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2024 State Legislative Priorities

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State policy priorities for the 2024 legislative session

The Seattle Aquarium is working with partners to pass policies and approve funding in the 2024 Washington state legislative session that will protect ocean health and advance environmental and social justice, including the efforts outlined below.

To reduce waste and plastic pollution and keep our ocean clean, we are actively supporting:

  • Re-WRAP Act (HB 2049/SB 6005): Modernize and transform our recycling system and reduce waste through a producer responsibility program for packaging and printed products. Graduated fees for packaging manufacturers (based on how readily reusable, compostable, or recyclable their products are) will fund infrastructure improvements and access to free recycling for all residents statewide.
    • We also support HB 2144 as part of a package with the Re-WRAP Act; this complementary legislation would create a deposit return system for beverage containers.
  • Right to Repair (HB 1933), enabling small businesses to repair items such as computers, cellphones, appliances, powered wheelchairs, and more, so people can continue to use them. This will help limit the need for new minerals that may be sourced through harmful practices like seabed mining.
  • In line with our Regenerative Plan, where our commitments include being a zero-waste facility by 2025, we are also supporting bills on recycling appliances, light bulbs, electric vehicle batteries, and wind turbines, as well as a bill to reduce fashion waste (HB 2068/SB 5965).

To recover salmon and protect their habitat, we are actively supporting:

  • Increased funding, including through the Salmon Recovery Funding Board ($62M), Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program ($20M), and work on the Lower Snake River dams’ energy replacement ($5M).
  • Funding for a waste tire study ($300,000), particularly the handling, use, and management of tires in Washington’s secondary market (applications like playgrounds, turf fields, boat and dock fenders, and landscaping) to better understand and mitigate toxic tire chemicals harming coho salmon.

To protect communities and ecosystems from climate change impacts and pollution, the bills we are supporting include:

  • 100% Clean School Buses (HB 1368/SB 5431), reducing schoolkids’ exposure to air pollution and setting a date by which school buses must move from diesel to 100% clean energy sources.
  • Oil Industry Accountability (HB 2232/SB 6052), requiring oil industry accountability and transparency, including around how they set their prices.
  • Establishing pollutant limits for toxic PFAS chemicals in biosolids (SB 5245), and then disallowing land application of biosolids that do not comply with those limits.
  • CURB Pollution Act (HB 2070/SB 5990), led by Front and Centered, requiring monitoring of more pollutants, adding protections for communities disproportionately harmed by pollution, denying new permits that add cumulative pollution effects, and elevating community participation in permit evaluations processes.
  • Washington green schools (HB 1935), which would support public school programming to expand resource conservation practices, including waste reduction, energy reduction, water conservation, and schoolyard forests. It would also create leadership opportunities for students interested in promoting those efforts in their schools.
  • Buy Clean and Buy Fair (HB 1282/SB 5322), creating a reporting system on embodied carbon and other impacts of structural materials in state-funded infrastructure projects.

To deliver on our mission to inspire marine conservation, we recognize we need collective and inclusive action, including by improving voting access and turnout in marginalized communities. In this vein, one of the bills we’re supporting is:

  • Even-year local elections (HB 1882/SB 5723), which would allow local governments to shift their elections to even-numbered years when voter turnout is up to twice as high and far more diverse.

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