With a scary deficit hanging over this year's Washington State Legislative session, it's going to be awfully challenging for environmental issues to build momentum. There is one however that has a good shot at passing, and we're keeping our eye on it. That is Senate Bill 6289, legislation that is co-sponsored by Spokane Senators Chris Marr and Lisa Brown, legislation that would tightly restrict the use of phosphorus in lawn fertilizer. In addition to the Senate bill, a near identical piece of legislation was introduced in the houe, House Bill 1636, and it is co-sponsored by Spokane Rep. Timm Ormsby.
Photo from lakespokane.com
Our Spokane Riverkeeper Rick Eichstaedt has been diligent in informing us on what's going on, and just this week the Center for Justice's Tim Connor profiled the legislation with comments from Eichstaedt. “We really appreciate Senators Brown and Marr and Representative Ormsby for taking the lead on this,” said Spokane Riverkeeper Rick Eichstaedt. “The legislation offers a common sense approach to attacking non-point source phosphorous pollution. The science tells us that this can have significant benefits to water quality in places like Lake Spokane that suffer from low dissolved oxygen and toxic algae blooms. This approach has been used in a number of jurisdictions including King County and the states of Michigan and Minnesota. The prime mover for the bill has been the Washington Lake Protection Association and the development of the bill has involved coordination with a broad range of interested parties, including Avista, the City of Spokane and Inland Empire Paper Company.”
We encourage you to contact Senators Chris Marr and Lisa Brown and Spokane Rep. Timm Ormsby and thank them for their support of this key legislation, and please contact other local representatives and ask for their support. Tell them how much the Spokane River and other Inland Northwest water sources mean to you. There will be a hearing on this bill next Tuesday, and we'll be sure to share with you developments as we hear them from Rick Eicstaedt.