OLYMPIA - Regulatory barriers to investment in marine economies would be removed without detriment to ecological standards under a bill passed by the state Senate today.
“This bill reaffirms Washington’s commitment to working waterfronts and vibrant marine economies,” said Ranker. “This bill meets a pressing need by simplifying the permit process for marine area projects while incentivizing responsible stewardship of our natural resources.”
Under the legislation, a project would have to meet several criteria before qualifying for the process. Projects would have to involve the reuse of degraded shorelines that will lead to an improvement in shoreline ecological functions, be located in a marine area with commercial and industrial use, and create 10 ongoing jobs.
The proposal is one piece of a reform agenda rolled out by Senate Democrats in early January.
“Washington’s recent and current budget shortfalls make it essential that we look for ways to make government more efficient and streamlined,” said Ranker. “This legislation stimulates economic development through government reform. It’s is a win-win for our working waterfronts, for the jobs they maintain and for the health of our marine resources.”
“This is the beginning of a conversation to take place this session regarding fundamental change so the state can operate more efficiently, better serve the public and create jobs now.”
The bill was passed with strong, bipartisan, near unanimous support 45-2. It now heads to the House for further consideration.
For more information, Michael Althauser, 360-786-7326