Environment & Energy Milestone Timeline

Our ability to provide clean energy alternatives and preserve our environment is essential to our quality of life and to the strength of our economy. Learn more about what actions the Governor has taken to protect our beautiful state and re-think energy in the new millennium.

Year Initiative Short Summary Resources
2005 Governor signs green buildings bill Gov. Gregoire signs into law the high-performance green buildings bill, the first such law in the nation. It sets new construction standards for state and school district buildings to reduce water and energy use. News release
2005 Gov. Gregoire signs bill creating new Washington Academy of Sciences Governor signs bills to establish a new Washington Academy of Sciences to advise state government on scientific questions. News release
2005 Gov. Gregoire signs clean cars bill requiring strict auto exhaust emission standards Governor signs legislation to produce cleaner air and reduce gasoline use by requiring that new cars and light trucks sold in Washington state meet strict auto exhaust emission standards. News release
2005 Gov. Gregoire announces steps to improve state's tsunami preparedness Governor announces plans to improve the state’s tsunami preparedness. News release
2005 Gov. Gregoire moves forward with clean cars Gov. Gregoire notes that the entire state is in accordance with federal air quality standards for the first time, and signs a clean car rule that will ensure that cars and light trucks sold in Washington are the cleanest available. News release
2006 Breakthrough Columbia River water resource management bill Gov. Gregoire signs Columbia River water resource management law, breaking a 25-year gridlock over the economic and environmental future of Central and Eastern Washington. News release
2006 E-recycling legislation signed Gov. Gregoire signs bill to allow Washington citizens to recycle computers and televisions at no cost. This will prevent the release of hazardous substances into the environment. News release
2006 Agreement on ocean health reached Gov. Gregoire joins with other West Coast governors in announcing the West Coast Governors' Agreement on Ocean Health to protect clean water and beaches along the Pacific Coast. News release
2007 Announcement of Washington Climate Change Challenge Gov. Gregoire issues executive order to set goals for addressing climate change through the creation of a committee of transportation, environment and labor leaders. News release
Executive order
2007 Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Agreement reached Governors of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington announce new Western Regional Climate Action Initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. News release
2007 Gov. Gregoire signs legislation that positions Washington as leader in response to climate change Gov. Gregoire signs into law a measure that demonstrates Washington's leadership in responding to climate change. It sets goals for reducing emissions and growing jobs, pegs an emissions performance standard for new power plants and complements the goals in Gov. Gregoire’s climate change executive order, 07-02. News release
2007 Agreements deliver water for farms, cities, salmon in Eastern Washington Gov. Gregoire announces 2 historic agreements with Eastern Washington tribes to deliver water from Lake Roosevelt to the Columbia Basin for farmers, cities and endangered salmon. News release
2008 Gov. Gregoire signs bill to fight climate change and grow the state's economy Governor signs legislation to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, increase Washington’s energy independence and create new “green collar” jobs. News release
2008 Climate change bill signed Gov. Gregoire signs HB 2815 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Washington to put us at the forefront of an exciting future. Speech
2008 Governor signs historic legislation delivering water to farms, cities and salmon in Eastern Washington Gov. Gregoire signs legislation that will release the largest delivery of new water to towns and farms in the Columbia Basin, and for endangered salmon, in three decades. News release
2008 West Coast Governors launch Ocean Action Plan The governors of California, Oregon and Washington join together via satellite to launch a historic action plan to address ocean and coastal management issues along the West Coast. News release
2008 Washington state asks court to enforce federal cleanup at Hanford Gov. Gregoire announces that Washington will file suit in U.S. District Court to compel the U.S. Department of Energy to complete the cleanup of 53 million gallons of radioactive waste buried at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. News release
2009 Governor orders state actions to cut greenhouse gases and battle climate change Gov. Gregoire issues executive order directing state actions to reduce climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions, increase transportation and fuel-conservation options, and protect water supplies and vulnerable coastal areas. News release
Executive order
2009 Governor's statement on Hanford cleanup breakthrough Gov. Gregoire announces agreement that re-commits federal government to cleaning up America's toxic legacy at Hanford Nuclear Reservation, thus settling lawsuit against federal government and obligating a new, enforceable and achievable schedule for tank waste cleanup. News release
2009 Clean Energy Leadership Council convenes The newly created Clean Energy Leadership Council, convened by the Governor's Office, and a statewide public-private clean energy alliance hold first meeting in Seattle. The council will craft strategies to accelerate the state's transition from fossil fuels to ensure Washington continues to attract investments and lead the way for a clean-energy future that includes green jobs. News release
2010 New state energy strategy ordered by Gov. Gregoire "Today I signed Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 2658 into law, with the exception of Section 404 of the bill. This section, among other things, required the Legislature to approve or recommend changes to the state energy strategy and updates via concurrent resolution. I believe this subsection would have created ambiguities that would impede the Department of Commerce in the performance of its duties. Therefore, I direct the Department of Commerce to follow the process and schedule outlined in the bill by conducting the update and revision under the Department’s existing statutory authority." Directive
2011 Gov. Gregoire announces agreement with TransAlta A proposed agreement is reached with TransAlta to significantly cut emissions from the company’s coal-fired power plant in the Centralia area. The agreement was negotiated by TransAlta, the state and members of the environmental community to ensure a transition to cleaner power while allowing the necessary time to provide economic stability to Southwest Washington. News release
2011 Gov. Gregoire signs landmark legislation to transition state off coal power Gov. Gregoire, joined by TransAlta executives, legislators and members of the environmental and labor communities, signs legislation to phase out coal-fired energy production at the TransAlta power plant in Centralia. News release
2012 Governor creates the ocean acidification panel Gov. Gregoire announces the creation of a blue ribbon panel to study the emerging problem of ocean acidification, which threatens shellfish habitat in the Northwest. News release
2005 Gov. Gregoire appoints the initial Puget Sound Partnership Gov. Gregoire says she will designate $42 million to restore and protect Puget Sound and names a panel of Washingtonians to study clean-up efforts across the country and make recommendations for the Sound. News release
2007 Gov. Gregoire signs law to protect and restore Puget Sound Gov. Gregoire signs into law a measure she requested to create the Puget Sound Partnership to oversee the cleanup and restoration by 2020 of the Puget Sound. News release
2007 Gov. Gregoire, Coast Guard Rear Admiral Houck sign agreement to enhance measures to protect Puget Sound from oil spills Gov. Gregoire and Coast Guard Rear Admiral Richard Houck sign a memorandum of agreement directing how the state and federal government will work together to prevent, prepare for and respond to oil spills in Washington. News release
2008 Gov. Gregoire signs bill approving critical infrastructure loans Gov. Gregoire signs HB 2437 to approve $278 million in loans to 52 communities by the state Public Works Board to help local governments improve sanitary sewer, solid waste, road and domestic water infrastructure. News release
2008 Gov. Gregoire lauds Puget Sound Partnership Gov. Gregoire congratulates the Puget Sound Partnership for its action agenda to restore Puget Sound waters. News release
2011 Gov. Gregoire announces new shellfish initiative to create jobs, restore Puget Sound Gov. Gregoire unveils the Washington Shellfish Initiative, an agreement among federal and state government, tribes, and the shellfish industry to restore and expand Washington’s shellfish resources to promote clean-water commerce and create family- wage jobs. News release
Policy brief