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Document Code No.: PUT 7-5 (AEO)
Department/Issuing Agency: Executive Office
Effective Date: March 27, 2006
Approved: /s/ Ron Sims
Type of Action: New

Signed document (PDF, 377 KB)

This Order requires and empowers King County Departments to employ increasingly aggressive strategies to mitigate regional contribution to global warming, including setting a goal of increasing the amount of biodiesel used in all County diesel vehicles to 20%.

WHEREAS, this Order requires and empowers King County Departments to employ increasingly aggressive strategies to mitigate regional contribution to global warming by: working to increase public transit ridership as a percentage of regional daily travel and stimulating regional markets of alternative fuels and transportation technologies; and,

WHEREAS, in its unique role as a regional government, King County has demonstrated necessary corporate citizenship and public leadership by employing critical policy levers of 1) land use, 2) public transit provision through King County Metro Transit, 3) environmental management, and 4) economic development intended to stimulate climate-friendly fuel and technology markets, in ways that support global warming adaptation and mitigation; and,

WHEREAS,of these critical regional policy levers in mitigating global warming, King County Metro Transit has already demonstrated and been nationally recognized in leadership in its coordinated land use and transit strategies to encourage walking and public transit ridership as modes of transportation, in its use of climate-friendly fuels and technology in its transit and corporate fleet, and in its stimulation of clean energy economic development; and,

WHEREAS, King County Metro Transit works to fund and provide public transit service to improve regional mobility and the quality of life in King County, and reduces public dependency on single-occupancy vehicles by offering fixed-route buses, demand-responsive transportation services, the largest public vanpool program in the US, access to transportation for people with disabilities, and taxi scrip for low-income residents and other services; and,

WHEREAS,in conjunction with state and local agencies, King County Metro Transit also provides park-and-ride lots, bicycle parking at transit facilities, and connections to transit in areas served by ferry, bus and rail; and,

WHEREAS, over the past several years King County Metro Transit has been making changes in the types of buses and their maintenance practices to minimize negative impacts on the environment, including: use of cleaner burning fuel such as ultra-low sulfur diesel, improvement of exhaust filtration and conversion systems, and purchase of hybrid buses and zero-emission electric trolleys; and,

WHEREAS, King County Metro Transit purchased 213 highly efficient hybrid diesel-electric buses; and,

WHEREAS, King County Metro Transit began fueling the fleet with a blend of five-percent biodiesel and 95 percent ultra-low sulfur fuel last year, a quantity of 2.6 million gallons of blended biodiesel, or over 138,000 gallons of pure biodiesel; and,

WHEREAS, DNRP Solid Waste Division uses 50,000 gallons of five-percent biodiesel a year in its fleet of vehicles and, in combination with King County Metro Transit use, this makes King County one of the largest single users in Washington State as of 2005; and,

WHEREAS, King County Metro Transit uses re-refined oil in their bus engines and a special formulation of transmission oil, such that the transmission oil can now be used for 72,000 miles rather than 12,000 miles, benefiting the environment by safely removing 140,000 gallons of oil from our waste oil load; and,

WHEREAS, the entire King County Metro Transit fleet has used ultra-low sulfur diesel since August 2002, directly reducing exhaust soot by 20%; and,

WHEREAS, King County Metro Transit is one of seven organizations recognized by the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (ESSI) as a National Clean Bus Leader for 2004; and,

WHEREAS, King County Metro Transit has for the last decade been working with local businesses on aggressive incentive-based programs aimed at getting commuters out of their cars and into alternative forms of transportation, with initiatives including: Commute Trip Reduction services, pass subsidy programs, tax benefits, FlexPass, Home Free Guarantee, Commuter Bonus, Rideshare Plus, and Flexcar support; and,

WHEREAS, in October 2000, King County Metro Transit's Commute Partnerships Program was honored as a winner of the prestigious Innovations in American Government Award from the Ford Foundation and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University; and,

WHEREAS, King County DOT, including Metro Transit, Roads and Fleet, is nationally recognized as a leader in the use of hybrid and alternative vehicles for use by government agencies; and,

WHEREAS, in 1993 King County Fleet Administration Division (King County Fleet) won the Clean Air Recognition Award from the American Lung Association for significant efforts to improve air quality; and,

WHEREAS, between 1993 and 1996 King County Fleet had approximately 275 vehicles operating on flexible-fueled CNG and Propane and the largest police vehicle fleet operating on CNG in the nation, and also built three CNG fueling facilities; and,

WHEREAS, in 1997 US Department of Energy selected King County Fleet as a model agency for successful implementation of an alternative fuel program; and,

WHEREAS, in 2001 King County Fleet began to purchase advanced hybrid technology vehicles, based on their reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 30-50% as compared to a conventional vehicle, and the projection that King County would save an average of 20 tons of CO2 per Toyota Prius, and 27 tons of CO2 per Ford Escape; and,

WHEREAS, in 2002, King County Fleet began employing ultra-low sulfur diesel at all of the King County Roads fuel sites; and,

WHEREAS, in 2003 King County Fleet was selected as the lead agency to obtain a national contract for the procurement of hybrid electric vehicles on behalf of all public agencies in the US, with a goal of reducing procurement cost through volume purchase and the resulting purchase of 30,000 hybrid vehicles over the following three years; and,

WHEREAS, in 2004 King County Fleet successfully executed a region-wide contract for the hybrid vehicle purchase in both Oregon and Washington State, with 126 vehicles purchased as of 2005; and,

