Front and Centered | KNKX

Front and Centered

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX file

Environmental justice will be center stage Monday morning in Seattle’s Duwamish River Valley. That's where Gov. Jay Inslee is signing the so-called “HEAL Act.”

COURTESY OF WAshington STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

Environmental justice became part of federal law in 1990. Washington might soon catch up. A proposed state law would infuse the concept into the work of seven key agencies.  

FILE - In this Dec. 12, 2014, file photo, waves break on the remains of a structure as a house that toppled over the eroding Pacific Ocean shoreline of North Cove, Wash., shown in the background. This erosion may be climate-change-driven sea level rise.
Ted S. Warren / AP Photo / file

As state lawmakers gear up for the new legislative session, advocates for environmental justice are urging them to pass the HEAL Act of 2021. The acronym stands for “Healthy Environment for All.” It aims to target state investments into areas that have suffered the worst effects of pollution.

Washington State Department of Health

A bill that would address environmental justice is still alive in the state Legislature.

The so-called Healthy Environment for All, or HEAL, Act passed the House in the nick of time, getting a last-minute bipartisan vote of 88-10 just after 5 p.m. Wednesday, to clear the cutoff deadline.