensures that safer alternatives are available

Learn more about the faith perspective on the Toxic-Free Kids and Families Act in
Earth Ministry’s 2016 Factsheet
For more information from the WA Toxics Coalition, please click here.

Safeguard Our Environment

Earth Minsitry/WAIPL is a member of the Environmental Priorities Coalition, a network of over 20 leading environmental groups across the region that influence policy at the state level. Partnering closely with the wider conservation community in our advocacy work, we bring an important spiritual and moral voice to environmental issues of the day.

The Safeguard Our Environment priority focuses on protecting critical laws and investments that improve public health, create green jobs, and make Washington a great place to live, work, and play. This priority has four components:

  1. Clean Air
  2. Clean Energy
  3. Clean and Abundant Water
  4. Healthy Lands

Click here to learn more about each component of the Safeguard our Environment Priority.

 

2015 Washington State Legislative Session

Read on to learn more about Earth Ministry/WAIPL’s priorities in the 2015 WA State Legislative Session. We are grateful for the faith community advocates who actively engaged in the important environmental issues our state dealt with in this year’s session

Check out Earth Ministry’s 2015 Legislative Priorities Fact Sheet – a useful resource to share with your faith community!

Toxic-Free Kids & Families Act – HB 1174

Earth Ministry/WAIPL is once again joining with the Washington Toxics Coalition to advocate for the Toxic-Free Kids and Families Act. Studies show that toxic flame retardants in furniture foam and children’s products are linked to neurological disabilities, cancer, and endocrine disruption, which are a hefty price to pay considering that there are safer alternatives available. Reality is that these chemicals harm anyone who sits on furniture, and are especially detrimental to the most vulnerable among us. Healthcare workers, firefighters, faith leaders, parents, and students advocate that we address this serious public health issue by:

  • Banning 6 toxic flame retardants in home furniture and children’s products
  • Preventing the toxic treadmill, replacing one toxic flame retardant with another
  • Ensuring compliance through reporting to the Department of Ecology
  • Exempting products if there are no safer alternatives

To learn more about the Toxic-Free Kids & Families Act, please click here.

Toxic Reduction Act – HB 1472

Governor Inslee has introduced a bold toxics package that offers a comprehensive approach to regulating harmful chemicals in consumer products. Building on pre-existing laws and processes, we strive to protect our waterways as well as our bodies by:

  • Establishing a process to identify priority harmful chemicals of concern
  • Requiring chemical action plans to reduce and eliminate priority chemicals
  • Granting the Department of Ecology authority to ban chemicals if safer alternatives exist

Carbon Pollution Accountability Act – HB 1314

Washingtonians are doing their part as individuals to keep this state clean, but industries that emit huge amounts of carbon pollution are able to do it without paying a price. Right now we are already witnessing the effects of global warming pollution – from economic losses in the shellfish industry to fiercer and more frequent forest fires, we are feeling impacts close to home. Earth Ministry/WAIPL supports the Governor’s plans to ensure clean air and a healthier climate by: 

  • Making polluters pay for carbon emissions
  • Enforcing our state climate laws
  • Reducing harmful emissions in the future
  • Generating needed revenue to make smart investments across the entire state – the income  generated will promote further emissions reductions, expand transit, support education, and address potential effects on low-income communities

To learn more about the Carbon Pollution Accountability Act, please click here.
To read the Governor’s Policy Brief click here
Click here to learn about the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, the broad coalition of organizations supporting this bill.

Oil Transportation Safety Now – HB 1449

Weakened version passed and was signed into law

Under significant pressure from the oil industry, the Washington State Legislature came to agreement on a weakened oil transportation safety bill. This compromise comes after stronger legislation spearheaded by Governor Jay Inslee, Representative Jessyn Farrell, and Senator Christine Rolfes passed the House twice with bipartisan support. The final legislation improves transparency and takes modest steps on safety but leaves undone significant work to protect the public. 

Key components of the bill include:

  • Reporting on the volume and type of oil transported, oil spills, and other information that will be given to first responders and that the public can easily access through a new website.
  • Authorizing the state to inspect rail crossings and push for repairs to degraded rail infrastructure.
  • Financial protections to ensure that the companies carrying dangerous crude oil shipments through our region, not taxpayers, can pay for response after any size of spill or accident.

Key weakness in the updated bill:

  • Puget Sound left unprotected. Oil spill prevention measures in Puget Sound were removed entirely from the bill.
  • Important safety measures left without reliable funding. While the barrel tax has been extended to cover oil transported by rail, it relies on a one-time transfer of oil response funds to pay for implementation. This approach means that needed safety measures will lack funding within two years.

 

 

Environmental Priorities Coalition editAs a member of the Environmental Priorities Coalition, Earth Ministry/WAIPL works closely with the wider conservation community in our advocacy work. We bring an important spiritual and moral voice to environmental issues of the day.

The Environmental Priorities Coalition is a network of over 20 leading environmental groups across the region that influence policy at the state level. Find out more about the Environmental Priorities Coalition.