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Environmental justice assessment notices

The Healthy Environment for All Act (HEAL Act) requires specific state agencies to conduct an environmental justice assessment for significant agency actions.

  • The development and adoption of significant legislative rules as defined in RCW 34.05.328.
  • The development and adoption of any new grant or loan program that the agency is explicitly authorized or required by statute to implement.
  • A capital project, grant, or loan award costing at least $12,000,000.
  • A transportation project, grant, or loan costing at least $15,000,000.
  • The submission of agency request legislation to the Office of the Governor or OFM for approval.

An environmental justice assessment is a process to:

  • identify and assess the impacts of a significant agency action on overburdened communities, vulnerable populations, and Tribes;
  • solicit community and tribal input in the development of the action and on options to mitigate, reduce or eliminate harms and equitably distribute benefits associated with the action;
  • report on how the agency did or did not modify the action based upon community and tribal input.

The goal of an EJ assessment is to help a state agency make decisions and to assist with:

  • equitably distributing environmental benefits;
  • reducing environmental harms;
  • identifying and reducing environmental and health disparities through the implementation of the action.

Agencies covered by the HEAL Act or who have opted in to the HEAL Act requirements include these departments:

  • Agriculture (WSDA)
  • Commerce
  • Ecology
  • Health (DOH)
  • Natural Resources (DNR)
  • Transportation (WSDOT)
  • Office of the Attorney General
  • Puget Sound Partnership (PSP)

Under RCW 70A.02.090 each covered agency must file a notice with us of significant agency actions for which the agency is initiating an environmental justice assessment. We prepare a list of all filings received from covered agencies each week to post here every Friday.

Below is list of state agency environmental justice assessments that you can filter by agency or type of action, or use the search bar to find certains terms. Select the "+" symbol for desciptions of the action, how the public can provide input, and a link to the EJ assessment when completed.

Date submitted Date initiated Date completed Agency Type Agency action Description Methods for providing public comment Published EJ assessment
01/10/2024 12/04/2023 Ongoing Agriculture, Department of Significant legislative rules Aligning general pesticide rules with federal certification and training standards Amends chapter 16-228 WAC, General Pesticide Rules, to align with SB 5330 (Chapter 186, Laws of 2023), the federal certification and training standards in 40 CFR 171 passed in 2017, and the Washington Plan for Certification of Pesticide Applicators approved by the Environmental Protection Agency in December 2022. Members of the public can direct their comments on this significant agency action to envjustice@agr.wa.gov. Community engagement, particularly for any communities identified as overburdened for this significant agency action, will also occur as part of the development of the environmental justice assessment.
02/06/2024 01/01/2024 07/19/2024 Agriculture, Department of Significant legislative rules Japanese Beetle Quarantine Expansion Amends and expands the Japanese beetle quarantine to include additional portions of Yakima and Benton Counties, as well as a portion within the city Pasco. Soil samples will be added to the list of regulated articles, and a clarification will be made that cut flowers exposed to open air environments are a regulated article. Members of the public can direct their comments on this significant agency action to envjustice@agr.wa.gov. Community engagement, particularly for any communities identified as overburdened for this significant agency action, will also occur as part of the development of the environmental justice assessment. An Environmental Justice Assessment Of the 2024 Japanese Beetle Quarantine Expansion
01/12/2024 01/08/2024 Ongoing Agriculture, Department of Significant legislative rules Aligning electric vehicle supply equipment rules with federal technical requirements Amends chapter 16-662 WAC, Weights and Measures, to align with the Federal Highway Administration's National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program's technical requirements for electric vehicle supply equipment payment methods. Members of the public can direct their comments on this significant agency action to envjustice@agr.wa.gov. Community engagement, particularly for any communities identified as overburdened for this significant agency action, will also occur as part of the development of the environmental justice assessment.
07/19/2024 04/23/2024 Ongoing Agriculture, Department of Significant legislative rules Amending the Apple Maggot Quarantine Boundary in chapter 16-470 WAC. As a result of a petition for rule making, the department is considering expanding the apple maggot quarantine area in Okanogan County. Members of the public can direct their comments on this significant agency action to envjustice@agr.wa.gov. Community engagement, particularly for any communities identified as overburdened for this significant agency action, will also occur as part of the development of the environmental justice assessment.
07/19/2024 03/24/2024 Ongoing Agriculture, Department of Significant legislative rules Amending the commercial feed and pet food/specialty pet food rules in chapters 16-250 and 16-252 WAC. Adopts the latest version of the Association of American Control Officials (AAFCO) Official Publication (OP), clarifying areas of the rule regarding livestock feed and including additional categories of product types that were previously absent. Members of the public can direct their comments on this significant agency action to envjustice@agr.wa.gov. Community engagement, particularly for any communities identified as overburdened for this significant agency action, will also occur as part of the development of the environmental justice assessment.
08/25/2023 08/01/2023 03/04/2024 Agriculture, Department of Agency-request legislation Agricultural Pest and Disease Revolving Funds This significant agency action establishes permanent funding to prepare for, prevent, detect, contain, and eradicate identified agricultural pest and disease threats before they become established and authorizes funding for WSDA to take immediate actions to build capacity, execute rapid response, and maintain trade resiliency. Members of the public can direct their comments on this significant agency action to envjustice@agr.wa.gov. Community engagement, particularly in communities identified as overburdened for this significant agency action, will also occur as part of the development of the environmental justice assessment. An Environmental Justice Assessment of the Establishment of an Agricultural Pest & Disease Revolving Fund
07/19/2024 06/24/2024 Ongoing Agriculture, Department of Significant legislative rules Amending the fees that support the Fruit & Vegetable Inspection Program in chapter 16-390 WAC. Increases Fruit & Vegetable Program fees and revises the fee schedule to more accurately reflect the scope of services provided, including but not limited to adding fees for services that are not specifically identified in current rule. Members of the public can direct their comments on this significant agency action to envjustice@agr.wa.gov. Community engagement, particularly for any communities identified as overburdened for this significant agency action, will also occur as part of the development of the environmental justice assessment.
