Category Archives: environment

Hearing Examiner issues a mixed ruling on Transportation Impact Fees SEPA review

This afternoon the Seattle Hearing Examiner issued a long-awaited ruling on an appeal of the city’s SEPA Determination of Non-significance (DNS) for its first step in establishing Transportation Impact Fees (TIFs). He found that the city had impermissibly left a section of the SEPA checklist blank, and remanded it back to the city to at least partially complete it.

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O’Brien unveils bill prohibiting gas hookups for new buildings

This morning, Council member Mike O’Brien announced that he is introducing a bill that would prohibit the installation of natural gas piping systems in new buildings starting July 1, 2020.

Council member Mike O’Brien announcing his bill that would prohibit natural gas piping in new buildings starting next July

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Seattle’s Green New Deal

Earlier this year, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives “recognizing the duty of the federal government to create a Green New Deal.”  It hasn’t gone anywhere, but it started a conversation about how to address the looming climate crisis while also creating new economic opportunities.

Activists, understanding that the current political reality of Washington D.C. means that federal action is unlikely anytime soon, have begun to focus their efforts instead on local actions in cities with progressive political leadership — Seattle being one of those cities. In June, the Council signed a letter expressing their conceptual support for a Green New Deal. More recently, a group of activists representing Got Green, Mazaska Talks, and the Sierra Club presented to Council member O’Brien’s Sustainability and Transportation Committee on a Seattle version of a Green New Deal.

O’Brien has taken up the charge and is moving forward with legislation. This week, he introduced a resolution laying out the agenda for a Green New Deal for Seattle, along with an ordinance creating a Green New Deal Oversight Board. Let’s look at what they say.

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Council, City Attorney preparing to sue fossil fuel companies (UPDATED)

(updated below)

Earlier this week, the City Council sent a letter to City Attorney Pete Holmes indicating its support for his plan to sue fossil fuel companies over the damage that their product has done to the city due to anthropogenic climate change.

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Understanding the Key Arena Renovation Draft EIS

Earlier this week, the city released its draft Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed renovation of Key Arena by the Oak View Group. The document is 321 pages, with another 306 pages of appendices. Here’s a guide to what it says, and how you should let the city know your thoughts.

Also, we learn what a “woonerf” is.

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