Wash. State Governor signs Legacy Biomass Bill

By Luke Geiver | March 12, 2012

Biomass energy production facilities that began operating before 1999 are now officially classified as renewable energy producers in the state of Washington.

Governor Christine Gregoire has signed the Legacy Biomass Bill (SB 5575), effectively allowing biomass producers in operation before 1999 to better meet the requirements of I-937. The 2006 initiative requires large utility providers to generate at least 9 percent of their energy output from renewable sources by January 1, 2015, and at least 15 percent by 2020.

The bill signed by Gregoire was initially sponsored by State Sen. Brian Hatfield, D-Raymond. In both the Washington State House and Senate, the bill passed with an overwhelming majority, 41-6 in the Senate and 89-9 in the House. The legislation also adds material such as yard waste, food waste, food processing residues, hog fuel and black liquor generated from pulping and wood manufacturing processes as eligible biomass products. The legacy biomass legislation will take effect June 7.