04/16/2024 04/11/2024 04/25/2024 Agriculture, Department of Significant legislative rules Accreditation of Cannabis Laboratories The WA State Department of Agriculture is proposing a new ruleset to establish a state program for the accreditation of cannabis laboratories in accordance with the standards set forth in 16-309 WAC. The purpose of the program is to ensure that laboratory standards described in chapter 16-309 WAC are followed when testing cannabis and cannabis products in Washington State. Members of the public can direct their comments on this significant agency action to envjustice@agr.wa.gov. Community engagement, particularly for any communities identified as overburdened for this significant agency action, will also occur as part of the development of the environmental justice assessment. An Environmental Justice Assessment of the Establishment of Chapter 16-310 WAC, Accreditation of Cannabis Laboratories
08/25/2023 08/01/2023 09/13/2023 Agriculture, Department of Agency-request legislation Private Cannabis Lab Accreditation Transition from Ecology to WSDA This significant agency action moves the authority to conduct lab accreditation of private cannabis laboratories from the Dept. of Ecology to WSDA. Members of the public can direct their comments on this significant agency action to envjustice@agr.wa.gov. Community engagement, particularly in any communities identified as overburdened for this significant agency action, will also occur as part of the development of the environmental justice assessment. An Environmental Justice Assessment of Transferring the Authority to Accredit Cannabis Labs from ECY to WSDAs
05/21/2024 03/22/2024 06/25/2024 Agriculture, Department of Significant legislative rules WSDA Grain Inspection Program’s Rulemaking for Chapter 16-240 WAC: Definitions, Standards, and Fees WSDA is proposing to amend Chapter 16-240 WAC by increasing some of the Grain Inspection Program fees, revising some of the fee structures to more accurately reflect the scope of services provided (including but not limited to adding fees for services that are not specifically identified) and to clarify language to ease in the understanding of the rule. Members of the public can direct their comments on this significant agency action to envjustice@agr.wa.gov. Community engagement, particularly for any communities identified as overburdened for this significant agency action, will also occur as part of the development of the environmental justice assessment. An Environmental Justice Assessment Of the Rulemaking for Chapter 16-240 WAC, WSDA Grain Inspection Program - Definitions, Stand
07/19/2024 04/17/2024 Ongoing Agriculture, Department of Significant legislative rules Amending chapter 16-752 WAC, by adding species to the prohibited plants list. Adds additional species to the noxious weed seed and plant quarantine, which would prohibit their sale and distribution. Members of the public can direct their comments on this significant agency action to envjustice@agr.wa.gov. Community engagement, particularly for any communities identified as overburdened for this significant agency action, will also occur as part of the development of the environmental justice assessment.
02/06/2024 01/08/2024 Ongoing Commerce, Department of New grant or loan program State Home Energy Assistance Program State appropriation provided solely for the department to administer grant funding through the existing network of federal low-income home energy assistance program grantees to provide low-income households with energy utility bill assistance. Under the grant program, each household accessing energy bill assistance must be offered an energy assessment that includes determining the household's need for clean cooling and heating system upgrades that improve safety and efficiency while meeting Washington's climate goals. Virtual meetings and post plan to website for review
09/13/2023 09/13/2023 11/28/2023 Commerce, Department of Agency-request legislation Repealing the greenhouse gas content calculation requirement in RCW 19.405.070 This bill repeals a statute enacted in 2019 that requires that electric utilities submit to Commerce a calculation of the greenhouse gas content of the electricity they supply to their customers. This report is unnecessary because more complete and stringent reporting requirements were enacted by the Legislature in 2021. This bill would not result in any positive or negative environmental or health outcomes for communities in Washington and is therefore found to not be SAA. The public may provide comments during committee public hearings in the legislative session, but Commerce does not plan to conduct additional outreach. Repealing the greenhouse gas content calculation requirement in RCW 19.405.070
04/09/2024 04/09/2024 Ongoing Commerce, Department of New grant or loan program Law Enforcement Vehicle Pursuit Technology Grant Program New program to provide law enforcement with grants for modern vehicle pursuit management technology (for example: GPS tracking equipment, automated license plate readers, aircraft, and non-armed and non-armored drones, etc.). Grants are for local law enforcement agencies (including tribal law enforcement agencies). Proposals must include a request for specific technology and a specific plan for implementation, use, and effectiveness reporting of that technology. Local law enforcement agencies seeking grants must: 1) Establish data-sharing and management policies; and (2) Establish policies ensuring all operating personnel are trained to use the requested technology and comply with the data-sharing and management policies mentioned in item 1 above. This program is expected to reduce the danger of pursuits in communities by giving law enforcement more efficient and modern tools. More technology being implemented may track additional data that may not have been historically tracked. Following a competitive process (RFP S24-34444-001) 18 contractors were selected for SFY '24. These are listed below: Omak Police Department Monroe Police Department Benton County Sheriff's Office Marysville Police Department Kirkland Police Department Woodland Police Department Everett Police Department Reardan Police Department Lake Forest Park Police Department Puyallup Police Department Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office Port Angeles Police Department in partnership with Lower Elwha Tribal Police Richland Police Department Washougal Police Department Olympia Police Department Yakima Police Department West Richland Police Department Spokane County Sheriff's Office In process: setting up a webpage, email engagement, and working with community engagement team internally.
