Shaping policy to cut carbon — The Nature Conservancy in Washington

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In order to ensure pollution is reduced and health disparities are addressed, we are advocating for an upfront investment from the revenue created by the CCA to create a comprehensive air pollution monitoring network in overburdened communities across Washington. This early investment is critical to create a baseline understanding of the cumulative impact pollution from multiple sources of toxic emissions is having in communities like the Duwamish Valley. 

Other crucial components of this legislation are an evaluation of the program by the Department of Ecology in 2025 and the authority granted to Ecology to regulate emitting entities to reduce GHG and co-pollutants. These recent additions to the policy are vital, but two major gaps remain in order to address concerns in overburdened communities:

  • The analysis to be conducted by Ecology in 2025 must be broadened to include an analysis of entities not covered by the CCA such as the 17 emitters in the Duwamish Valley. Without this analysis, there can be no true understanding of the impacts being felt by overburdened communities.

  • The authority granted to Ecology must include a goal of reducing co-pollutants and cancer risk in these communities in order to capture pollutants such as Particulate Matter 2.5mm and Nitrous Dioxide. To that end, we are advocating for a goal of reducing the cancer risk posed by emitters by 50% by 2034. This is a goal that is already in place in Oregon. 

We are grateful for the opportunity to work with legislators on the improvements that have been already been made to this bill, such as the new requirement that any linkage between Washington and other jurisdictions can be made only if the Department of Ecology can show that no overburdened community would see negative impacts as a result of that linkage. It is our understanding that the sponsor of the CCA is seriously considering the amendments we are putting forward in order to ensure more equitable, just and effective climate legislation.   

We are committed, globally and locally, to continuing a concerted, pragmatic and collaborative effort to address this urgent crisis with every tool we have while maintaining the highest possible standard of integrity.  We look forward to helping to shape this and other policy proposals toward maximum benefit for people and nature for this and future generations. 



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