Health Disparities map | KNKX

Health Disparities map

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.

In this June 1, 2016, file photo, piles of wood chips sit near a paper mill in Tacoma, Wash. Communities close to major sources of air pollution whose health suffers as a result could benefit from the work of the state's environmental justice task force.
Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

As they prepare for the next legislative session, state lawmakers are reviewing a report that calls for laws to ensure environmental justice.

It comes from a new entity, created in 2019 and charged with developing strategies to address findings in the Washington Environmental Health Disparities Map.

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.