(1) The legislature, recognizing that a human being depends on biological and physical surroundings for food, shelter, and other needs, and for cultural enrichment as well; and recognizing further the profound impact of a human being's activity on the interrelations of all components of the natural environment, particularly the profound influences of population growth, high-density urbanization, industrial expansion, resource utilization and exploitation, and new and expanding technological advances and recognizing further the critical importance of restoring and maintaining environmental quality to the overall welfare and development of human beings, declares that it is the continuing policy of the state of Washington, in cooperation with federal and local governments, and other concerned public and private organizations, to use all practicable means and measures, including financial and technical assistance, in a manner calculated to: (a) Foster and promote the general welfare; (b) create and maintain conditions under which human beings and nature can exist in productive harmony; and (c) fulfill the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations of Washington citizens.
(2) In order to carry out the policy set forth in this chapter, it is the continuing responsibility of the state of Washington and all agencies of the state to use all practicable means, consistent with other essential considerations of state policy, to improve and coordinate plans, functions, programs, and resources to the end that the state and its citizens may:
(a) Fulfill the responsibilities of each generation as trustee of the environment for succeeding generations;
(b) Assure for all people of Washington safe, healthful, productive, and aesthetically and culturally pleasing surroundings;
(c) Attain the widest range of beneficial uses of the environment without degradation, risk to health or safety, or other undesirable and unintended consequences;
(d) Preserve important historic, cultural, and natural aspects of our national heritage;
(e) Maintain, wherever possible, an environment which supports diversity and variety of individual choice;
(f) Achieve a balance between population and resource use which will permit high standards of living and a wide sharing of life's amenities; and
(g) Enhance the quality of renewable resources and approach the maximum attainable recycling of depletable resources.
(3) The legislature recognizes that each person has a fundamental and inalienable right to a healthful environment and that each person has a responsibility to contribute to the preservation and enhancement of the environment.