Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Environment & Energy Committee

HB 1853

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Developing and coordinating a statewide don't drip and drive program.

Sponsors: Representatives Ramos, Peterson, Paul, Gregerson, Ryu, Senn and Santos.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Directs the Washington State University Stormwater Center to develop and coordinate a statewide Don't Drip and Drive Program (Program) to address stormwater pollution and help drivers properly maintain cars.

  • Makes appropriations from the Motor Vehicle Fund to implement Program activities.

Hearing Date: 2/19/19

Staff: Jacob Lipson (786-7196).


Washington State University Stormwater Center.

The Washington State University (WSU) stormwater center is a collaboration between the University of Washington and WSU. The WSU Stormwater Center was created in 2010 as a result of legislative direction to the Department of Ecology (ECY) to create a stormwater technical resource center engaged in research, development, technology demonstration and transfer, education, outreach, and training. The WSU Stormwater Center is charged with reviewing and evaluating emerging stormwater technologies, developing solutions to remove pollutant runoff, conducting pilot projects, and coordinating with other agencies in administering stormwater control programs.

The Motor Vehicle Fund.

The Motor Vehicle Fund is an account in the state treasury for road, street, and highway purposes for use by state agencies and, through state agencies, by cities, counties, and towns. A number of sources of revenue are deposited into the Motor Vehicle Fund, including federal grants, state motor fuel taxes, and vehicle registration fees.

Water Discharge Permits.

The federal Clean Water Act establishes the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), which regulates wastewater discharges. The NPDES permitting authority is delegated to the state, allowing the ECY to issue wastewater permits to cities and counties. The NPDES permits are required for anyone, including local governments, who discharges wastewater to state surface waters.

Don't Drip and Drive.

Between 2011 and 2017, the Department of Ecology (ECY) implemented a "Don't Drip and Drive" program (Program) to educate vehicle owners regarding car leaks, and to encourage drivers to check for and repair leaks to help reduce stormwater contamination. The Program was limited in scope to the Puget Sound region. Local governments that participate in the ECY's Program receive credit under Municipal Stormwater NPDES permit requirements for public education and outreach. The Program identified strategies to attract vehicle owners to repair leaks, identified and developed best practices to lead to a model program, and used auto and lube shops, technical colleges, and volunteers to undertake certain leak-focused activities.

Program activities were primarily funded through grants from the ECY to local lead agencies. State grant funding for the Program ended in 2017, although some local jurisdictions continued to implement aspects of the Program.

In 2018 an operating budget proviso directed the ECY to convene a workgroup to analyze the possible statewide expansion of the Program. In October 2018 the ECY submitted a report to the Legislature summarizing the work group's recommendations that the WSU Stormwater Center be the state's managing entity for a statewide Program. The report also made recommendations regarding the potential funding requirements and sources, Program partners, and performance measures for the Program.

Summary of Bill:

The Washington State University (WSU) Stormwater Center must develop and coordinate a statewide Don't Drip and Drive Program (Program). The WSU Stormwater Center should work with a statewide steering committee including representatives of state agencies, local governments, and specified stakeholder groups. A report with a plan for the Program is due to the Legislature on September 1, 2020.

The Program must use behavior change strategies to prevent stormwater pollution from leaking motor vehicles, help drivers maintain vehicles, and help local jurisdictions meet National Pollutant Discharged Elimination System (NPDES) requirements. A number of requirements are established for the Program, including the use of:

The Program's scope should be expanded to all areas of Washington, and local jurisdictions should have an opportunity but not a requirement to participate. The Program should provide technical assistance and materials to local jurisdictions, and specified types of public outreach activities, including advertising, events, partnerships, and outreach to businesses and fleet owners.

The WSU Stormwater Center may contract with trade associations or vehicle repair professionals to leverage expertise.

$300,000 in the 2019-2021 biennium is appropriated from the Motor Vehicle Fund to the WSU to develop a plan to implement a statewide Program, including a detailed budget proposal. $300,000 from the Motor Vehicle Fund is also appropriated to the Department of Commerce for the 2019-2021 biennium for grants to extend the existing Program through 2021.

Appropriation: From the motor vehicle fund the sum of $300,000 is appropriated to the Washington State University and $300,000 is appropriated to the Department of Commerce.

Fiscal Note: Requested on February 13, 2019.

Effective Date: The bill contains an emergency clause and takes effect on July 1, 2019.