01/11/2024 05/01/2023 Ongoing Commerce, Department of Significant legislative rules Updating Housing WACs This project involves updating the Washington Administrative Codes to implement 17 pieces of legislation recently adopted that change portions of the Growth Management Act with many actions intended to make housing more affordable and accessible to people of all income levels. The burden of complying with these rules falls upon municipalities and the changes will be directly relevant to individuals in cities and counties required to implement new housing policies. These rule changes do not apply to Native American Tribes. We have an email list of interested parties numbering almost 200. We update and communicate through this list, as well as through our online portal. We intend to have two virtual public listening sessions once a full draft is available. We will accept public feedback at these listening sessions and online and will have a 30-to-60-day comment period. A public hearing is also required as part of the Rulemaking process.
06/14/2024 06/14/2024 Ongoing Commerce, Department of Other Home Rehabilitation Grant Program Department of Commerce administered the Home Rehabilitation Loan Program (HRLP). In 2023 the Legislature passed substitute HB 1250, mandating Commerce to go through the rule process and convert HRLP from a loan program to a grant program. Commerce will participate in a Tribal briefing, release a Request for Information and hold virtual stakeholder input meetings.
11/28/2023 09/01/2023 Ongoing Commerce, Department of Agency-request legislation Solar Consumer Protections This legislative proposal would establish solar consumer protections in statute. Commerce has developed this proposal after hearing about an increase in problematic sales and installation practices of distributed solar energy systems. The proposal focuses on contracts between solar energy contractors and residential or commercial property owners. The language would establish required contract provisions to make customers aware of what services they will and will not receive. The contract provisions would be enforceable in a legal proceeding or under RCW 19.86 (the Consumer Protection Act). Commerce held a public workshop on the proposal on September 27, 2023 to share information and collect input. This fall, Commerce's Energy Division has been hosting meetings around the state on a potential statewide energy bill assistance program. At those meetings, we are sharing a fact sheet on the solar consumer protections legislative proposal and information on how to provide input. Commerce is continuing to accept public input through this smartsheet form: https://tinyurl.com/solarleg.
11/28/2023 09/01/2023 Ongoing Commerce, Department of Agency-request legislation Promoting equitable economic and technological advancement through the Clean Energy Fund This legislative proposal would codify the Clean Energy Fund as a permanent program at the Department of Commerce and establish the central principles and rules of the program. The Clean Energy Fund (CEF) was established as a Governor Inslee initiative in 2013 and has been championed by his administration. It is critical to establish permanence for this program so that it can continue to provide the investments needed to accelerate Washington’s transition to clean energy and ensure that all communities are able to participate in and benefit from this transition. CEF not only catalyzes the development of new technologies needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but it also enables adaptation of these technologies to suit the different needs and conditions of communities throughout the state. The Legislature has provided biennial funding for investments through the CEF which has resulted in a reincarnation of the program every two years. Establishing the CEF program in statute creates continuity, establishes clear objectives for a permanent program, and enables the program to be responsive to policy, market transformation and local needs. It also signals the Legislature's enduring commitment to partner with communities to achieve a clean, affordable, resilient and just energy future. The Department of Commerce seeks regular feedback and community input on how we design and implement Clean Energy Fund (CEF) grant opportunities. This includes workshops on funding opportunities and regular engagement with entities participating in and interested in applying to CEF. In 2020, an Energy and Climate Advisory Committee was convened to evaluate how CEF could be improved and made more accessible. Many of the recommendations of the Committee's report have been incorporated into this proposal. Most recently, the Department of Commerce issued a Request for Information this fall on how to implement the latest round of funding under the Clean Energy Fund. Commerce's overarching goal is to ensure that access to CEF funds is equitable and that implementation of CEF reduces burdens that can prevent communities from participating in clean energy innovation. Notably, the proposed legislative language would require Commerce to give priority to applications for projects that benefit vulnerable populations and overburdened communities.
10/18/2023 09/26/2023 Ongoing Commerce, Department of New grant or loan program WA Electric Vehicle Charging Program Given the mission is simple: to reduce emissions, improve air quality and promote equitable access to electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The program offers $64 million in awards for organizations installing EV chargers at certain sites, with a focus on multifamily housing, publicly available charging and tribal locations. The Washington Electric Vehicle Charging Program helps fund infrastructure that supports clean transportation in communities across Washington. We're reducing transportation emissions, improving air quality, and ensuring EV charging access for all. This new grant program includes program design, project initiation, outreach and technical assistance to the community, award selection, and project implementation to reach the goal of facilitating the installation of at least 200 direct current fast charging (DCFC) ports and 2,000 Level 2 (L2) charging ports across Washington. Throughout the community engagement, outreach, and technical assistance process, public comment and feedback is being collected with a focus on assessing opportunities, barriers, and mitigation suggestions by participants and the community. EJA OPEN FOR PUBLIC COMMENT AT LINK BELOW Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Grant Program
06/27/2024 05/30/2024 Ongoing Commerce, Department of New grant or loan program Washington Families Clean Energy Credits Grant Program The Washington Families Clean Energy Credits Grant Program dedicates $150 million to assist low- and moderate-income households with the clean energy transition. This initiative will offer bill credits of $200 per income qualified household to eligible residential customers through their electric utility provider.The Department of Commerce will distribute grants to all utility companies in Washington, enabling them to pass on $200 bill credits to customer accounts by September 15, 2024. March - September 2024: Community Meetings (as guest) Email comments OTHER Print Media Web-based comment form A call center may be supported and furnished with Commerce's administrative funding. However, this has not yet established in contract.
