Environment

“I strongly support Gerry Pollet continuing to serve in the House as a champion for protecting our environment. Gerry brings valuable experience to the House Environment Committee, including having helped draft and pass some of our most important environmental protections in Washington, such as our Growth Management Act and hazardous waste cleanup law. Gerry adds a focus and understanding of the details of environmental protection and diligent hard work to the House Environment Committee.”

-Representative Dave Upthegrove, Chair, House Environment Committee

“Gerry understands and advocates for the needs of conservation groups for public involvement in addition to being a champion protecting the health of our communities and rivers.”

-Brett VandenHeuvel Executive Director, Columbia Riverkeeper*
(*organization and title for ID purposes only)

I have devoted my entire career to protecting our environment, the health of children and our communities, and working in the public interest. As Director of Heart of America Northwest, I am nationally recognized as the long-time leader of the efforts to clean up the Hanford Nuclear Reservation (the most contaminated area in the Western Hemisphere); and, as co-author of  some of our state’s most important environmental laws.

However, my most important environmental accomplishment is inspiring and training students and the public to be active environmentally concerned citizens and helping students who are interested in devoting their careers to working for our environment.

The 46th District wants a legislator who does much more than just vote for the environment. We need a legislator who is a local leader for our environment.

“Gerry thinks globally and acts locally.”                          -Seattle City Council Member Nick Licata

My years of hands-on successful leadership working on environmental issues have earned me the strongest endorsements from environmental leaders and organizations.  (See the bottom of this page.) I have worked for the cleanup of Hanford and to stop use of Hanford as a national radioactive waste dump; been a champion for our state to play a leadership role in the nation to fight climate change and promote renewable energy; worked for clean water and protection of Puget Sound and Lake Washington; and successfully drafted and lobbied for laws to protect children’s health from exposures to toxic wastes and chemicals.

“Gerry Pollet has proven to be an effective champion in the Legislature for cleaning up and protecting Puget Sound, working for clean water and to protect children’s health. It is important to keep Gerry’s knowledge and unmatched background in the Legislature.”

-Kathy Fletcher, Founder and former Exec. Director, People for Puget Sound*
(*organization and title for ID purposes only)

“Gerry was the lead legislator working to restore public involvement opportunities and support for environmental and citizen groups at toxic waste sites and working for cleanup of Puget Sound and other waterways. Gerry has done a great job in his first term as a WA State legislator. He’s proven his worth. We need to keep him in the Legislature working on our behalf.”

-Darlene Schanfald, President,
Olympic Environmental Council* and NW Toxics Communities Coalition*
(* organization and title for ID purposes only)

Protecting Our Environment in Seattle, Lake Forest Park and Kenmore
Our District faces unique and difficult environmental challenges: In addition to leading one of the region’s largest environmental groups and teaching at the UW School of Public Health, I have been a leader in our community to protect our environment in Seattle, Lake Forest Park and Kenmore for many years:

  • Leading efforts to preserve trees and streams, including amending the law to ensure that downstream impacts of large developments on flooding and habitat are considered
  • Working to protect the health of our children and the environment of Lake Washington from newly discovered toxic dioxins near Log Boom Park
  • Representing community groups and organizing to prevent flooding and habitat destruction from large developments upstream from Kenmore and Lake Forest Park
  • Advocating for improved transit service, and providing funds for sidewalks and bike lanes
  • Legislation I introduced this year would require that every city consider the impact on meeting transit standards when large new developments are being approved, and to have developers pay their fair share for transit.
  • Advocating to fund a pedestrian and bicycle bridge over I-5 to serve the Northgate Transit Center and North Seattle Community College, and a circulator bus for the transit center  – greatly reducing the number of car trips and need for new parking garages.

Combating Climate Change
I have been a longtime leader in the fight against climate change, and I am a strong voice for the environment in Olympia. I advocated for the closure of the last coal-fired power plant in Washington, and I was one of the few legislators that opposed the rollback of Ecology’s authority to consider climate change under our State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) checklists.I know that decreasing our reliance on fossil fuels is essential to meeting Washington’s Greenhouse Gas emission goals, and I worked on the House Environmental Committee to protect our renewable energy standards (Renewable Portfolio) that the citizens of this state passed in 2006. I have won the support of many of our state’s most important environmental organizations, and I look forward to continuing my work on behalf of the environment next session.

