February 5, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 36

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February 03, 2023

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February 02, 2023

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Seattle Bans Natural Gas in New Buildings

On February 1st, 2021, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s natural gas ban. Last December, Mayor Durkan sent City Council proposed legislation to update Seattle’s Commercial Energy Code.

The approved amendments ban natural gas for space heating in commercial and apartment buildings taller than three stories; prohibits the use of natural gas to heat water in new hotels and large apartment buildings; requires commercial and apartment buildings to wire for future electrification of appliances; and requires the use of more efficient electric heating and cooling systems, among other measures.

The natural gas ban is part of the City’s aggressive efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Without the approved code changes, Seattle officials estimate that building emissions would have been 12% higher by 2050.

Implementation of the space and water heating measures will take effect in January 2022, while the rest of the code will go into effect on March 15, 2021. Developers should familiarize themselves with the new requirements and watch for future energy code amendments regarding single-family dwellings.

© 2023 Beveridge & Diamond PC National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 35

About this Author

Eric Christensen Energy & Natural Resources Attorney
Of Counsel

Eric is a leading energy and natural resources attorney in the Pacific Northwest.

He assists renewable and traditional energy companies, as well as major energy consumers, to navigate the complex legal and regulatory systems governing the nation’s energy industry. With more than 30 years of experience, Eric has successfully represented clients in litigation and regulatory matters, ranging from the U.S. Supreme Court to proceedings before federal and state agencies. Before entering private practice, Eric served as Assistant General Counsel at Snohomish County (WA)...

Kirstin K. Gruver Environmental Litigation Attorney Beveridge & Diamond Seattle, WA

Kirstin Gruver is efficient and responsive to clients' needs.

She maintains a diverse environmental litigation and regulatory practice, working with clients nationwide across industrial sectors with a focus on wetlands and water issues. She also has experience in product stewardship and sustainability matters.

Prior to joining Beveridge & Diamond, Kirstin worked as a deputy prosecuting attorney at the Clark County Prosecutor's office. She also worked as a legal intern with the Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, and as a summer clerk at Earthjustice....

Rujeko A. Muza Business & Environmental Attorney Beveridge & Diamond Washington, DC

With a strong business background, Rue enjoys working at the intersection of business, environmental law, and the government.

Prior to joining the firm, Rue worked at a Fortune 50 company in government and regulatory affairs. She helped the company formulate a climate change strategy, build coalitions, and respond to federal environmental regulations. When advising clients, Rue leverages her in-house experience by integrating business priorities into her legal solutions. 

Rue has a colorful background having also litigated at a large mid-western firm. Her clients ranged from...