Legislative discussions are ramping up and bills like House Bill 2007, the “diesel bill” are likely to be on the move soon with some key amendments.

In a Monday afternoon hearing on the bill, Representatives Karin Power (D-Milwaukee) and Shelly Boshart Davis (R-Albany) presented the work done through stakeholders to create a more narrowly tailored program that takes into consideration the thoughts voiced by the Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) and other stakeholders relating to scope of the program, costs, timelines, and overall impact.

The original bill does the following at a statewide level:

  • Requires the Environmental Quality Commission to establish diesel engine emission standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks (medium duty includes vehicles that weigh between 14,000 and 26,000 pounds) that include a phase in of the requirement of 2010 or newer engines by 2029 for all medium and heavy-duty trucks.
  • Repeals state preemption of local regulation of idling of commercial vehicles.
  • Sets stringent public contracting requirements for public improvement if it is a state contracting agency, or the project is valued at $20 million and issued general obligation bonds. Eighty percent of the fleets that meet those standards would need to be a model year of 2010 or newer upon passage of the bill.

While amendments have not been released, Power and Boshart Davis presented conceptual amendments. Key elements include:

  • Scaling down the medium and heavy-duty phase-out to Clackamas County, Multnomah County, and Washington County.
  • Moving the operative date for clean diesel contracting from January of 2020 to January of 2021.
  • Adding exemption categories not captured in the base bill, including emergency vehicles, retrofitted vehicles, motor homes, and low-use vehicles.

*Representative Powers and Boshart Davis’ presentation can be found here.

Boshart Davis said in the hearing, “I haven’t seen the exact amendments yet, other than being part of the discussion and having seen this PowerPoint and just want to thank Rep. Power for the collaborative approach, not just with stakeholders, but also with being conscientious. I think we’re both really concerned on what kind of mandate that puts on counties, puts on cities, and so we’ve been very cautious about that, and we’re making sure we’re reaching out and getting the information that we’re needing.”

Boshart Davis further commented on the need to narrowly tailor the amendments, “where’s the problem at? We’ve recognized that it’s Portland- Metro, and being conscientious of that fact. We’ve really narrowed the scope.”

Amendments are expected to be released to the public next week. The bill is scheduled for a public hearing and possible work session in the House Committee on Rules on May 13.

AOC Interim Executive Director Mike Eliason will continue to work with sponsors to ensure county concerns are addressed in the final version of the bill.

Contributed by: Megan Chuinard | Public Affairs Associate