11/28/2023 10/23/2023 Ongoing Commerce, Department of New grant or loan program Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (Phase 1 – Design) Design multi-phase incentives program mechanisms to increase EV adoption. Early phases of the program will be focused on point-of-sale rebates. Community Meetings, email comments, stakeholder Interviews, web-based comment form.
01/19/2024 12/26/2023 06/03/2024 Commerce, Department of New grant or loan program Grant funding to protect and improve water quality and salmon recovery through smart growth planning Provide funding to local governments and tribes to revise their comprehensive plans and development regulations to better integrate stormwater and salmon recovery work in local jurisdiction's plans and programs. Email comments, GovDelivery emails, listening sessions Grants to local governments and tribes to incorporate salmon recovery into local planning efforts
05/10/2024 04/10/2024 Ongoing Commerce, Department of New grant or loan program Distribution of the Community Reinvestment Account: Legal Assistance Provides outreach and education to support the vacating of criminal records and legal financial obligations relief and aims to address the needs of Black, Indigenous and Latino individuals impacted by the criminal justice system in disproportionately affected neighborhoods in Tacoma and Seattle. Advisory Groups Community Meetings (as guest), GovDelivery, Office Hours posted on the Department of Commerce Community Reinvestment Project website, Email through Dept of Commerce Community Reinvestment Project Website.
10/19/2023 09/19/2023 Ongoing Commerce, Department of New grant or loan program Transit Oriented Development of Affordable Housing - Match Program Grant program to provide funding for housing projects with a minimum affordable component. Project eligibility is heavily prescribed in terms of size (minimum 100 units) and location (maximum distances from "rapid transit corridors"). The location element effectively restricts potential project sites to a very limited number of locations - almost exclusively in the Seattle-to-Tacoma region. The form of assistance to be provided is also dictated. Projects must include private funding - though no match level (e.g. 1:1, 1:4) is specified. Notification of SAA, with a draft implementation plan, was provided via GovDelivery. A specific email address has been established for stakeholder comment; this email address was provided in the GovDelivery message. A brief survey covering major points of the draft plan was created; a link to this was also included in the GovDelivery message. A public webinar describing the draft plan and providing an opportunity for public comment to be recorded has been scheduled for 10/23; this was announced via the GovDelivery message and posted to the Commerce website. Moving forward, Commerce will act through its Outreach unit to engage potentially affected communities directly.
04/11/2024 04/11/2024 Ongoing Commerce, Department of New grant or loan program 40101(d) Grid Resilience Grant Program The EPIC Unit in the Energy Division is developing a new grant program for electric grid resilience projects across the state. This will be a competitive solicitation using funding awarded to Washington State by the Department of Energy (DOE) from DOE's 40101(d) Grid Resilience State/Tribal Formula Grant Program. The program intends to strengthen grid resilience through funding projects that reduce the frequency, duration, and/or impact of power outages. The methods for which public comment can be provided for state agency consideration are still being determined. In a recent EJ Assessment, a written public comment period was opened, alongside a survey and a virtual feedback session. These options will be considered for this EJA.
07/11/2024 06/25/2024 Ongoing Commerce, Department of Agency-request legislation WSBO Program Update, including SBO Goals Update and Transfer of the administrative duties for the Digital Equity Forum to the Office of Equity This Agency Request Legislation will accomplish two things. First, to formally move the administration of the Digital Equity Forum to the Office of Equity. Second, we also plan to update WSBO goals in RCW 43.330.536 to better align with the current work in PWB, CERB and the SBO. Input for this ARL can be provided using our public comment form. https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/78649f9ca0b74d35854a7e817bd0e349
11/29/2023 09/15/2023 Ongoing Commerce, Department of New grant or loan program Grant: Coordinating Low-Income Housing Planning Commerce is initiating a new grant program ($500,000) to support t coordination of land use planning and homeless service planning to better plan for our state’s housing needs as both disciplines update their planning documents for the future over the next two years. Given the planning focus of the grant and the statewide reach of the grant, our outreach involved contacting key representatives in each county (land use planners and homeless service entities) to get feedback on the grant through an online survey (https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/80941850449144d491d23ee70281ca9b). The survey opened on 11/13/23 and will be open through 12/1/23. In addition to the survey, we conducted a listening session on Nov. 20th advertised to all those who received the survey. With this feedback, we will tailor both the grant parameters and the award prioritization criteria.
03/04/2024 07/01/2023 Ongoing Commerce, Department of New grant or loan program Transit Oriented Development of Affordable Housing - Match Program Competitively awarded funding, managed by Commerce's Multifamily Housing Unit (MHU), for Transit Oriented Affordable Housing development. The language of the budget (ESSB 5200, Section 1022) laid out very specific parameters regarding both size and location of projects. As written, projects must be no smaller than 100 units in size, and must be located within 1/2 mile of light or commuter rail, or within 1/4 mile of bus rapid transit. this creates a very limited area in which projects can be sited (principally along the I-5 or I-405 corridors in King County), and effectively requires a high level of development experience from any interested organization, or partnership with a consultant that brings such experience. An SAA was published to Commerce's webpage on 9/13/2023, and a public forum was held via Zoom in October of 2023. while the public forum's primary concern was to confirm Commerce's understanding of the budget language and articulate its plans for implementation, space was held for discussion concerning Environmental Justice considerations. MHU is working with Commerce's internal Environmental Justice workgroup to explore additional pathways to involve communities.
