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2009 Washington State Bioenergy Legislation

E2SHB 1007: Directs Housing Finance Commission to develop and implement a Sustainable Energy Trust Program to issue bonds to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy improvement projects. Commission must consult with WSU Energy Extension to determine appropriate technologies. Allowed “renewable energy improvement projects” not defined.

SHB 1010: Defines “renewable diesel” separate from biodiesel, and enables it to qualify for RFS compliance.

HB 1184: Extends the time period from 10 to 20 years during which a customer of a municipal utility or PUD must repay any loan given for the purposes of increasing energy efficiency. Includes distributed generation systems using renewable resources available on-site and not from a commercial source.

2SHB 1481: Primarily vehicle electrification bill. Adds interim requirement of 40% biofuels or electrification for public fleets by June, 2013 to implementation of “extent practicable” by 2015. Status report due December, 2013. WSDOT’s compliance subject to dedicated funding. Also, enables up to five public-private partnerships along state routes and interstate rights-of-way for an alternative fuels corridor pilot project. Site limitations include commercial activities necessary for basic economic sufficiency, fuels and technologies with a forecasted demand over the next 15 years, competition avoided with existing retail businesses, and truck stops provided first right of refusal. Requires capital expenditures for corridor projects to come from federal or private funds.

HB 2165: Authorizes the Department of Natural Resources to conduct forest biomass energy demonstration projects through public-private partnerships or cooperatives, without competing with existing forest biomass businesses. Progress report due December 2010.

E2SHB 2227: Establishes the Evergreen Jobs Initiative, with special attention to renewable energy technologies. CTED and Workforce Training & Education Coordinating Board to establish the Evergreen Jobs Leadership Team, chaired by a current FTE within OFM designated by the Governor to be the single point of accountability for all state energy and climate change initiatives. Among the Team’s responsibilities: coordinate funding of training and education to support green economy projects, develop framework for administrative and technical assistance and expedited permitting at state and local level, identify emerging technologies likely to advance green economy including within IPZs, coordinate implementation of projects using federal funds.

ESHB 2289: Expands Energy Freedom Program to include the state and nonprofit 501(c)(3) applicants with a wide range of potential energy efficiency, innovative energy technology and renewable energy improvement projects. The Energy Recovery Act account is created to capture federal funds for loans, loan guarantees and grants. Decisions must be guided by Clean Energy Leadership Council and resulting strategies, once they are established (per 5921). Partial veto requested to remove language expanding the biofuels coordinator position, and clarify contradictory sections.

ESHB 2327: Moves Energy Freedom Program reporting to biennial, even-year basis.

SB 5107: Allows counties to enact “energy overlay zones” for siting renewable resource projects based on available resources and existing infrastructure with sensitivity to adverse environmental impacts. Renewables include landfill gas, biomass energy (from animal waste, solid organic fuels from wood, forest, or field residues or dedicated energy crops), byproducts of pulping or wood manufacturing (including bark, wood chips, sawdust and lignin in pulping liquors), and sewage treatment facility gas.

E2SSB 5560: Directs agencies to reduce GHG emissions 15% from 2005 levels by 2020, 36% by 2035 and 57.5% by 2050. Numerous other deadlines and reports are specified, including agency strategies to reduce emissions to Ecology by June 2011, Ecology's climate change response strategy by December 2011, and GA report on agencies meeting reduction goals by December 2012. Beginning 2010, Public Works Board, Community Economic Revitalization Board, Local Infrastructure Financing Tool, and Transportation Improvement Board are required to consider whether an applicant has adopted policies to reduce GHG emissions consistent with state goals. Agencies must consider alternative energy sources when designing and planning infrastructure projects. Governor directed to designate a single person responsible for all energy and climate change initiatives by state agencies. Requires all agencies, councils, or work groups with energy or climate change initiatives to coordinate with this designee.

E2SSB 5649: WSU Extension Energy, in consultation with WSDA, shall form an interdisciplinary team of agriculture and energy extension agencies to enhance energy efficiency through self-assessment software and energy auditor training. The Governor shall designate an existing state FTE as the point of accountability for all energy and climate change initiatives by state agencies.

SSB 5724: Allows counties to construct and own biopower facilities if there’s a PUD with an electrical system in the county. Allowed feedstocks include landfill and WWTP gas, biodiesel, biomass energy based on animal waste or solid organic fuels from wood, forest, or field residues, or dedicated energy crops, lignin from pulping liquors, and liquor from algae and other sources. If the proposed amendments to RCW 19.285.030 in ESSB 5840 had been adopted, the list of allowed feedstocks would have expanded to include yard and food waste, demolition and construction debris and biosolids.

SSB 5797: Exempts anaerobic digesters from solid waste permitting so long as the feedstock is at least 50% livestock manure by volume, no more than 30% of the feedstock is imported organic waste-derived material by volume, and certain design and management standards are met. Ecology, WSDA and Health are tasked with developing clear guidelines by Aug 1, 2009. “Imported organic waste-derived material” must be pre-consumer, fed to the digester within 35 hours, and meet certain criteria if it includes animal processing waste. “Organic waste-derived material” means grass clippings, leaves, weeds, bark, plantings, prunings and other vegetative wastes, uncontaminated wood waste from logging and milling operations, food wastes, food processing wastes, and materials derived from these wastes through composting, but does not include biosolids or any material from municipal commercial and residential solid waste collection programs.

SSB 5921: Governor convenes a clean energy leadership council, supported by CTED and WSU Energy, by July 31, 2009. Council comprised of 10 clean energy companies, two clean energy trade organizations, a public university, PNNL, venture capital firm, professional services firm, four legislators, CTED director, Economic Development Commission, Governor's new clean energy coordinator. Council co-chaired by director of CTED and private sector representative. Council will develop clean energy strategies and recommendations, including analysis of where state can be an industry leader, review policy frameworks and institutional mechanisms, historic investments by CTED and WSU, and deliver an interim state clean energy strategy by December 2009. A final strategy is due December 2010. Governor directed to designate a single person responsible for all energy and climate change initiatives by state agencies. Requires all agencies, councils, or work groups with energy or climate change initiatives to coordinate with this designee.

ESSB 6170: Extends state and local sales and use tax exemptions for renewable energy equipment through July 2013. Facilities include biomass energy, anaerobic digestion and landfill gas, and must produce at least 1 kW. Exemption scaled back to 75% of taxes, and converted to remittance, for 2011-13 biennium. A similar exemption from sales and use taxes is provided through July 2013 for sale of hog fuel and "forest-derived biomass" used to produce power, steam, heat or biofuel. Also, a B&O tax credit is provided for each green ton of forest-derived biomass sold or used to produce power, steam, heat or biofuel. The credit is valued at $3/ton from July 2010 through July 2013, and $5/ton from July 2013 through July 2015.

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