Saldaña’s HEAL Act would ensure equitable policy implementation

OLYMPIA Senate Bill 5141, also known as the HEAL Act and introduced by Sen. Rebecca Saldaña (D-Seattle) this week, would reduce environmental health disparities in Washington state and improve the health of all Washington state residents using principles of environmental justice. Studies have found that people of color and low-income people are disproportionately exposed to environmental hazards in communities across Washington state. As a result, there is a higher risk of adverse health outcomes for those communities, and this risk is amplified for communities with pre-existing economic barriers and environmental risks. The HEAL Act would implement recommendations from the Environmental Justice Task Force – established by the Legislature last year – on how state agencies should incorporate environmental justice ...

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