WHEREAS, as of 2005, King County Fleet operates 140 hybrid vehicles including the Toyota Prius, and Ford Escape, saving a total of 14,000 gallons of fuel annually and making a 19% return on investment for the Toyota Prius using a life-cycle costing methodology; and,

WHEREAS, in 2005 King County Fleet opened negotiations with CAL-START-WestStart to initiate a region-wide demonstration project for heavy-duty hybrid trucks in municipal services, as hybrid systems have a fuel use reduction of 40%-60% over a baseline conventional truck; and,

WHEREAS, in 2006 King County Fleet plans to phase in biodiesel for use in the heavy duty truck fleet, such that Fleet's annual consumption of biodiesel fuel would be 5,000-40,000 gallons annually (B5-B20 range), and would represent substantial reduction in greenhouse emissions from use of traditional fossil fuels; and,

WHEREAS, in 2006 Fleet plans to purchase 10 vehicles of the compressed natural gas-powered Honda Civic GX model, rated number-one green vehicle by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, using available incentives and grants to invest in three slow-fill fueling facilities, and such that this will significantly increase availability of fuel and utilization of compressed natural gas at a cost of $0.90 per gallon equivalent; and,

WHEREAS, in 2006 King County Fleet plans to research, support and invest in plug-in electric vehicles as they become available which, according to a recent study by Seattle City Light, will allow a vehicle to travel at a cost of $0.45 per gallon equivalent; and,

WHEREAS, King County Fleet is researching the creation of plug-in charging infrastructure at operational and regional sites; and,

WHEREAS, the work of King County Fleet represents a substantial past accomplishment and future vision toward the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by King County vehicles; and,

WHEREAS, stimulation of regional markets for climate-friendly fuels and technologies is an important strategy that regional governments can take to mitigate global warming; and,

WHEREAS, significant reduction of regional single-occupancy vehicle miles traveled is an accepted measure of progress on important regional changes, including reduced regional energy consumption and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, that help to mitigate global warming; and

WHEREAS, per person and per mile, travel by public transportation uses significantly less energy as compared to travel by single-occupancy vehicle; and,

WHEREAS, per person and per mile, travel by public transportation produces substantially less public health-harming and climate change-causing pollution as compared to travel by single-occupancy vehicle; and,

WHEREAS, the Puget Sound Regional Council 2000 Census showed that use of single-occupancy vehicles for daily travel needs has risen from 1980 to 2000; and,

WHEREAS, if Americans used public transportation for 10% of their daily travel needs, the nation could save more energy annually than all energy used by the petrochemical industry, reduce dependence on imported oil by more than 40%, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 25% of the Kyoto Agreement mandate, thereby mitigating global warming; and,

WHEREAS, this increased use of public transportation would also reduce carbon monoxide pollution and emissions of human health-harming volatile organic compounds; and,

WHEREAS, increased average regional percentage of individual use of public transportation for daily travel needs would therefore be consistent with and supportive of increased regional energy and economic security, improvement of air quality and protection of public health; and,

WHEREAS, King County is entrusted with protecting its citizens, the environment and economy through policies of land use, public transportation provision, environmental management and clean energy economic development; and,

NOW, THEREFORE, I Ron Sims, King County Executive do hereby order and direct:

(1) King County Departments to employ aggressive strategies to increase the percentage of public transportation as a mode that residents use for their total daily travel needs, thereby reducing single-occupancy vehicle miles traveled regionally.(2)King County to seek and pursue aggressive strategies to advance regional development of a climate-friendly clean energy economy by implementing economic development policy and investing in alternative fuels and transit technology.

(3)To achieve compliance with this Order, the following Actions, among others that will be developed over time, will be taken:

a)The County shall set a goal of increasing the amount of biodiesel used in all County diesel vehicles to 20%.

b)The county will seek to use other alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles as technology and funding allow.

(4)The county will continue to seek and implement a series of aggressive transit, land use and demand-side strategies, such as commute trip reduction and transit-oriented development, to encourage King County residents' use of public transit. A detailed approach to carrying out these Actions and achieving compliance with this Order will be included the King County Global Warming Preparedness and Mitigation Plan which is to be completed by the King County Departments, by January 1, 2007. The county will prepare a Global Warming Preparedness and Mitigation Plan relating to goals of ridership and investment in county vehicle technology and fuel use. In addition, the county will continuously analyze new fuel and technology developments in order to prepare for the eventual transition to a fleet of county vehicles and buses powered solely by climate-friendly renewable energy sources.

(5)The public transportation section of the Global Warming Preparedness and Mitigation Plan will be consistent with the King County Energy Plan, which is concurrently underway.(6)The public transportation section of the Global Warming Preparedness and Mitigation Plan will be updated at least every three years to ensure that the county is taking appropriate steps to achieve compliance with this Order and meet other objectives.

(7)A process will be created and presented to the Executive that directs and monitors the county's overall compliance with this Order by June 1, 2006. Relevant departments will issue an annual Global Warming Preparedness and Mitigation Report to the Executive detailing progress on mitigation, beginning January 1, 2007. The Executive will be presented with an annual report that addresses trends and developments in regional travel patterns, as related to mitigation goals of reducing single-occupancy vehicle miles traveled. The Executive will also be provided with an annual report that addresses trends and developments in regional clean energy and technology markets, as related to mitigation goals of stimulating a regional climate-friendly clean energy economy.

DATED this 17 th day of March, 2006.

/s/ Ron Sims, King County Executive


/s/ Dean C. Logan, Director
Records, Elections and Licensing Services Division