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WAC 463-80-060

Carbon dioxide mitigation plan requirements and options.

(1) Once the total carbon dioxide emissions mitigation quantity is calculated, what is next? The facility must mitigate that level of carbon dioxide emissions. A CO2 mitigation plan is required and must be approved as part of a site certification agreement. A mitigation plan is a proposal that includes the process or means to achieve carbon dioxide mitigation through use of mitigation projects or carbon credits (RCW 80.70.010).
The approved mitigation plan must be fully implemented and operational in accordance with the schedule in the site certification agreement. The applicant may request an extension of the mitigation project implementation deadline. The request must be submitted in writing to EFSEC before the implementation deadline. The request must fully document the reason(s) more time is needed to implement the mitigation project and propose a revised schedule.
(2) What are the mitigation plan options? The options are identified in RCW 80.70.020(3), which states that "An applicant for a fossil-fueled thermal electric generation facility shall include one or a combination of the following carbon dioxide mitigation options as part of its mitigation plan:
(a) Payment to a third party to provide mitigation;
(b) Direct purchase of permanent carbon credits; or
(c) Investment in applicant-controlled carbon dioxide mitigation projects, including combined heat and power (cogeneration)."
(3) What are the requirements of the payment to a third-party option? The payment to a third party option requirements are found in RCW 80.70.020 (5) and (6). Subsection (5) identifies the mitigation rate for this option and describes the process for changing the mitigation rate. Subsection (6) describes the payment options.
The initial mitigation rate is $1.60 per metric ton of carbon dioxide to be mitigated. If there is a cogeneration plant, the monetary amount is based on the difference between twenty percent of the total carbon dioxide emissions and the cogeneration credit. The mitigation rate will change when EFSEC adjusts it through the process described in RCW 80.70.020 (5)(a) and (b). The total payment amount = mitigation rate x mitigation quantity.
An applicant may choose between a lump sum payment or partial payment over a period of five years. The lump sum payment is described in RCW 80.70.020 (6)(a) and (b). The payment amount is the mitigation quantity multiplied by the per ton mitigation rate. The entire payment amount is due to the independent qualified organization no later than one hundred twenty days after the start of commercial operation.
The alternative to a one-time payment is a partial payment described in RCW 80.70.020 (6)(c). Under this alternative, twenty percent of the total payment is due to the independent qualified organization no later than one hundred twenty days after the start of commercial operation. A payment of the same amount (or an adjusted amount if the rate is changed under RCW 80.70.020 (5)(a)) is due on the anniversary date of the initial payment for the next four consecutive years. In addition, the applicant is required to provide a letter of credit or comparable security for the remaining 80% at the time of the first payment. The letter of credit (or comparable security) must also include possible rate changes.
(4) What are the requirements of the permanent carbon credits option? RCW 80.70.030 identifies the criteria and specifies that these credits cannot be resold without approval from EFSEC. The permanent carbon credit criteria of RCW 80.70.030(1) are as follows:
(a) Credits must derive from real, verified, permanent, and enforceable carbon dioxide or carbon dioxide equivalents emission mitigation not otherwise required by statute, regulation, or other legal requirements;
(b) The credits must be acquired after July 1, 2004; and
(c) The credits may not have been used for other carbon dioxide mitigation projects.
(5) What are the requirements for the applicant-controlled mitigation projects option? RCW 80.70.040 identifies the requirements for applicant controlled mitigation projects. Subsections (1) through (5) specify the criteria. The direct investment cost of the applicant controlled mitigation project including funds used for selection, monitoring, and evaluation of mitigation projects cannot be required by EFSEC to exceed the cost of making a lump sum payment to a third party per subsection (3) of this section.
The applicant controlled mitigation project must be:
(a) Implemented through mitigation projects conducted directly by, or under the control of the site certification agreement holder;
(b) Approved by EFSEC and incorporated as a condition of the site certification agreement; and
(c) Operational within one year after the start of commercial operation. Failure to implement an approved mitigation plan is subject to enforcement under chapter 80.50 RCW.
(d) The certificate holder may not use more than twenty percent of the total funds for the selection, monitoring, and evaluation of mitigation projects, and the management and enforcement of contracts.
[Statutory Authority: Chapters 80.70 and 80.80 RCW and RCW 80.50.040. WSR 08-14-064, § 463-80-060, filed 6/25/08, effective 7/26/08.]
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