Seattle/King County Climate News 3.6.22

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Robin Briggs

Mar 6, 2022, 7:08:58 PM3/6/22
to Seattle Climate News
The Legislative Session is almost over -- I've tried to assemble a list of bills that have passed so you can get an overall view of where things have landed.


City Auditors reported on the Sidewalk Audit in a meeting of the Transportation Committee (starts min 15:00). Nearly half of the City's sidewalks are in a state of disrepair that may impair mobility. Although the City is liable for injuries from sidewalk disrepair, property owners are responsible for keeping the sidewalks in good state. However, the City only very rarely issues citations for bad sidewalks. One recommendation was to require property owners to pass inspection before selling property. The cost of bringing all sidewalks to a state of good repair was estimated at about $500 million dollars. For comparison (as noted by Ryan Packer) this is slightly more than is estimated to be required to replace the Magnolia Bridge.

The comment period for the proposed tree ordinance has been extended to April 4. Hearings will be scheduled once comments are in.


The PSRC will be doing briefing and feedback meetings on various aspects of the Comprehensive Plan, including one on Climate. 


Thanks to Climate at the Legislature for help understanding the bills. Many bill descriptions are cribbed from there.

March 10 is the last day of the session.

These bills passed both chambers, need Governor's signature

SB 5042. Eliminate the GMA vesting loophole. Part of Washington Can't Wait.

HB 1280 GHG emissions reductions in construction and leasing of public buildings. Includes the cost of greenhouse gas emissions and the consideration of all-electric systems in the analysis of buildings the State’s constructing or leasing.

HB 1793 Concerning electric vehicle charging stations in common interest communities. The bill prevents an apartment owners’ association from prohibiting or unreasonably restricting the installation or use of an electric vehicle charging station in a designated parking space for the personal use of an apartment owner. 

SB 5616 Allows using the energy efficiency account permanently for loans, loan guarantees, and grants that reduce greenhouse gas emissions for emissions-intensive, trade-exposed industries. 

HB 1753. Creates requirements for consultation with tribes on expenditures from the Climate Commitment Act.

HB 1768. Update definition of energy conservation projects. Expanding the definition of the conservation projects that the Department of Enterprise Services and school districts are to implement (if they’re cost effective) to include projects reducing energy demand or greenhouse gas emissions.

SB 5590. Eliminating the 2022 expiration date of the marine resources advisory council. Allows continued study of ocean acidification.

SB 5678. Provides for preliminary declarations by the UTC on whether proposed energy projects would comply with a utility’s requirements for reducing greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Energy Transformation Act

HB 1619. Update appliance efficiency standards.

These bills passed both chambers but need concurrence

HB 1099. Add Climate Element to the Growth Management Act. Part of Washington Can't Wait. Amended in the Senate to remove climate mitigation, and only require climate resilience.

SB 5528. Allow taxing within sub-areas of Regional Transit District (e.g. Sound Transit) for better service

HB 1644 School bus electrification. Allows funds from the Transportation Vehicle Fund to be used to purchase electric school bus and recharging infrastructure.

HB 1389 Reduce insurance requirements for peer to peer car rentals. Amended to require cars to have a twice the minimum level of insurance.

SB 5818 Limits review and appeals under the State Environmental Policy Act and Growth Management Act to promote housing construction in cities

HB 1663 Reducing methane emissions from landfill

SB 5619 Protecting kelp forests. Develops a plan to conserve and restore at least 10,000 acres of kelp forests and eelgrass meadows by 2040.

SB 5722 Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in buildings. Creates a benchmarking and energy management program (and eventual performance standards) for multifamily buildings of at least 50,000 sq. ft. and other buildings between 20,000 and 50,000 sq.ft.

HB 1799. Concerning organic materials management. Increases food composting and reduces food waste.

These bills affect the budget and are still in play

HB 2119/SB 5974 State Transportation Spending Package. Passed the Senate and referred to House Rules. Will need to conference.

HB 2118/SB 5975State Transportation Revenue Package.  Passed the Senate and referred to House Rules. Amended to drop export fuel tax introduced. Will need to conference.

HB 1918. Exempts zero-emission outdoor power equipment from the sales tax. A provision to add a 6.5% emissions tax on non-electric equipment was removed. Passed House, at Senate Way & Means.

HB 1988. Defer taxes for clean energy projects. Creates a ten year sales and use tax deferral for projects investing at least $2 million in clean technology manufacturing, clean alternative fuels production, generating renewable electricity, or storing it, with options for reducing or eliminating the deferred taxes.

SB 5849. Tax break for solar. Extends the reduced B&O tax rate for manufacturers of solar systems and components for five years; creates 10 year property tax exemption for new industrial or manufacturing facilities in designated areas. Passed the Senate, referred to House Finance.

SB 5714. Creating a sales and use tax deferral program for solar canopies placed on large-scale commercial parking lots and other similar areas. Passed Senate, in House Finance.

These bills failed recently

HB 1770 Strengthening energy codes passed the House, and made it to Senate Rules but failed to get a floor vote. It was amended in the Senate, as reported by Climate At the Legislature the bill "drops the requirements for net-zero readiness by 2034 and for an eventual 80% reduction in net energy consumption from the 2006 Washington State Energy Code. It eliminates the home affordability cost analysis. The bill now simply authorizes local jurisdictions to adopt a residential energy stretch code created by the Code Council to reach the 70% reduction in energy use currently required for the regular 2030 code three years earlier. (It would also require a 70% reduction in emissions, though.)"

HB 1660 Modifying the State’s limits on local jurisdictions’ ADU requirements. Passed the House, was scheduled for floor vote but no vote taken.
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