State and Federal Actions

STATE LEVEL ACTIONS

Below are status updates on State legislation of concern, by subject area. Some of the bills are sponsored by local representatives Condotta, Steele or Kretz. We encourage you to contact your legislators and let them know about the bills you want them to vote for or against.

Many of the bills listed below face a deadline – they need to be voted out of committee by this Friday or they will “die” – so it’s a good time to call!

For more information on any of these bills sign up for the Environmental Priorities Coalition Hot List here. All state level bills priorities are medium right now.

Bills in Red are urgent priority! Bills in Black are high priority.

LAND USE BILLS:

  • SB 5212 – Concerning the scope of land use control ordinances for the purposes of vesting
    • Current Status: On Floor calendar, passed to Rules Committee for second reading.
  • HB 1710Limiting appeals related to the harvest of damaged forest products.
    • This bill would eliminate the public’s ability to ensure that salvage sales after a wildfire are done appropriately and sustainably.
    • Current Status: House Captial Budget Committee

WATER BILLS IN THE SENATE:

There have been a number of water bills that have died because they did not pass out of committee or out of the house or senate. We will keep you updated if their status changes due to special sessions.

For more specific information about water bills, visit this page at Center for Environmental Law and Policy (CELP).

  • Update on State Water Legislation: SB 5239 4-12-17

    Thanks for taking action – it made a difference! The House Committee on Agriculture & Natural Resources did not take action on SB 5239, which would weaken protections for senior water right holders and instream flows. While SB 5239 is technically “dead,” efforts are being made to revive the bill and pass a compromise version of the bill.

OTHER BILLS:

  • HB 1594: Improving public records administration.
  • HB 1595: Concerning costs associated with responding to public records requests.
    • This bill makes public records requests more expensive. Please see above Seattle Times article for additional information.
    • Current Status: Referred to Rules 2 Review.
  • SB 5616Limiting the enforcement of administrative rules and policies
    • This bill would require the legislature to approve any rules developed by state agencies, including environmental agencies.
    • Current Status: On motion, referred to Ways & Means. On 2-17-17, Executive action taken in the Senate Committee on State Government at 8:00 AM. (Committee Materials). SGOV – Majority; 1st substitute bill be substituted, do pass. (View 1st Substitute) (Majority Report).

We encourage you to call your state Senators and Representatives and let them know about the bills you want them to support or avoid. Contacts for Methow Valley representatives are listed here:

 

Sen. Brad Hawkins
107 Irv Newhouse Building PO Box 40412 Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 786 – 7622 Brad.Hawkins@leg.wa.gov
Rep. Cary Condotta
425B Legislative Building PO Box 40600 Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 786 – 7954 Cary.Condotta@leg.wa.gov
Rep. Mike Steel
122F Legislative Building PO Box 40600 Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 786 – 7832 Mike.Steele@leg.wa.gov

 

FEDERAL LEVEL ACTIONS

SUPPORT THE METHOW HEADWATERS CAMPAIGN BY SUBMITTING A COMMENT IN SUPPORT OF THE HEADWATERS MINERAL WITHDRAWAL PROPOSAL
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is taking public comment on a mineral withdrawal for the Methow Headwaters from now until March 30th.  It’s imperative that the BLM hear from everyone who cares about the Methow Valley and its critical headwaters. Let them know today why you support the mineral withdrawal and the protection of the Methow Headwaters from industrial-scale mining!  

To stay-on-top of federal environmental legislation we recommend checking out Washington Wild’s legislative action tracker here.

FEDERAL LANDS MANAGEMENT BILLS IN THE HOUSE AND SENATE
The following federal legislation either rolls back environmental protections or aims to make it easier to transfer federal land to the states and other entities

Bills in RED are Urgent! Bills in Black are High Priority. Bills in Blue have passed.

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTIONS

  • H.J. Res. 36 – Providing for congressional disapproval under Chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the final rule of the Bureau of Land Management relating to “Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation”.
    • Loosens regulations of natural gas emissions of oil & gas operations on public land. Here is a summary of the rule changes.
    • Proposed by Rob Bishop (R) Ut, (202) 225-0453, contact Bishop, Cantwell and Murray.
    • Current Status: Passed House and currently is being reviewed in the Senate
  • H.J. Res. 44 – Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the final rule of the National Park Service relating to “General Provisions and Non-Federal Oil & Gas Rights”.
    • Negates an update to a BLM rule which would allow greater local public participation in Federal land management planning projects.
    • Proposed by Liz Cheney (R) WY, (202) 225-2311. Contact Murray and Cantwell.
    • Current Status: Passed House and currently is being reviewed in the Senate
  • H.J. Res. 46 – Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 title 5, United States Code, of the final rule of the National Parks Service relating to “General Provisions and Non-Federal Oul and Gas Rights”.
    • Negates a 2016 update to a 1978 National Park Service rule (81 Fed. Reg. 77972) that regulates drilling in national parks. This rule included requirements for previously grandfathered oil/gas operations to meet modern standards, and reopens a loophole that allows operations to avoid reclamation costs. Here is a summary of the rules changes that would be undone by this resolution, and here is the full NPS drilling rule.
    • Proposed by Paul Gosar (R) UT, (202) 225-2315. Contact Gosar and members of Natural Resources Committee.
    • Current Status: Referred to the House Natural Resources Committee.
  • H.J. Res. 48 – Repeals the Stream Protection Rule.
    • The Stream Protection Rule prevents mining operations from dumping waste rock and material into streams and protects water quality, wildlife habitat and downstream habitats. Article about the Stream Protection Rule.
    • Proposed By: Bill Johnson (R) OH, (202) 225-5705
    • Current Status: Passed by President Trump.
  • H.J. Res 69Relating to “Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participation and Closure Procedures, on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska”. *URGENT*
    • Undoes a rule that limits predator control (hunting of wolves and bears) to when deemed scientifically/ecologically necessary and limits hunting methods to exclude mothers with cubs and hunting via aircraft or using traps or snares.
    • Proposed by: Rep. Don Young (R-AK), (202) 225-5765
    • Current Status: Passed House on 2-16-17. Call Cantwell and Murray.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES BILLS