01/22/2024 12/29/2023 Ongoing Commerce, Department of Significant legislative rules Updates to Growth Management Administrative Rules for Climate Change Planning Growth Management Services is updating Washington Administrative Codes to reflect recent legislation (HB 1181 - 2023 legislative session) regarding requirements for cities and counties to develop a climate change element within their comprehensive plans. A CR 101 has been submitted and was noticed January 19, 2024 to launch these efforts. Commerce conducts a monthly state agency advisory group and is forming city/county planner and other stakeholder input groups with special emphasis on overburdened communities and vulnerable populations. Commerce will host community 'listening sessions' to review drafts and also welcomes email comments and phone calls. Commerce communicates with stakeholders via GovDelivery emails, planner newsletters, conferences and tribal meetings.
05/10/2024 04/10/2024 Ongoing Commerce, Department of New grant or loan program Distribution of the Community Reinvestment Account: Violence Prevention Provides capacity building and technical support to existing OFSVP funding programs addressing the prevention and intervention of firearm violence. Advisory Groups Community Meetings (as guest) GovDelivery, Office Hours posted on the Department of Commerce Community Reinvestment Project website, Email through Dept of Commerce Community Reinvestment Project Website.
04/11/2024 09/15/2023 Ongoing Commerce, Department of Capital project, grant, or loan award of at least $12 million CCA funding direct appropriation grant to Quinault Indian Nation Legislative direct appropriation for $12,050,000 from the Climate Commitment Act funding to the Quinault Indian Nation for five projects in the Tohola Village Relocation Master Plan. Visit impacted community and collaborate with tribal representatives and leaders to strengthen relationships.
12/04/2023 09/19/2023 Ongoing Commerce, Department of Agency-request legislation Clarifying, updating and modifying office of homeless youth prevention and protection statutes This is Department of Commerce, Housing Division, agency request legislation related to several technical clarifications that are needed in RCWs to improve the administration of Office of Homeless Youth (OHY) grant programs. The current RCW language presents barriers to the successful implementation of OHY programs or contributes to a lack of clarity about OHY's roles and responsibilities. The requested changes originated from requests from community providers and lived experts. Community engagement on these technical fixes already took place, with the changes being developed in consultation with Office of Homeless Youth advisory groups and stakeholders. Since these are small technical fixes, we don't anticipate future concerns from stakeholders. We don't anticipate any impacts on Tribal Nations or lands.
05/10/2024 05/10/2024 Ongoing Commerce, Department of New grant or loan program Distribution of the Community Reinvestment Account: Reentry Services This new grant expands the existing Reentry Grant Program that provides reentry services to justice- involved individuals who have recently exited or are in the process of exiting incarceration. Advisory Groups Community Meetings (as guest), Focus Group, GovDelivery, Office Hours posted on the Department of Commerce Community Reinvestment Project website, Email through Dept of Commerce Community Reinvestment Project Website, Steering Committee.
03/19/2024 03/19/2024 Ongoing Commerce, Department of New grant or loan program Nonprofit and Religious Nonprofit Security Grant To provide grants to non-profit organizations including, but not limited to, religious nonprofits, "by and for" organizations, or cultural community centers, to fund the physical security or repair of such institutions. Advisory Groups, Email comments, Listening Sessions (as host), Social Media, Stakeholder Interviews and Surveys
12/05/2023 12/05/2023 Ongoing Commerce, Department of Agency-request legislation Changing the incentive structure for tier 1 buildings This proposed Agency Request Legislation would change the authorizing language for the Clean Buildings Early Adopter Incentive Program. This incentive program, authorized in 2019, offers $75M in incentives to Tier 1 buildings owners who bring their buildings into compliance. This ARL would remove the 85 cent cap per square foot and allow Commerce to have more flexibility in establishing an appropriate incentive. This would allow Commerce to offer an incentive greater than 85 cents per square foot and offer enhanced incentives for buildings which meet a number of important criteria (ex. The building meets an equity criteria). This represents a small change in the authorizing language for the program, which has now been active for four years. Public comment will be accepted at buildings@commerce.wa.gov
12/07/2023 08/25/2023 Ongoing Commerce, Department of New grant or loan program Grants to Community Based Organizations to Support Participation in Local Planning The Department of Commerce shall establish a grant program for community-based organizations for the specific purpose of advancing participation of vulnerable populations and overburdened communities in the planning process during the GMA periodic update cycle. The department will send GovDelivery emails and create a web-based comment form and accept comments via email or phone.
01/25/2024 01/22/2024 Ongoing Commerce, Department of New grant or loan program 23-25 Combined Renewable Energy Programming Energy Programs in Communities (EPIC) (Energy Division) will be running a combined, single application RFA for multiple programs in January 2024, five of which are brand new programs requiring an EJA: Hard to Decarbonize Sectors Grants, Clean Energy Siting and Permitting Grants, Large Scale Solar Innovation, Dual Use Solar Pilot Grants, Solar + Storage for Community Facilities, Community Solar + Storage for Low Income Grants. This combined EJA will focus on these provisos and their respective EJ concerns. A 30 day public comment period as well as a virtual public listening session for further comment.
01/30/2024 01/30/2024 Ongoing Commerce, Department of New grant or loan program State Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates Program Commerce will provide grants to eligible third-party administrators to administer rebate programs for high-efficiency electric equipment and appliances, with a focus on rebate programs for low- and moderate-income households, small businesses, and adult family homes. The HEAR Program is providing grants in four tracks of funding: Local Government Programs, Tribal Electrification, Adult Family Homes, and LMI Residential Programs. A survey for households and small businesses is posted and open on the program website. Tribal listening sessions will be held in February - April 2024 time frame. When the Request for Applications is developed, Commerce will post the draft to the website for a public comment period.
