When I’m out on my stand-up paddleboard or hiking, it’s pretty easy to understand how clean air, water and soil contribute to our quality of life. But until a few years ago, I didn’t quite get the connection between a healthy environment and a strong economy.
Turns out, these basics – clean air, water and soil - are also an important economic driver. One-third of our state’s economy is tied to natural resources -- through agriculture, forestry, fishing, outdoor recreation, waterborne trade and other activities. http://www.ecy.wa.gov/economy.html/
Some people think weakening state environmental protections will help the economy by promoting job growth. But pitting the environment against the economy is based on a false presumption: that you can’t have both. Solutions that help the environment and bolster the economy not only make sense, they are essential to quality of life in our state.
To learn why state environmental regulations are sometimes more protective than federal regulations, see http://www.ecy.wa.gov/pubs/1201002.pdf.
To learn more about Washington’s environmental laws, see http://www.ecy.wa.gov/about/quality_laws.html.