State of Washington
65th Legislature
2017 Regular Session
By House Environment (originally sponsored by Representatives Fitzgibbon, Ryu, Peterson, Stanford, Jinkins, Goodman, Ormsby, Fey, Pollet, Tarleton, Doglio, Farrell, and Macri)
AN ACT Relating to amending state greenhouse gas emission limits for consistency with the most recent assessment of climate change science; and amending RCW 70.235.020.
Sec. 1.  RCW 70.235.020 and 2008 c 14 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:
(1)(a) The state shall limit emissions of greenhouse gases to achieve the following emission reductions for Washington state:
(i) By 2020, reduce overall emissions of greenhouse gases in the state to 1990 levels;
(ii) By 2035, reduce overall emissions of greenhouse gases in the state to ((twenty-five)) forty percent below 1990 levels;
(iii) By 2050, the state will do its part to reach global climate stabilization levels by reducing overall emissions to ((fifty)) eighty percent below 1990 levels((, or seventy percent below the state's expected emissions that year)).
(b) By December 1, 2008, the department shall submit a greenhouse gas reduction plan for review and approval to the legislature, describing those actions necessary to achieve the emission reductions in (a) of this subsection by using existing statutory authority and any additional authority granted by the legislature. Actions taken using existing statutory authority may proceed prior to approval of the greenhouse gas reduction plan.
(c) Except where explicitly stated otherwise, nothing in chapter 14, Laws of 2008 limits any state agency authorities as they existed prior to June 12, 2008.
(d) Consistent with this directive, the department shall take the following actions:
(i) Develop and implement a system for monitoring and reporting emissions of greenhouse gases as required under RCW 70.94.151; and
(ii) Track progress toward meeting the emission reductions established in this subsection, including the results from policies currently in effect that have been previously adopted by the state and policies adopted in the future, and report on that progress.
(2) By December 31st of each even-numbered year beginning in 2010, the department and the department of ((community, trade, and economic development)) commerce shall report to the governor and the appropriate committees of the senate and house of representatives the total emissions of greenhouse gases for the preceding two years, and totals in each major source sector. The department shall ensure the reporting rules adopted under RCW 70.94.151 allow it to develop a comprehensive inventory of emissions of greenhouse gases from all significant sectors of the Washington economy. The report must describe Washington's per capita and total greenhouse gas emissions as compared to the per capita and total greenhouse gas emissions of the other states in the United States, including Washington's ranking among the other states as an emitter of greenhouse gases on both a per capita and total emissions basis. The department shall survey the agencies of state government to determine each agency's annual expenditures made during the biennium to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to support the achievement of the greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals identified in this section, as well as each agency's annual reduction of greenhouse gases during the biennium, and shall include that information in its report, along with a tabulation of the cost per ton of greenhouse gas emissions reductions undertaken by each agency. The department must report, by individual institution, the total emissions of greenhouse gases from state universities, regional universities, and the state college, as those terms are defined in RCW 28B.10.016, and must identify the annual costs incurred by each of those institutions to meet the greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals identified in subsection (1) of this section.
(3) Except for purposes of reporting, emissions of carbon dioxide from industrial combustion of biomass in the form of fuel wood, wood waste, wood by-products, and wood residuals shall not be considered a greenhouse gas as long as the region's silvicultural sequestration capacity is maintained or increased.
(4) For the purposes of this chapter, the department must, in coordination with the department of natural resources, calculate and include in its reporting the total emissions of greenhouse gases from wildfires in the state. As part of the reductions identified in this chapter, the state must encourage proactive forest management, including, but not limited to, prescribed burning and mechanized thinning, as a means of achieving the state's greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals.
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