09/08/2023 08/31/2023 11/28/2023 Commerce, Department of Agency-request legislation Buy Clean and Buy Fair This bill would address embodied carbon by requiring reporting on environmental and workforce impacts associated with the production of building materials used in state building construction projects. The key provisions in this bill include reporting on three categories of building materials (concrete, steel, and wood) used in covered projects, development of a database to track data, manage compliance, and promote transparency, and convening a technical work group to provide recommendations on future policy and program development. Public comments for Buy Clean and Buy Fair can be directed to seep@commerce.wa.gov. The State Efficiency and Environmental Performance Office (SEEP) will work with the Community Engagement and Tribal Relations teams at Commerce to schedule virtual and in-person outreach and engagement opportunities. Additional details on outreach strategies are included in the environmental justice assessment for Buy Clean and Buy Fair. Buy Clean and Buy Fair Legislation
11/20/2023 09/26/2023 Ongoing Commerce, Department of New grant or loan program Grants to Community-Based Organizations to Support Participation in Local Planning The department shall establish funding levels for grants to community-based organizations for the specific purpose of advancing participation of vulnerable populations and overburdened communities in the planning process during the GMA periodic update cycle. Commerce will send out a GovDelivery email to elicit comments via email and a web-based comment form.
09/12/2023 09/12/2023 Ongoing Ecology, Department of Significant legislative rules Cap-and-Invest Offsets Rulemaking (Chapter 173-446 WAC) Ecology is considering amendments to Chapter 173-446 WAC to address new and revised cap and invest offset protocols. Offsets are projects or programs designed to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere. In Washington’s cap-and-invest program, offset projects must also provide direct environmental benefits to our state. Offsets allow businesses to balance out the negative impacts of their emissions by funding a project that benefits the environment such as capturing methane on dairy farms or planting trees in urban areas. The scope of this rulemaking will include consideration of protocol updates or addition of new protocols to increase the potential variety of offset projects that can be developed within the cap-and-invest program, as directed by RCW 70A.65.170(4)(b). This statute directs Ecology to conduct rulemaking that ensures that any updates or additions to the offset program are both based in the best available science, and support the needs of landowners and communities in Washington state. Ecology is initiating this environmental justice assessment and the rulemaking process and will provide engagement opportunities that include public meetings and comment periods. As we schedule opportunities for feedback and participation, we will share them through our website and distribution list. Please visit the rulemaking’s webpage or sign up for email updates here: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/WAECY/subscriber/new?topic_id=WA... . Please contact Nikki Harris at nikki.harris@ecy.wa.gov for comments or questions.
03/29/2024 02/02/2024 Ongoing Ecology, Department of Capital project, grant, or loan award of at least $12 million Loan offer to Snoqualmie Pass Utility District for wastewater treatment plant membrane bioreactor improvements The purpose of this action is to provide the Snoqualmie Pass Utility District with $18 million in loan funding to construct updates to the wastewater treatment infrastructure to meet surface water quality standards and phase out the current land treatment system. Infrastructure upgrades include a membrane bioreactor, solids handling facilities, aerobic digestion, sludge dewatering, drying beds, and associated instrumentation and controls. Currently, wastewater is land applied to 45 acres of Forest Service property. After completing these improvements, the Snoqualmie Pass Utility District will treat wastewater and discharge it to Coal Creek, which drains to Lake Keechelus. The project location includes the treatment plant at 370 Treatment Plant Road, Snoqualmie Pass, WA 98068. The project also impacts Coal Creek, a tributary of Lake Keechelus. Anticipated benefits from the investments made with this loan include: • The treated wastewater from the new membrane bioreactor system will have a higher water quality than the treated wastewater from the existing lagoon system. These improvements mean the facility will no longer release treated wastewater to land, which will prevent runoff to a nearby lake during part of the year. • The new treatment technology will discharge cleaner wastewater to Coal Creek. • The Forest Service will recover the land application site and allow it to return to natural habitat conditions. Ecology plans to conduct engagement focused on connecting with overburdened communities and vulnerable populations for the environmental justice assessment of this loan offer beginning in April 2024 . Ecology conducted public engagement in February and March of 2024, with an online webinar and public comment period. We will respond to comments regarding environmental justice, overburdened communities, or vulnerable populations with vulnerabilities impacted by the action and seek further involvement to address concerns. Through methods yet to be determined, Ecology will identify additional opportunities to engage overburdened communities in Kittitas County and provide opportunities for their meaningful involvement in this funding decision. Ecology will also invite Tribal consultation with impacted Tribes, which includes but may not be limited to the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Snoqualmie Indian Tribe, and Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation. Please contact Faith Wimberley at faith.wimberley@ecy.wa.gov with any comments or questions, or visit the webpage below to stay informed.
06/05/2024 06/05/2024 Ongoing Ecology, Department of New grant or loan program Improving Air Quality in Overburdened Communities Grants Program Section 3 of the Climate Commitment Act, RCW 70A.65.020, requires Ecology to take actions to reduce criteria air pollutant emissions in identified overburdened communities highly impacted by air pollution. To help meet these reduction requirements, Ecology is developing and implementing a new grant program to incentivize and support the reduction of non-regulated sources of criteria pollutant emissions in communities identified to be overburdened and highly impacted by air pollution. Ecology will lead an inclusive outreach effort to engage with Tribes, local municipalities, and non-governmental organizations in these communities to seek input on the design of the grant program. $10M will be available to organizations severing these communities to engage with people in their community towards the goal of identifying and developing local projects to improve air quality. Reducing criteria air pollution will improve air quality and protect public health in overburdened and highly impacted communities and will help to reduce environmental and health disparities. This grant program is supported with funding from Washington’s Climate Commitment Act (CCA). We will use a variety of methods to engage with people from overburdened communities and vulnerable populations to inform this work, including inviting formal consultation with Tribes and a virtual listening session for Tribal members and staff; virtual listening sessions for organizations serving overburdened communities, including community groups and local municipalities; an online public comment period; as possible, direct outreach and education, including tabling at community events and attending existing community meetings; web content; and GovDelivery distribution list. Outreach and engagement efforts will occur in May and June 2024 and focus on the communities Ecology identified as overburdened and highly impacted by air pollution and Tribes.
