Increasing tax on hazardous substances would help clean up Puget Sound, local waterways
StoryWith the Washington state Legislature considering legislation addressing the millions of gallons of toxic stormwater runoff that washes into our lakes, rivers, and Puget Sound, the Metropolitan King County Council today urged lawmakers to enact the Washington State Clean Water Act of 2010.
“Toxic stormwater runoff is the worst water pollution problem we face in Washington, and one that has been extremely challenging for local governments like King County to address,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips. “Taxing polluters to clean up pollution is a responsible approach to reclaiming Puget Sound and our lakes, rivers, and streams. If we allow pollution to continue degrading these ecosystems, we are imperiling our economy and our way of life.”
The Clean Water Act of 2010, or ESHB 3181, would enact a .85 percent increase of the state’s existing, voter-approved hazardous substance tax, which would generate approximately $100 million per year to fund local government stormwater pollution cleanup projects across the state.
King County and other local governments are required by the Federal Clean Water Act to control and clean up water pollution in their jurisdictions but have struggled with compliance because of cleanup costs and the difficulty pinpointing the source of the pollution. With King County and others struggling with budget shortfalls, the Clean Water Act of 2010 provides a funding source for meeting local jurisdiction’s obligations for stormwater pollution cleanup. It will also create construction jobs and improve the health of our waterways and Puget Sound.