Jay Inslee announced he would back off on yet another deal. This time around, he will set “aside draft rules for clean-water standards that have been under development for a year.” The Seattle Times,
“The announcement comes as Inslee shifts gears on environmental issues after encountering resistance this year in the Legislature. Earlier this week, the governor announced he would use his executive authority to pursue a cap on carbon emissions in Washington state.”
The draft clean-water rules in question were developed by the state Department of Ecology (DOE). Inslee intended that the rules would be implemented along with “legislation meant to reduce toxic chemicals.” That bill passed the state House, but it not make it through the state Senate. The Seattle Times,
“Inslee and state officials are now assessing what to do instead, which could include rewriting the draft rules. Reducing chemicals through the administrative rule-making process — rather than the Legislature — is another possibility, according to Jaime Smith, spokeswoman for the governor.
“The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requiring the state to update its clean water rules and would review and approve any update. If the state doesn’t submit a new rule, the EPA will impose one on the state, according to Smith.”
Inslee claimed that the state lacks the “necessary broad approach to protecting our water in a way that advances human, environmental and economic health” without the accompanying legislation. However, according to a DOE official, the legislation is not necessary for the rules to move forward.
Many groups expressed disappointment by Inslee’s decision—groups like the Association of Washington Business have been working for a bi-partisan, reasonable solution. It appears that trust is becoming an even bigger problem between Inslee, legislative Republicans and the business community in Washington State.