Washington State House Democrats


House sends two environmental protection bills to Senate

OLYMPIA – The vote was almost unanimous to again send Rep. Strom Peterson’s (D – Edmonds) bill to protect honeybee colonies and preserve pollen-rich food sources.

After months of working with stakeholders, an updated version (HB 2478) of Peterson’s 2015 bill to protect honeybee colonies gained four Republican co-sponsors. Last year, the House passed it 67-31. Today the House passed Peterson’s new bill 96-1.

“Noxious and invasive weeds are a problem we need to eradicate, but removing these high-pollen producing weeds has an unintentional side effect on honeybee populations,” Peterson said. “By replacing high-pollen noxious weeds with high-pollen local plants, we can clean up our environment while not causing damage to the bee population.”

The House also approved Peterson’s paint stewardship bill on a 51-46 vote, with one Republican voting for it.

The bill (HB 1571) would require producers of architectural (house) paint to participate in a stewardship program approved by the Department of Ecology to manage the disposal of leftover paint. It would also prohibit retailers from selling the paint of producers who do not participate in a stewardship program, effectively ensuring all sold house paint would be disposed of responsibly.

“This is about keeping paint out of landfills and giving people an easy way to get rid of the half-filled paint cans in their garages,” Peterson said. “Everyone uses paint — not everyone knows how to get rid of it. This bill makes that easy.”

Both Peterson’s bills now go to the Senate for consideration.