2011 Clean Water Jobs Act
The 2011 Clean Water Act will fund job-creating projects all over the state, by building clean water infrastructure that will restore our water ways.
Another Missed Opportunity
For the third year in a row, the legislature failed to act on an opportunity to create jobs, clean up our water, and protect our quality of life. The 2011 Clean Water Jobs Act would have cleaned up polluted waterways across the state like Puget Sound and the Spokane River by addressing Washington’s number one water pollution problem, toxic stormwater runoff.
While we recognize the legislature for providing $30 million of helpful stop-gap revenue for clean water projects in the Capital Budget, in order to fully address our state’s number one water pollution problem, we must have a significant and sustained funding source to fund local projects that clean up toxic runoff before it enters our water. Each year we delay in implementing a comprehensive solution, it puts Washington State further behind and makes our work in the long-term more costly.
Washington's waterways are central to our way of life here in the Pacific Northwest. From Puget Sound to the Spokane River, they play a big role in our economy, our food system, and our quality of life. They are important places for us to hike, fish, and enjoy nature. Right now, they are under serious threat. Every time it rains, millions of gallons of toxic runoff wash into Puget Sound and our lakes and rivers, spreading poisons that threaten our health, environment, and economy.
Putting people back to work
The 2011 Clean Water Jobs Act would have directly funded local projects to clean up toxic runoff before it enters our water. This would have meant thousands of good-paying new jobs in our communities on projects like retrofitting urban streets in Bremerton or building storm drains in Puyallup. Cities and counties know what they need to build and local businesses are ready to get to work. Meanwhile, our construction industry is facing record unemployment rates with thousands of workers looking for jobs. Now is the time for job-creating investments in clean water infrastructure.
Polluters should pay their fair share
Toxic runoff from our roads and urban areas is the number one water pollution problem in Washington and it’s only fair that polluters of our water pay to clean up after themselves. A small fee on toxic runoff pollutants, like oil, pesticides, herbicides, and other hazardous substances, would have provided a polluters-pay approach to creating new jobs in communities across Washington..
The right solution for Washington
The 2011 Clean Water Jobs Act, SB 5604 / HB 1735, would have created jobs, rebuilt our local economies, and cleaned up polluted waterways like Puget Sound and the Spokane River. By levying a small fee on the wholesale value of toxic runoff pollutants, this legislation would have generated $100 million annually to pay for local projects through a competitive grants process. It’s time for polluters of our water to pay their fair share to clean up after themselves. It’s time to create jobs, clean up our water, and protect our quality of life.
This list from the Department of Ecology shows project examples from across the state (funding came from part of last year’s one-time $54 million allocation).
Read the Sightline Institute report, "Curbing Stormwater in Puget Sound."
Campaign Contact: Shannon Murphy, (206) 631-2628, shannon [at] wcvoters.org