  • H.R. 232 – State National Forest Management Act of 2017
    • Creates a 10-year window in which states can purchase up to 2 million acres (per state) of Forest Service land for timber harvest and mining.
    • Proposed by: Rep. Don Young (R) AK, (202) 225-5765
    • Current Status: Referred to 2 House Committees: Natural Resources; Agriculture (Conservation and Forestry subcommittee)
  • H.R. 424 – Gray Wolf State Management Act of 2017
    • This bill would remove federal protections for gray wolves and removes protected habitat for wolves in Minnesota, Michigan and in the Yellowstone Experimental Protection Area.
    • Proposed by: Rep. Collin Peterson (D) MN, (202) 255-2165
    • Current Status: Referred to the House Committee of Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 621Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act of 2017 *URGENT*

  • H.R. 622 – Local Enforcement for Local Lands Act
    • Terminates law enforcement function of Forest Service and BLM. Effectively makes regulation of these lands by proper organizations impossible. Could lead to mismanagement of land, degradation of land, and eventually facilitate passage of bills to sell public lands.
    • Proposed by Jason Chaffetz (R) UT, (202) 225-7751. Contact Chaffetz, Natural Resources Committee members and Agricultural Committee members.
    • Current Status: Introduced and currently is being reviewed by the House.
  • H.R. 637Stopping EPA Overreach Act *URGENT*

    • This bill would declassify greenhouse gases as pollutants and prevent any federal agencies from regulating them. Please note that this bill has 119 co-sponsors and is close to having enough support to pass the house. Newhouse is a co-sponsor of this bill, please click here to see the other co-sponsors.
    • Proposed by Gary Palmer (R) AL, (202) 225-4921. Contact Palmer and Newhouse.
    • Current Status: Referred to subcommittee on Water Resources & Environment on 1-25-17. This bill has 120 supporters in the House and is dangerously close to passing. Rep. Dan Newhouse is a sponsor of this bill, contact him here.
  • H.R. 673 – No Tax Dollars for the United Nations’ Climate Agenda Act
    • Prohibits the US from providing funds to UN climate change programs such as the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
    • Proposed by: Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO-3), (202)-225-2956
    • Current Status: Sent to House committee on foreign affairs 1-24-17
  • H.R. 717 – Listing Reform Act.
    • Amends the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to allow a species to be denied listing because of economic burden unless there is a dire risk of extinction. It also prevents prioritization of petitions to add species to the list over petitions to remove species from the list.
    • Proposed by: Pete Olson (R) Tx, (202) 225-5951
    • Current Status: Referred to House Committee on Natural Resources
  • H.R. 861 – To terminate the Environmental Protection Agency
  • H.R. 875 – Bureau of Reclamation Water Streamlining Act.
    • This bill would weaken permit and review process of water storage and infrastructure projects. This bill would also help facilitate construction of additional dams.
    • Proposed by: Rep. Dan Newhouse
    • Current Status: Introduced into the House of Representatives.
  • H.R. 963Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2017 *URGENT*

    • Removes the requirement for a permit of pesticide application near navigable waters.
    • Proposed by: Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH-7), (202) 225-6265
    • Current Status: Approved by House committee. Sent to House Floor 2-16-17.
  • H.R. 958 – Wasteful EPA Programs Elimination Act.
    • Eliminate all funding for ozone and greenhouse gas regulation and research conducted by the EPA and eliminates regional offices. Similar to H.R. 637. Here is a pdf of the full text.
    • Proposed by: Sam Johnson (R) Tx
    • Current Status: Referred to four committees: Science, Space & Technology; Energy & Commerce; Agriculture; Transportation & Infrastructure.

SENATE BILLS

  • S. 33 – Improved National Monument Designation Process
    • This bill would make it harder to create a National Monument, currently it only requires an executive order.
    • Proposed by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), (202) 224-6665. Contact Murkowski, Cantwell and the Senate Committee on Natural Resources.
    • Current Status: Introduced to the Senate and currently is being reviewed by the Senate.

For more specific information regarding Federal environmental legislation, visit this google doc created and updated by a group of scientists.

Here’s how to reach our Federal representatives:

 

Rep. Dan Newhouse:
Twisp: (509) 433-7760
D.C: (202) 225-5816
Yakima: (509) 452-3243
Tri-Cities: (509) 713-7374
Sen. Patty Murray:
Yakima: (509) 453-7462
Seattle: (206) 553-5545
D.C: (202) 224-2621
Tacoma: (253) 572-3636
Vancouver: (360) 696-7797
Spokane: (509) 624-9515
Sen. Maria Cantwell:
Spokane: (509) 353-2507
Seattle: (206) 220-6400
D.C.:  (202) 224-3441
Tacoma: (253) 572-2281
Everett: (425) 303-0114
Vancouver: (360) 696-7838
Richland: (509) 946-8106
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