Emissions – a visual story

A gathering of photos showing the onslaught of emissions that we are exposed to. Industry wants us to believe that this is mostly steam. The burden of proof is theirs to assure the citizens that we are not being poisoned. I have little confidence in industry. They vehemently campaign against regulations or fines which would hold them accountable.

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I encourage you to question our lawmakers. Why do we not make them accountable? Here is an example of language that industry uses to usurp the public trust.

RCW 43.21C.0311

Final environmental impact statements—Expeditious manner—Time limit—Reports.

(1) A lead agency shall aspire to prepare a final environmental impact statement required by RCW43.21C.030(2) in as expeditious a manner as possible while not compromising the integrity of the analysis.

(a) For even the most complex government decisions associated with a broad scope of possible environmental impacts, a lead agency shall aspire to prepare a final environmental impact statement required by RCW 43.21C.030(2) within twenty-four months of a threshold determination of a probable significant, adverse environmental impact.
(b) Wherever possible, a lead agency shall aspire to far outpace the twenty-four month time limit established in this section for more commonplace government decisions associated with narrower and more easily identifiable environmental impacts.
(2) Beginning December 31, 2018, and every two years thereafter, the department of ecology must submit a report on the environmental impact statements produced by state agencies and local governments to the appropriate committees of the legislature. The report must include data on the average time, and document the range of time, it took to complete environmental impact statements within the previous two years.
(3) Nothing in this section creates any civil liability for a lead agency or creates a new cause of action against a lead agency.

Notes

Finding—Intent—2017 c 289: “The legislature finds that the analysis of environmental impacts required under the state environmental policy act adds value to government decision-making processes in Washington state and helps minimize the potential environmental harm coming from those government decisions. However, the legislature also recognizes that excessive delays in the environmental impact analysis process adds uncertainty and burdensome costs to those seeking to do business in the state of Washington. Therefore, it is the intent of the legislature to promote timely completion of state environmental policy act processes. In doing so, the legislature intends to restore balance between the need to carefully consider environmental impacts and the need to maintain the economic competitiveness of state businesses.” [ 2017 c 289 § 1.]

The law states that every two years, beginning December of this year, the Environmental Impact Statements undertaken by lead agencies will be reviewed for accuracy and accountability, but the language also to expedite all Environmental Impact Statements to “far outpace the twenty-four month time limit”.

In the meantime:

  • The general public does not get notified in a meaningful way
  • The general public is not able to spend the same amount of time as industry does with the lawmakers and lead agencies.
  • Industry is making donations, hosting lunches and conferences where interface with agency is outside the view of the public.
  • Complaints by the general public are disregarded and attacked.
  • Emissions continue, unmeasured in any meaningful way.

A lot happens in two years. That we don’t know about. And agency is happy to let industry continue to spew their emissions on a daily basis, without full accountability.

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