06/13/2024 06/13/2024 Ongoing Ecology, Department of Other Potential linkage of Washington’s Cap-and-Invest carbon market with the joint California-Québec carbon market As required by the Climate Commitment Act (CCA), Ecology is investigating the option of linking Washington’s Cap-and-Invest carbon market with the California-Québec carbon market. Through linkage, Washington’s carbon market would combine with the joint California-Québec market to create a single shared market with joint allowance auctions and a common allowance price across all jurisdictions. Allowances could be traded across jurisdictions and used to cover emissions in any of the three jurisdictions. The law also requires Ecology to evaluate specific criteria to ensure linkage would benefit Washington’s communities, economy, and climate goals. Ecology is pursuing linkage with California and Québec based on a preliminary analysis that joining a larger carbon market will lead to lower and more consistent allowance prices, benefitting businesses and consumers in Washington. This Environmental Justice Assessment is separate from the Environmental Justice Assessment being conducted on the Cap-and-Invest Linkage Rulemaking. Additionally, Ecology previously conducted an Environmental Justice Assessment on the 2024 carbon market linkage agency request legislation (Senate Bill 6058). We will consider input received through those other linkage related Environmental Justice Assessments in this Assessment. While the completion of each of these Environmental Justice Assessments is a separate legal obligation, Ecology intends to approach them as a comprehensive, iterative process of engagement and consultation that will continually inform our awareness and understanding of potential impacts as well as potential methods to minimize or eliminate harms and maximize benefits for vulnerable populations and overburdened communities. All of these processes must be complete before Ecology can sign a linkage agreement. Ecology plans to conduct public engagement starting in summer 2024, with outreach focused on people from overburdened communities, vulnerable populations, and Tribes, for the purpose of developing this Environmental Justice Assessment. Ecology will provide a variety of ways for the public to provide input to inform this Environmental Justice Assessment, including: online public meetings, individual and small group meetings with interested parties, and online public comments. We will also reach out to groups with an environmental and environmental justice focus and community-based groups by email and phone to see if they would like to provide input for this assessment. We will also ask if groups are hosting meetings that Ecology can participate in to share information, answer questions, and continue to gather input. As we schedule opportunities for feedback and participation, we will share them through our website and email distribution list. Visit the linkage webpage at cca.wa.gov/linkage for updates or email us at CCALinkage@ecy.wa.gov with comments or questions.
11/22/2023 11/22/2023 Ongoing Ecology, Department of Significant legislative rules Rulemaking to amend chapter 173-305 WAC Hazardous Waste Fee Regulation The Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) plans to amend chapter 173-305 WAC, Hazardous Waste Fee Regulation. This rulemaking will focus on clarifying how we implement the Hazardous Waste Fee Regulation, including the Hazardous Waste Planning Fee (planning fee). We will also make updates throughout the chapter to reflect new statutory references and improve clarity. The planning fee does not clarify how we calculate the fee for an individual waste stream that designates as both dangerous waste (DW) and extremely hazardous waste (EHW). This rulemaking will clarify how we calculate the planning fee for this type of waste stream. It will also better explain how we implement chapter 173-305 WAC by making the current language concise and easier to understand. Improved clarity in this rule may help communities and individuals navigate complex administrative processes. In addition, clear and concise rules facilitate better compliance, streamline efficiency to government services, and enhance trust in the fairness of the regulations. Before we adopt the new rule, we plan to offer our stakeholders and the public at large an opportunity to participate in the rulemaking process by holding a formal public comment period. For the purposes of this assessment, we plan to follow a strategic outreach plan specifically directed at engaging communities located in areas characterized as overburdened using existing data and resources. The rulemaking webpage will be updated to incorporate upcoming opportunities and methods to communicate with us before the rule is formally adopted. The public may also email us directly by sending comments to the resource mailbox, hwfeerule@ecy.wa.gov. In May 2023, we held two informational webinars during which we described the purpose of this rulemaking and asked for initial feedback on this rule amendment.
09/13/2023 08/31/2023 Ongoing Ecology, Department of Agency-request legislation Dredge-and-fill permit program Ecology is proposing legislation that would direct the agency to establish a permit program and grant authorization to consider a fee for a “dredge-and-fill” permit that is being developed in response to the recent Supreme Court decision in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency The public may comment at any time by visiting the agency webpage below. The Department will also host two public listening sessions on this agency request legislation on October 5, 2023, at 3:00 pm and 5:30 pm. More information on the listening session is located on the agency webpage.
09/14/2023 09/14/2023 Ongoing Ecology, Department of New grant or loan program Water Security Drought Grant Initiative Ecology is developing a new pilot grant initiative focused on local water security preparedness and planning in the context of drought. In 2024, Ecology will make $1.8 million available statewide via competitive grants for Tribes and local applicants to plan for future water security. These plans will identify the specific actions, and associated costs and timeframes, a local community intends to take to increase its water supply security as it faces the burden of intensifying severity and expanding drought conditions as our climate continues to change. While designed to benefit all members of a given local community, this water security grant program will prioritize the water security for Federally recognized Tribal governments, overburdened communities, and vulnerable populations. Ecology invites comments and questions from people in overburdened communities and vulnerable populations, including water systems that include overburdened and vulnerable members of that community. Information about the EJ Assessment and the grant program are available on the program website. Members of the public can direct their comments to Caroline Mellor, Water Resources HEAL ACT lead at Caroline.Mellor@ecy.wa.gov.
