(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash) included $3.55 million in a Senate bill to help Pierce County convert wasted landfill gas into a clean-burning transportation fuel. Murray added the funding to the Senate's FY 2008 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill, which passed the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee today. Murray is a member of the subcommittee.
Pierce County's largest operating landfill, the 304th Street Landfill, produces gas emissions that are currently wasted and burned by flare. Under this new effort, the landfill gas would be converted into biomethane, a clean fuel that would then be used to power trash-hauling trucks, county buses, and other fleet vehicles. The effort would turn a waste product into a productive transportation fuel that would reduce the need for foreign oil while producing fewer greenhouse gases in the vehicles it powers.
"This is a great example of how we can use technology to turn waste into fuel, make America more self-reliant for energy, and reduce greenhouse gases," Murray said. "One day soon, the truck that picks up your trash could be powered by your trash."
The landfill is located 15 miles south of Puyallup in unincorporated Pierce County. It receives waste from residents and businesses in Pierce County, 23 cities and towns, and For Lewis and McChord Air Force Base. It is the second largest operating landfill in Western Washington. Specifically, Pierce County would use Murray's funding to build a plant at the landfill to convert landfill gas into biomethane.
Murray has supported other innovative efforts around the state to use technology to turn waste into fuel. Murray helped get federal approval for a new biodiesel facility in Gray's Harbor and supported an innovative "straw to energy" project in Eastern Washington.
Now that the funding has passed the subcommittee today, it will go on Thursday (6/28) to the full Appropriations Committee, on which Murray serves.