Last summer, analyst Dave Kershner and I published a report documenting the way one of Washington’s few existing pollution taxes was undermined by its own poor design: it gives bulk discounts for polluters.

Well, state representative Zack Hudgins won $80,000 in the state budget to help craft a smarter hazardous waste policy. The money will fund a “stakeholder advisory committee” to advise the state on how to align its hazardous waste fee with its pollution prevention goals.

It’s a welcome step forward on an issue that’s had too-little attention. And the committee’s job isn’t hard: it can promote the simple, common-sense steps Dave and I recommended in the report. In particular, Washington should eliminate the limit on how much any single facility can pay in hazardous waste planning fees.


3/13 update by Eric: Over at the Seattle P-I’s environmental blog, reporter Lisa Stiffler has nice coverage of the issue, plus a link to her original article — the one that broke the story.