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Focus Ahead - September Natural Resources Committee Meeting

Joan Smith | Published on 10/3/2023
Ann Murphy, LWVWA Environmental Team Coordinator and Waste Leader, and Martin Gibbins, LWVWA Climate and Energy Leader, provided a power packed kick off into 2024 legislative priorities.  Please view the full, detailed program on LWVSC YouTube, Natural Resources, September “Focus Ahead”.  
Ann introduced her team which includes Martin, herself, Kate Lunceford for Forests and Cynthia Stewart for Transportation. 

Ann and Martin indicate that priorities include issues that did not pass in the 2023 session.  In support of the Climate Commitment Act, which seeks to eliminate Greenhouse Gases by 2045, bills will address electrification - reducing greenhouse gasses in buildings, reducing methane emissions, and advancing community solar projects.  Aims include opposing utility backsliding in the Clean Energy Transformation Act, unifying housing building codes, and fixing the Hirst Fix – again.  Of course, waste is a major issue.  Some actions in that area out of the WRAP Act: HB 1164 - Appliances, SHB 1185 – lighting, Right to Repair and biosolids, ending land applications of material containing PFAs.  Other goals are to reduce organic matter going to landfills, reduce landfill methane, standardization of composting, paint stewardship, alternatives to cremation, and battery disposal - especially EV batteries.  

Anita Rose of the Our Climate Radar publication related their two year transition from a newsletter format to its current webpage structure.  The wealth of incoming information and event notices prompted a new design that allows the user to access the desired sections efficiently.  You can contribute anytime to Our Climate Radar. Send a description of an event or short summary of an article to Anita Rose, ineedarose2@gmail.com.  You can access it at https://www.ourclimateradar.org/

Keep commenting on the Comprehensive Plan 2024!  President Karen Crowley is going to work with Kristin Kelly of Futurewise to discuss an Op-Ed article.  

REPORTS:
Urban Tree Canopy/Legacy Forests – Kate reported that the Forest webinar on 9/13 was well attended and is available on YouTube.  The Urban Tree Canopy Policy appears to be moving ahead with little opposition.  Dave Somers sent a letter to Hilary Franz to support retaining local forests.  Jared Mead is hosting a forest retention panel discussion on 9/27.
Electrification of Schools – Nancy Johnson said that positive progress continues on smaller issues.  Valerie Rosman reported that budget constraints are keeping the Edmonds District from moving to electric buses.  
In absentia, Rita Ireland met with the Edmonds Council about the Edmonds Marsh.  She also attended the Green Building Incentive Program.  She suggested better advertising to improve public attendance beyond the vendors and builders.  
Transportation – Julie Winchell shared that the Commercial Aviation Committee Work Group, designated by HB1791, has increased citizen participation by 8/9 and could use more members.  Spurred by an NPR article, Julie investigated the hazards of aviation leaded fuel use to air quality, especially those close to airports.  She was shocked to find that Arlington Airport ranked among the top 3 polluters.  Paine Field is in the top 5.  Few airports actually provide access to unleaded fuel! 

NEXT MEETING:  October 20th, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., on ZOOM.  Guest Speaker is Brian Zinke, Director of Pilchuck Audubon.