Current Issues

Washington wheat farmer appointed to USDA task force on air quality

Brian Cochrane, a dryland wheat farmer from Franklin County, has been appointed by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to take part in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Air Quality Task Force. “I feel honored and humbled to be selected for the Agricultural Air Quality Task Force,” Cochrane said. “I have been looking for a way to impact the ... Read More »

State Legislative Report Feb. 23

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist The list of active bills has been further narrowed after the deadline for bills to pass their house of origin was reached last Wednesday. Policy committees have resumed public hearings on legislation from the opposite house. The next deadlines are Friday, Feb. 26, when bills must get out of their policy committee and Monday, Feb. 29, ... Read More »

State Legislative Report Feb. 16

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist Today is the 36th day of the 60 day session. The focus in the Legislature this week will be on passing bills out of the house of origin. The deadline to pass bills out of the house of origin is Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 5 p.m. The Legislature did not work over the weekend which ... Read More »

State legislative report Feb. 9

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist On Friday, we reached the first deadline of the legislative session. Any policy bills that did not move out of their original committee by Friday at 5 p.m. are dead for this session (unless otherwise revived). This drastically reduces the list of bills that are likely to move this session. The only legislation not covered ... Read More »

Ecology releases new draft clean water rule

The Department of Ecology today released a new draft clean water rule (also known as the fish consumption rule) that contains a more protective cancer risk rate, in keeping with the governor’s directive from October 2015. The Environmental Protection Agency also is preparing a rule for Washington in case the state’s rule is not finalized. EPA released its draft rule ... Read More »

State legislative report Feb. 2

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist Last Friday marked the end of the third week of the legislative session. The first legislative deadline is fast approaching. All policy bills must make it out of their policy committee of house of origin (i.e. Senate bills must pass out of their Senate policy committee and House bills must pass out of their House ... Read More »

State legislative report Jan. 27

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist Week 2 of the legislative session was busy with public hearings on legislation. The first legislative deadline is Feb. 5, 2016, when all policy bills must make it out of their policy committees. Tim Eyman’s I-1366 Latest Initiative Ruled Unconstitutional Last Thursday, a King County Superior Judge ruled I-1366 unconstitutional and voided it. I-1366, approved ... Read More »

Washington state legislators honored by NAWG

The National Association of Wheat Growers has honored three members of Washington state’s federal delegation and one staffer for their support of the U.S. wheat industry. All the awards are given to people who have demonstrated support for the industry above and beyond the norm. Sen. Maria Cantwell has been named the 2015 Wheat Leader of the Year. The Wheat Leader ... Read More »

Ecology releases draft rule to cap carbon emissions

Today, the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) released its draft Clean Air Rule to limit carbon pollution. Organizations that emit 100,000 metric tons or more of greenhouse gases in the state would be required to reduce their carbon emissions 5 percent every three years beginning in 2017. Besides gradually reducing their carbon pollution, organizations could meet their reduction goals ... Read More »

Washington drought losses estimated at $336 million…and counting

From the Capital Press Washington farmers lost at least $336 million to the drought last summer, a preliminary estimate likely to climb as more figures on yields and prices became available, according to a report by the state Department of Agriculture. The report estimated specific dollar losses for only a handful of crops — wheat, apples, blueberries and red raspberries. Read ... Read More »