Lock sought more state autonomy on brownfields and Superfund cleanups. He supported application of "Good Samaritan" rules to abandoned mine cleanup, which included a proposal to amend the Clean Water Act to protect a remediating agency from becoming legally responsible for any continuing discharges from the abandoned mine site after completion of a cleanup project, provided that the remediating agency, or 'Good Samaritan,' does not otherwise have liability for that abandoned or inactive mine site and attempts to improve the conditions at the site. He backed collaborative, incentive driven, locally-based solutions to water quality restoration.
In 2003, Governor Locke asked the U.S. Navy for an explanation of the use of sonar that may have disrupted whales and caused the death of porpoises north of Seattle. Locke also made endangered Chinook salmon preservation a priority. (Source: Environment News Service)