Centralia Coal Transition Board Supports Educational and Restoration Opportunities hosted by the Lewis County Stream Team

Centralia, Wash. (February 7, 2023) The Centralia Coal Transition Grants Economic & Community Development Board is pleased to announce it has approved a grant award in the amount of $10,000.00 to the Lewis Conservation District. The grant will support a branch of the district, the Lewis County Stream Team, in providing educational and restoration opportunities to improve habitat for salmon and wildlife.

The Stream Team is a group of volunteers who work in the community to encourage hands on opportunities to improve the health of local streams by planting native trees to provide habitat, reduce erosion, filter pollutants, and provide shade to cool the water temperature. The Lewis Conservation District has the knowledge, tools, and network necessary for leading the Lewis County Stream Team. The team collaborates with the Office of Chehalis Basin, Carbon Capture Foundation, Centralia City Parks, Washington Department of Ecology and various local organizations and individuals to support their efforts. This team also works with educators in the local school districts to inspire students to learn more about science and conservation. The funding will further support educational workshops for local students and volunteer.

The Economic & Community Development Board was formed as a result of the 2011 Agreement between TransAlta and the state of Washington to transition the Centralia Plant away from coal-fired operations with one unit retiring at the end of 2020 and the second unit at the end of 2025. The company is investing $55 million into Lewis and South Thurston Counties and the state of Washington through the Coal Transition Boards.

About Lewis Conservation District

The Lewis Conservation District is a non-regulatory local agency that works with landowners to help resolve their natural resource issues on their land. The mission of the District is to provide technical and financial assistance for the conservation, protection, and development of natural resources within Lewis County.

About Centralia Coal Transition Funding Boards

Overview of the Centralia Coal Transition Funding Boards:

Annual payments for the funding boards have been made since 2012 with the last payment due December 31, 2023.  The opportunity to start flowing dollars into projects became effective December 31, 2015.

Weatherization Board ($10M): established to fund energy efficiency and weatherization for the residents, employees, business, non-profit organizations and local governments within Lewis County and South Thurston County; up to $1 million shall be allocated to fund residential energy efficiency and weatherization measures for low-income and moderate-income residents of Lewis County and South Thurston County;

Economic & Community Development Board ($20M): established to fund education, retraining, economic development, and community enhancement; at least $5M shall be allocated to fund education, retraining and economic development specifically targeting the needs of workers displaced from the Centralia facility;

Energy Technology Board ($25M): established to fund energy technologies with the potential to create environmental benefits to the state of Washington.