Asbestos Labeling Enforcement Policy

The Spokane Clean Air Agency has issued an update to its enforcement policy of the new Washington State asbestos labeling law approved earlier this year by the State Legislature.

SB 5458, Sponsored by Sen. Andy Billig, requires that any materials containing more than 1% asbestos must have a warning label that states:

“CAUTION!
This product contains ASBESTOS which is known to cause cancer and lung disease. Avoid creating dust. Intentionally removing  or tampering with this label is a violation of state law.”
Each infraction of the new law comes with a penalty of $10,000 per day, per instance.
As a result of some concerns from an SHBA member over how the legislation will be enforced the Spokane Clean Air Agency has issued a letter stating that if materials are found that contain more than 1% asbestos it is their intent to work with retailers, distributors, and wholesalers to resolve the issue with the manufacturer before issuing violations. You can read the full letter here.

Additionally, in an open meeting back in October and re-affirmed in a recent email communication, Sen Billig has agreed to go back through the legislation and sponsor some tweaks to alleviate some of the concerns shared by small businesses.
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Vague and Contradictory Data Make State’s Climate Report a Policy Rorschach Test | Washington Policy Center

Vague and Contradictory Data Make State’s Climate Report a Policy Rorschach Test | Washington Policy Center

—> Click to read the article from the Washington Policy Center

The Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup (CLEW) was designed earlier this year in a bill sponsored by Sen. Kevin Ranker and championed by Gov. Jay Inslee as a means to develop a broad range of options (including carbon pricing) to meet the greenhouse gas emission goals set by the legislature in 2008. The legislation indicates that it is supposed to analyze the greenhouse gas emission reduction programs implemented in other jurisdictions in order to find the most cost effective program for our state. Specifically its to do so by evaluating, “the relative impact [of those programs] upon different sectors of the jurisdiction’s economy, including power rates, agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation fuel costs; [and] the impacts upon household consumption and spending, including fuel, food, and housing costs, and program measures to mitigate impacts to low-income populations.”

Unfortunately, the group Chaired by Gov. Inslee has struggled to move forward a comprehensive economic impact analysis since it began meeting in May 2013. It even held two public forums, one in Spokane and one in Seattle before any economic impacts of the proposed tax and regulatory policies were known – perhaps indicating that the economics are more of an afterthought. 

Finally, in early November the consultant hired by CLEW released a report (link: http://alturl.com/ctk5k) containing several snippets of data pasted into a series of tables. However, much of the data contained in the near last minute report (the group is set to vote on recommendations in the coming weeks) comes out of jurisdictions different from Washington and in some cases from studies several years old – making the quality and value of these snippets questionable at best. 

Thankfully, Todd Myers of the Washington Policy Center has provided some of his insights in the article linked above.