WSR 10-11-098

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY


[ Order 10-08 -- Filed May 18, 2010, 9:00 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: This rule making will propose to adopt a mandatory greenhouse gas reporting rule for persons operating:

1. A single facility, source, or site that emits at least 10,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases annually in the state; or

2. A supplier of liquid motor vehicle fuel, special fuel, or aircraft fuel that supplies products equivalent to at least 10,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually in the state.

This rule making will establish new chapter 173-441 WAC, Reporting of emissions of greenhouse gases.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapter 146, Laws of 2010 (SSB 6373), Greenhouse gas emissions; chapters 70.235 and 70.94 RCW.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The state of Washington has taken several steps to begin responding to climate change. E2SHB 2815 passed by the 2008 legislature as part of the governor's climate change framework and is primarily codified in chapters 70.235 and 70.94 RCW. E2SHB 2815 requires the state to meet goals for the statewide reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases within Washington over the next several decades and includes additional actions to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and build a clean energy economy. SSB 6373 was passed in 2010 to amend E2SHB 2815 to emphasize consistency with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) greenhouse gas reporting program. One element of this legislation is a requirement for persons operating large stationary sources of greenhouse gases or supplying certain types of fuels to begin reporting emissions, beginning with 2009 emissions reported in 2010. Ecology is directed by statute to adopt rules to develop and implement a reporting system for those entities required to report. Establishing an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions will support future policy initiatives to meet the emissions reductions established in RCW 70.235.020.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: EPA finalized a federal greenhouse gas reporting rule on December 29, 2009, and published a draft of additions and revisions on March 22, 2010. SSB 6373 directs ecology to maintain consistency with the EPA program to the extent possible under state law. Ecology is working with EPA to develop an electronic reporting system that will work for both rules. Ecology will also work with the Washington department of licensing to simplify reporting for fuel suppliers; local air authorities on data sharing and possibly enforcement; and the energy facility site evaluation council (EFSEC), who is required to adopt a similar reporting rule for facilities they permit.

Process for Developing New Rule: The proposed rule will be drafted and reviewed by a stakeholder group and internally by staff. The public and interested parties will have the opportunity to comment on the proposed rule. At least one public hearing will be held and the proposed amendments will be posted on the agency web site and provided to interested parties.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. Interested parties can access more information on this rule making by contacting Neil Caudill, Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600, phone (360) 407-6811, fax (360) 407-7534, neil.caudill@ecy.wa.gov, or accessing the ecology web site at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/laws-rules/index.html.

May 18, 2010

Stuart A. Clark

Air Quality Program Manager

Washington State Code Reviser's Office