Source: The Washington State Department of Ecology and the Seattle Times, May 23, 2022
The Climate Commitment Act (CCA), which was passed by the Washington state legislature and signed into law by Gov. Inslee in 2021, is set to go into effect on January 1, 2023.
According to the Washington State Department of Ecology, which will be doing the rulemaking for the program, the CCA caps and reduces greenhouse gas emissions from the state’s largest emitting sources and industries, allowing businesses to find the most efficient path to lower carbon emissions. This puts Washington on a path to meet the greenhouse gas emission limits set in state law.
The CCA also puts environmental justice and equity at the center of climate policy, ensuring that communities that bear the greatest burdens from air pollution today see cleaner, healthier air as the state cuts greenhouse gases. Finally, funds from the auction of emission allowances will support new investments in climate resiliency programs, clean transportation, and addressing health disparities across the state.
The program recently reached a milestone when the Department of Ecology published new draft rules that will define the scope and regulations of Washington’s first statewide cap-and-invest program — the country’s second after California kicked off its own in 2013.
The public can submit comments now until June 30. Virtual hearings will also be held on June 21, 22, 27 and 28. Ecology aims to finalize the rules by fall. The agency is mandated to launch the program by Jan. 1.
The program will cover about 75% of statewide emissions, including transportation (35%), electricity (19%), natural gas (11%), refineries (6%) and industrial sources (3%).
The remaining 25% — which includes smaller emitters as well as most of the agriculture, aviation and maritime sectors — will be exempt due to existing laws that already regulate energy use in those industries.
CleanTech Alliance members can take action and have their voices heard through the public comment and rulemaking workshop process.
Proposed rulemaking timeline
The Washington State Department of Ecology is working on three separate rulemakings to implement the Climate Commitment Act. To stay informed about each rulemaking, sign up for email updates. See the proposed timeline for these rulemakings.
|Rulemaking||Announce rule||Propose rule||Adopt rule|
|Cap-and-invest program rules|
(Chapter 173-446 WAC)
|August 4, 2021||May 16, 2022||Fall 2022|
|Criteria for emissions-intensive|
(Chapter 173-446A WAC)
|August 4, 2021||December 22, 2021||Summer 2022|
|Reporting emissions of greenhouse gases|
(Chapter 173-441 WAC)
|July 7, 2021||October 6, 2021||February 9, 2022|
Comments are due by June 30, 2022. Ecology accepts comments in the following ways:
- Comment online.
- Attend a public hearing online (detailed information below):
June 21, 2022 at 10 a.m.
June 22, 2022 at 6 p.m.
June 27, 2022 at 1 p.m.
June 28, 2022 at 10 a.m.
- Mail to: Joshua Grice
Department of Ecology
Air Quality Program
P.O. Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600
Date/Time: June 21, 2022 at 10 a.m. online webinar
June 22, 2022 at 6 p.m online webinar
June 27, 2022 at 1 p.m. online webinar
June 28, 2022 at 10 a.m. online webinar
Location: online (webinar)
Register for each webinar to get your meeting ID and passcode.
To hear the webinar better or to call in only, use your phone (instead of the computer) to call 253-215-8782.
Agenda: Presentation, question-and-answer session, followed by public hearing