Policy Resolutions

Western Governors enact new policy resolutions and amend existing resolutions on a bi-annual basis.  WGA’s most recent resolutions can be found on this page and the following pages. Find resolutions by category using the choices offered in the sidebar.

The Regulation of Coal Combustion Residuals

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Western Governors' Association Policy Resolution 2017-07: Western Governors agree with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) assessment in 2015 that coal combustion residuals (CCRs) should be regulated as non-hazardous waste under subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Western Governors support safe, beneficial use of CCRs and call on EPA to work with states and stakeholders to develop a national framework for advancing beneficial use.  Western Governors also support legislative changes to amend subtitle D of RCRA to allow CCR permit programs adopted by states to operate in an efficient, flexible, and protective fashion – in lieu of a federal program.

Financial Assurance Regulation

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Western Governors' Association Policy Resolution 2017-06:Reclamation of western mines and facilities managed by other industries is needed primarily to protect adjacent waters. It is therefore appropriate and consistent with Congressional intent to recognize the states’ primary role in regulating impact of facility reclamation – including associated financial assurance requirements. Western Governors believe that states have financial assurance regulatory programs in place that are working well and they should not be preempted or duplicated by any EPA program.

Storage and Disposal of Radioactive Waste and Spent Nuclear Fuel

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Western Governors' Association Policy Resolution 2017-05: Governors must be consulted about federal activities involving the transportation, storage or disposal of radioactive waste within a state’s borders, and no radioactive waste storage or disposal facility should be located within the geographic boundaries of a western state or U.S. flag island without the written consent of the Governor.

Water Quality in the West

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Western Governors’ Association Policy Resolution 2017-04: States have jurisdiction over water resource allocation decisions and are responsible for balancing state water resource needs within the objectives of the federal Clean Water Act.  Western Governors recognize the importance of the Safe Drinking Water Act, its standards for drinking water contaminants, and adequate federal support for states’ missions to meet federal drinking water system requirements.  Western Governors also urge adequate federal funding and support of states’ efforts to address water quality.

Tax-Exempt Federal Lands and Secure Rural Schools

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Western Governors' Association Policy Resolution 2017-03: The federal government must honor its historic Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILT) agreement with states and counties in the West to compensate them for tax-exempt federal lands within their borders. Predictable and adequate payments under PILT and Secure Rural Schools’ programs are vital to providing state and county public goods and services, such as roads, emergency response, and wildlife and natural resources protection. The payments should not be subject to federal sequestration.

States’ Share of Royalties and Leasing Revenues from Federal Lands and Minerals and States’ Role in Associated Federal Policy

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Western Governors' Association Policy Resolution 2017-02: The federal government has codified in law several historic agreements and programs to compensate western states for costs associated with the presence of tax exempt federal lands within their borders. The federal government must honor its statutory obligations to share royalty and lease payments with states and counties. States, as recipients of revenues from these programs and agreements, should be provided meaningful and substantial opportunities for consultation in the development of federal policy affecting those revenues.

Building a Stronger State-Federal Relationship

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Western Governors' Association Policy Resolution 2017-01: In the absence of Constitutional delegation of authority to the federal government, state authority should be presumed sovereign. Each executive department and agency should have a clear and accountable process to provide states with early, meaningful and substantive input in the development of regulatory policies. Where authority has been delegated by the federal government to the states, states should be granted the maximum administrative discretion possible and should be treated as co-regulators. It is time for a thoughtful review of the extant Executive Order on Federalism. Governors support the reestablishment of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.

Federal-State Land Exchanges and Purchases

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Western Governors' Association Policy Resolution 2016-04: Federal land ownership in western states is prolific and often occurs interspersed with state, county, and private land, which complicates resource management. Western Governors call on Congress to simplify and expedite the federal-state land exchange, sale and conveyance processes to resolve the checkerboard land tenure issue in the West.