Inslee signs bill on eco-friendly vehicles

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Some public agencies will have more time to switch to eco-friendly vehicles, thanks to a bill signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Jay Inslee.

The bill, proposed by state Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, goes into effect July 28. It tweaks a state rule that orders government transition from gas-powered vehicles, vessels or construction equipment to those run on biofuel or electricity. State agencies have until 2015 to make the shift, while local governments have until June 1, 2018.

Rivers' bill creates an exemption to that rule for emergency-response vehicles if local governments so choose, and it doesn't require agencies to change out their vehicles until their equipment is no longer useful.

Her legislation also directs the state Department of Commerce to create an advisory committee that will help governments make the transition to eco-friendly vehicles, vessels and construction equipment.