My agenda includes continuing my work on proposals to utilize our State’s MTCA oil import fee (I was a co-author of MTCA, our toxic waste cleanup law) to fund a range of directly connected efforts which simultaneously address protection of our waters (especially Puget Sound) from automobile generated toxic runoff while reducing total climate change emissions from cars by investing in transit, bicycle commuting and pedestrian friendly development; low impact development (LID) storm water strategies, and alternatives to our gasoline fueled vehicles.

I am also a champion for new strategies to invest in solar energy and conservation with zero interest or low interest loans for homeowners, businesses and apartment owners who would be willing to reduce their electricity consumption and utilize solar power, but need help with the high front end cost. The revolving loans would be paid off through the savings and sale of the extra electricity to the local utility (which helps reduce everyone’s electricity costs by avoiding new centralized power plants).

Protecting Our Children from Toxic Exposures
Toxic chemicals linked to cancer, infertility, birth defects, and learning problems can be found in items we use every day, including products designed for children. I was a proud cosponsor of the Toxic-Free Kids Act this past session, which requires manufacturers of consumer products that are deemed harmful to assess safer alternatives and use them when they are identified.

When the chemical companies testified against the Toxic Free Kids Act that chlorinated TRIS and formaldehyde were at safe levels in baby shampoos and children’s products, and told colleagues that chlorinated TRIS was not a carcinogen, I led the questioning exposing the falsehoods.

Understanding toxic exposure issues allowed me to share data with fellow legislators and convince many of my colleagues that the industry was trying to pull the wool over our eyes when it said that formaldehyde in baby shampoo was ‘safe.” With my help, the bill was passed out of the House with strong support. I am committed to getting the bill passed through the Senate next session, and I am confident that it is only the first step in a successful movement to remove toxic chemicals from household products.

Supporting Transit
Transit agencies across Washington are facing large budget shortfalls caused by a steep drop in sales tax revenue, which currently funds transit service in Washington. To pay for maintaining existing service and increased transit, I support local option MVET and sales and gas tax increases for transit. Since transit reduces congestion, total trips, and the asphalt area needed for automobile lanes, I believe that a specified portion of toll revenues should be available for transit. The restriction on use of gas taxes for roads is inappropriate and needs to be changed to provide for transit support.

In 2011, I wrote and introduced legislation to require that cities and counties consider the impact of proposed large developments on transit service standards, which would enable cities and counties to have developers to pay their fair share of the costs of meeting transit standards.

Healthy Transportation
For decades Washington has engineered opportunities for physical activity out of our transportation system, making it harder and more dangerous for people to bicycle and contributing to a startling rise in rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and chronic health conditions related to air pollutants.  Our state spends well over $1 billion on obesity-related health care costs every year.  I am a strong supporter of added health to Washington’s six transportation goals so that we can integrate health implications when designing, building, and maintaining our transportation system.  This has the potential to save lives, improve health and safety, and reduce billions of dollars in preventable health care costs by shifting our investments toward more active ways of getting around.

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Gerry’s endorsements tell the story.

Environmentalists through out the district, the state, and the nation have endorsed Gerry.  Here are just a few of them.

Rep. John McCoy (38th LD – Tulalip) Chair, Technology, Energy, & Communications
Rep. Dave Upthegrove (33rd LD – Des Moines) Chair, House Environment

Rod Brown, President, Washington Environmental Council*
Kathy Fletcher, Founder & former Exec. Director, People for Puget Sound*
Virginia Gunby, Transportation Activist, 46th LD PCO
Darlene Schanfald, President, Olympic Envtl. Council* & NW Toxics Communities Coalition*
Kim Josund, Lake Forest Park Environmentalist
Fred Felleman, Marine Environmentalist
Phil Harrison, Sierra Club Activist*, 46th LD PCO

Nancy Adelson, Environmental Activist
Carol Lee Cotter, Environmental Activist
Jeff Eustis, Environmental Lawyer
Ann Hurst, Kenmore Environmentalist
Leslie March, Anti-Nuclear Activist
Nancy Matela, Environmental Activist
Elizabeth Mooney, Kenmore Environmentalist
Steve Plusch, Lake Forest Park Environmentalist
Brett VandenHeuvel Executive Director, Columbia Riverkeeper*
(* organization and title for ID purposes only)