Zeiger bill giving local jurisdictions more fuel options passes House

A bill to give local jurisdictions some flexibility in their fuel usage unanimously passed the House of Representatives on Feb. 10.

House Bill 2545, sponsored by Rep. Hans Zeiger, would 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 bill is good on its own merits and for Pierce Transit, which uses compressed natural gas to fuel its buses. The proposed legislation would give local governments more fuel options to lower the cost of providing transportation services,” said Zeiger, R-Puyallup. “Compressed natural gas also reduces our carbon footprint.”

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.

“Without this bill, Pierce Transit would have to abandon its compressed natural gas vehicles, resulting in a costly transition to build an infrastructure to support other fuels,” said Zeiger. “They would also have to return American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for the installation of compressed natural gas fueling stations.”

According to the bill, 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 would also exempt transit agencies using compressed natural gas on June 1, 2018 from the electricity and biofuel usage requirements.

The legislation now moves to the Senate for further consideration.

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