OLYMPIA—Today, the House Capital Budget Committee considered legislation by Rep. Beth Doglio (D-Olympia) that will make sure every taxpayer dollar spent procuring structural building materials for certain state construction and transportation projects will be used only on materials that are manufactured in a cleaner, less carbon-intensive manner with the best possible labor standards.
With this legislation, the state of Washington will finally begin considering the cumulative environmental impacts of the materials used in state construction and transportation projects.
House Bill 2744, known as the Buy Clean-Buy Fair Act, requires bidders of contracts for large construction and transportation projects to provide an environmental product declaration for eligible materials and report on their compliance, and their subcontractor’s compliance, with domestic labor law in countries where they produce goods or services.
“I’m excited about this bill because it complements the Clean Buildings legislation I passed in 2019 that focuses on the climate impact of building operation. This year, we’re following up by considering the climate impact of the materials bought with taxpayer dollars that go into constructing new buildings and transportation projects,” said Doglio.
“Simultaneously,” she continued, “we’ll make sure the state of Washington is sourcing materials from contractors that follow the best labor standards.”
Under the legislation, beginning in 2023, state agencies, higher education institutions, and nonprofit organizations receiving funding from the capital budget must provide a preference for low-carbon materials when awarding bids.
Building material categories subject to the bill’s provisions include concrete, carbon steel rebar, structural steel, unit masonry, wood, and certain gauge metal products.