This arrived in my email this morning. Please take a moment and contact your State Legislators to tell them to support this much needed legislation.
To: Mayors, Councilmembers, City Managers/Administrators, and Public Works Directors
SHB 1614 is eligible for action by the House today. There are only three days left of the legislative session and without your help, this critical bill will not pass.
It would provide much needed funding to address stormwater obligations.
Ask your Legislator to please partner with cities and support this effort to address stormwater obligations.
- State and federal obligations are here to stay and must be funded-regardless of the state fiscal crisis.
- City stormwater utility fees won’t be sufficient to meet this obligation – and they don't “charge” oil product pollution runs off from roadways.
· Cleaning up our marine and fresh waters is critical to the health of our communities and to future generations.
Because this bill has not been heard by the Senate yet, your Senator may not be familiar with it.
The bill would:
- Authorize a $1.50 per barrel fee on the first possession of petroleum products that contribute to storm water pollution. This modest fee will generate approximately $100M a year to address stormwater pollution. Initial surveys on meeting Phase I/II and Puget Sound clean-up indicate costs will be in the billions.
- Create the Water Pollution Account for mitigating and preventing stormwater pollution from petroleum products.
- Create a competitive grant process for funding existing stormwater grant programs, low-impact development retrofit projects and capital projects that address petroleum contamination of storm water through the implementation of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System programs. Department of Ecology administers the program.
Our opponents (the oil companies) don't deny that oil products cause stormwater pollution – they question to what degree they are part of the problem and are using “tax” vs. “fee” legal arguments to stall this legislation.
We strongly disagree with their arguments. The bill has been carefully constructed as a fee and recognizes that not all refined petroleum products cause stormwater pollution.