Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Environment Committee

HB 2601

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Reducing air emissions associated with certain port trucking operations.

Sponsors: Representatives Fey, Jinkins, Sawyer, Appleton, Wylie and Pollet.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Requires all container-transporting trucks serving certain high-volume ports to meet specified emission standards by January 1, 2019.

  • Requires all container-transporting trucks serving high-volume ports to be zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2035, and requires those high-volume ports to develop and submit to the Legislature by January 1, 2020 a plan for achieving the 2035 ZEV requirement.

Hearing Date: 1/16/18

Staff: Jacob Lipson (786-7196).


Clean Air Act Vehicle Emission Standards.

Under the federal Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for setting national standards for emissions from motor vehicle engines. States, other than California, are preempted from setting their own standards, although states may choose to adopt California standards where California has adopted more stringent standards than has the EPA. Among the types of motor vehicle emission standards set by the EPA are standards for emissions from heavy-duty diesel engines, which is a class of engines typically used by trucks, tractors, buses, and other vehicles with a gross weight of at least 33,000 pounds. An EPA rule applicable to model year 2007 and later heavy-duty diesel engines (the 2007 truck engine standard) includes numeric limits on nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, nonmethane hydrocarbons, and particulate matter.

Washington Ports.

The United States Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) compiles information on port operations nationwide, including data on port container traffic. Data from the 2016 Annual Report to Congress by the BTS shows that the Port of Tacoma and Port of Seattle were the two busiest ports in the state as measured by total throughput volume in 2016, at 22.6 million short tons each.

The Ports of Seattle and Tacoma, in conjunction with the Port of Vancouver, Canada, have voluntarily adopted a clean air strategy with a stated goal of reducing diesel and greenhouse gas emissions in advance of, and complementary to, the implementation of regulatory requirements governing those emissions. The strategy, which was first adopted in 2007 and updated in 2013, includes actions and performance measures applicable to the ports' ocean-going vessels, harbor vessels, cargo-handling equipment, trucks, and rail transport. Among the elements of the updated 2013 strategy for drayage trucks serving the port is a performance goal of having all drayage trucks meet the 2007 truck engine standard by the end of 2017.

Summary of Bill:

By January 1, 2019, all drayage trucks transporting shipping containers to or from a high-volume port must meet the 2007 truck engine standard adopted by the EPA. High-volume ports are those ports whose total tonnage of domestic and foreign waterborne trade, as measured by BTS, exceeded 20 million tons during the most recent year statistics were available.

By January 1, 2035, all drayage trucks transporting shipping containers to or from a high-volume port must be zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) that do not produce exhaust emissions of air pollutants or greenhouse gases. By January 1, 2020, high volume ports must develop and submit to the Legislature a plan to meet the 2035 ZEV requirement.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Requested on January 10, 2018.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.