Bill giving local jurisdictions more fuel options signed into law

A bill to give local jurisdictions some flexibility in their fuel usage was signed into law by Gov. Christine Gregoire on March 29.

Rep. Hans Zeiger sponsored House Bill 2545 to allow local governments and state agencies to substitute compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas, and propane for electricity or biofuel to meet their fuel usage requirements.

“This new law will help local transit agencies like Pierce Transit be as efficient and cost effective as possible,” said Zeiger, R-Puyallup. "I enjoyed working with stakeholders and legislators in both parties to pass a sensible bill that gives some options to our local governments and transit agencies."

Pierce Transit began operating with compressed natural gas in 1986 and it has seen significant environmental results, such as a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and an 80 percent reduction of smog compared to using diesel in their buses.

“Pierce Transit greatly appreciates Representative Zeiger’s leadership on sponsoring legislation that recognizes compressed natural gas as an alternative fuel,” said Lynne Griffith, Pierce Transit CEO. “This bill will allow Pierce Transit to continue operating our fleet with a clean burning, less expensive fuel.”

Under the law, the Washington State Department of Commerce can make the determination that compressed natural gas, liquid natural gas or propane may be used if electricity and biofuel are not reasonably available. The bill will also exempt transit agencies using compressed natural gas on June 1, 2018 from the electricity and biofuel usage requirements.

The law goes into effect June 6, 2012. The measure received strong bipartisan support in both chambers.

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CONTACT: Kurt Hammond, Public Information Officer, (360) 786-7794

Governor Gregoire signs ESHB 2545

Governor Gregoire signs House Bill 2545 into law as Reps. Zeiger and Dammeier and supporters look on, March 29. Photo courtesy House of Representatives.