Guest column: Issaquah leaders support a clean fuel standard

  • Wednesday, March 24, 2021 5:03pm
  • Opinion

By Victoria Hunt, Issaquah City Council president, and Issaquah Mayor Mary Lou Pauly

Issaquah leadership has a message for the WA State Senate: it’s time to pass a Clean Fuel Standard.

The Washington State Legislature is once again considering a clean fuel standard. After passing in the House last week, it’s just been heard in the Senate Committee on Environment, Energy and Technology..

Over a year ago, the Issaquah City Council unanimously supported a resolution in support of a clean fuel standard. We passed that resolution after reviewing the Washington Department of Health’s Health Disparities Map, which shows how census tracts along major roadways have increased diesel emissions associated with air pollution, and all of the adverse health issues that come with it. The impact on Issaquah residents is astounding and can not be ignored.

Our growing city of over 38,000 people is cut through the middle by a major roadway, Interstate 90, exposing our entire community to high levels of toxic pollution each day. What’s more, in keeping with best practices for city planning within the urban growth boundary, we are planning our city’s future growth along major transportation corridors. This is critical so that as we grow, people can still get around and have easy access to transportation. However, without a clean fuel standard, all of this means that our population will remain at high risk of adverse health effects caused by traffic emissions. We must take the step to clean up our transportation pollution, so that we can have both accessible transit options and clean air to breathe.

Everyone deserves to live in an environment that won’t make them ill. As highlighted in the Washington Health Disparities Map, negative health impacts like asthma, heart and lung disease, and other respiratory illnesses disproportionately impact historically disadvantaged populations and community members with lower incomes who are more likely to live near major roadways. The clean fuel standard is an important step towards addressing this disparity, as it requires investments to be made specifically in areas with the most impacted populations.

Elected leadership in Issaquah is not alone in calling for HB 1091 to be passed into law. We joined over 160 elected officials in Washington to sign onto a letter in support of the bill.

The third time must be the charm for this policy. Every year that we don’t pass a clean fuel standard is another year of not addressing the disparity and harm of traffic-related air pollution. Our communities deserve better. Our children and the next generation need us to do better. This year, we have the chance to make change yet again. This time, let’s not mess it up.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@issaquahreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.issaquahreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Opinion

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
2022 Legislature is on the horizon – here’s what to expect | Roegner

The upcoming session of the Washington state Legislature will be the short… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Not much changed from what we knew on election night | Roegner

This column was due before the election was certified. However, not much… Continue reading

William Shaw is General Manager of the Issaquah Reporter and Snoqualmie Valley Record. Contact: wshaw@soundpublishing.com.
Let us give wings to nonprofits and charities in Issaquah and beyond | William Shaw

COVID-19 and the delta variant continue to cast awful shadows on our… Continue reading

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Honoring heroes goes beyond lowering flags to half-mast | Brunell

Lowering our flags to half-staff seems to be an all too familiar… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Public safety takes centerstage in local elections | Roegner

In Seattle and most suburban cities, the overwhelming message was that the… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Washington’s secretary of state leaves big shoes to fill | Roegner

Secretary of State Kim Wyman recently announced she will leave her state… Continue reading

Dr. Jayendrina Singha Ray serves as Faculty of English at Highline College. Her research interests include postcolonial studies, spatial literary studies, British literature, and rhetoric and composition. Prior to teaching in the U.S., she worked as an editor with Routledge and taught English at colleges in India.
What the Afghan wants to say: A story of resettlement | Guest column

The wind is strong. It carries the colored leaves of fall to… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
The rest of the story: Sound Transit, Rolovich and Lambert | Roegner

All of the reporters I know are ethical and trustworthy. But I… Continue reading

Guest column: Medicare Advantage helps patients recover

By David Hall, The Transplant Recipients International Organization Northwest Undergoing surgery is… Continue reading

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
When it comes to power, Washington may be falling behind | Brunell

For years, Washington state masked its high business and regulatory costs with… Continue reading

tsr
Domestic violence victims need more housing options

Column: As a result of stay-at-home measures from the pandemic, domestic violence rates have worsened in King County.

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Why should the threat to Taiwan concern us in WA? | Brunell

Unfortunately, what happens in Taiwan doesn’t just stay in Taiwan — it… Continue reading