03/15/2024 02/02/2024 Ongoing Ecology, Department of Capital project, grant, or loan award of at least $12 million Water Quality Program draft loan offer to the City of Lynden for updated infrastructure at the municipality’s wastewater treatment plant. The proposed action is to provide the City of Lynden with $18,394,140 of loan funding to improve the municipal wastewater treatment plant, including upgrading the oxidation ditches to a Modified Ludzack-Ettinger (MLE) biological treatment system, constructing a new blower building, and modifying a suite of other systems within the plant. These retrofits will improve nutrient removal to meet new water quality permit requirements and increase treatment capacity to accommodate anticipated economic growth in the area. The project location is the Lynden Wastewater Treatment Plant at 800 South 6th Street, Lynden, Washington. Anticipated benefits from this loan offer include: • Improved water quality in the Nooksack River and continued benefits to communities that use the Nooksack River, a tributary of Bellingham Bay, part of the Puget Sound. • Reduced nutrient pollution discharging from wastewater into the Nooksack River. • Increased treatment capacity for anticipated population growth over the next 20 years. • Greater energy efficiency in the wastewater systems. Ecology plans to conduct engagement, focused on connecting with overburdened communities and vulnerable populations, beginning in April 2024 to assess the environmental justice of this loan offer. Ecology conducted public engagement in February and March of 2024, with an online webinar and public comment period. We will respond to comments regarding overburdened communities or populations with vulnerabilities and will seek further involvement as needed to address concerns. Ecology will identify additional opportunities to engage overburdened communities in Whatcom County and provide opportunities for their meaningful involvement in this funding decision. Ecology will invite Tribal consultation with impacted tribes, including but not limited to Nooksack, Lummi, Swinomish, Upper Skagit, and Tulalip Tribes. Ecology will engage in consultation in formats that are requested by the tribes and which create opportunities for their meaningful involvement in this funding decision. Please contact Faith Wimberley at faith.wimberley@ecy.wa.gov with any comments or questions.
01/18/2024 01/18/2024 Ongoing Ecology, Department of Significant legislative rules Chapters 173-400 and 173-401 WAC, General Regulations for Air Pollution Sources Chapter 173-400 WAC (General Regulations for Air Pollution Sources). This chapter establishes standards and rules to control and prevent pollution from air contaminant sources. The rulemaking will involve updating references to an Ecology technical manual used in source testing and certification. Chapter 173-401 WAC (Operating Permit Regulation). This chapter establishes Washington’s air operating permit program to comply with Title V of the Clean Air Act (CAA). Rule amendments to this chapter are needed to remain in alignment with federal regulations and fix an incorrect reference. Ecology plans to conduct public engagement, with outreach focused on people from overburdened communities and vulnerable populations, for the purpose of developing the environmental justice assessment for this rule. We plan to hold informal stakeholder meetings during the rule development period where members of the public are invited to ask questions and provide comment. Meeting information will be provided via Ecology’s website and “Air Quality Rule and SIP Updates” email distribution list. We will hold also public hearing and comment period following rule proposal, which is expected in September 2024. Please contact Adam Saul at adam.saul@ecy.wa.gov with any comments or questions.
05/02/2024 05/02/2024 Ongoing Ecology, Department of Significant legislative rules Chapters 173-18, -20, -22, -26, and -27 WAC, Shoreline Management Act Rules Update The Department of Ecology is conducting rulemaking to amend Chapters 173-18, -20, -22, -26, and -27 under the Shoreline Management Act. These Chapters contain Ecology’s rules that carry out the provisions of the Shoreline Management Act. This includes the guidelines for local governments developing, amending, and administering shoreline master programs (SMPs) and standards for SMP administration, permitting, and enforcement. During this rulemaking, we will amend each of these WACs to ensure that our rules are current, reflect changes to the Shoreline Management Act, and clearly and efficiently guide local governments in upholding the goals of the Act. The scope of this rulemaking will be refined through the public engagement process but will include sea level rise. Some of the other topics we are considering may include shoreline stabilization, critical area protections, channel migration zones, mooring buoys, and more. Ecology is amending Chapter 173-26 and 173-27 WAC to: • Comply with the Shoreline Management Act (Chapter 90.58 RCW) and address issues that have we have identified through the review, adoption, and implementation of SMPs. These revisions will provide clarity around SMP approval/amendment procedures and permit and enforcement procedures. Additional amendments may be included for clarity. • Add requirements for local governments to address the impact of sea level rise and increased storm severity on people, property, and shoreline natural resources and the environment. Ecology is also amending Chapters 173-18 and -20 WAC, to update the list of streams, rivers, and lakes in completed SMP updates and amending Chapter 173-22 WAC to clarify designations of shorelands and wetlands associated with shorelines of the state. This rulemaking will be statewide. However, the specific requirement to address the impact of sea level rise and increased storm severity will apply only to jurisdictions with marine shorelines. For this rulemaking, Ecology will develop and follow a communication plan for public outreach, including a dedicated focus on connecting with people from overburdened communities and vulnerable populations. For the environmental justice assessment, we plan to connect through multiple methods, such as virtual meetings and listening sessions, which will take place in 2024 and 2025. There will also be additional opportunities for people to connect during the rulemaking public comment period and public hearings. To learn more about the rulemaking process and opportunities to get involved, visit our website, which will be updated with more information. You can also join our email list, which is also on our webpage.

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