H-3112.1  _______________________________________________


                          HOUSE BILL 2327



State of Washington      57th Legislature     2002 Regular Session


By Representatives Linville, Romero, Lantz, Rockefeller, Wood, Cooper, Hunt, Tokuda, Simpson and Ruderman


Read first time 01/14/2002.  Referred to Committee on Technology, Telecommunications & Energy.

Encouraging greenhouse gas mitigation.

    AN ACT Relating to greenhouse gas mitigation; amending RCW 80.50.010, 80.50.020, and 80.50.040; adding a new section to chapter 80.50 RCW; and declaring an emergency.




    Sec. 1.  RCW 80.50.010 and 2001 c 214 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:

    The legislature finds that the present and predicted growth in energy demands in the state of Washington requires the development of a procedure for the selection and utilization of sites for energy facilities and the identification of a state position with respect to each proposed site.  The legislature recognizes that the selection of sites will have a significant impact upon the welfare of the population, the location and growth of industry and the use of the natural resources of the state.

    It is the policy of the state of Washington to recognize the pressing need for increased energy facilities, and to ensure through available and reasonable methods, that the location and operation of such facilities will produce minimal adverse effects on the environment, ecology of the land and its wildlife, and the ecology of state waters and their aquatic life.

    It is the intent to seek courses of action that will balance the increasing demands for energy facility location and operation in conjunction with the broad interests of the public.  Such action will be based on these premises:

    (1) To assure Washington state citizens that, where applicable, operational safeguards are at least as stringent as the criteria established by the federal government and are technically sufficient for their welfare and protection.

    (2) To preserve and protect the quality of the environment both today and into the near and distant future; to enhance the public's opportunity to enjoy the esthetic and recreational benefits of the air, water and land resources; to promote air cleanliness; and to pursue beneficial changes in the environment.

    (3) To provide abundant energy at reasonable cost.

    (4) To avoid costs of complete site restoration and demolition of improvements and infrastructure at unfinished nuclear energy sites, and to use unfinished nuclear energy facilities for public uses, including economic development, under the regulatory and management control of local governments and port districts.

    (5) To avoid costly duplication in the siting process and ensure that decisions are made timely and without unnecessary delay.


    Sec. 2.  RCW 80.50.020 and 2001 c 214 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:

    The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.

    (1) "Applicant" means any person who makes application for a site certification pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

    (2) "Application" means any request for approval of a particular site or sites filed in accordance with the procedures established pursuant to this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires.

    (3) "Person" means an individual, partnership, joint venture, private or public corporation, association, firm, public service company, political subdivision, municipal corporation, government agency, public utility district, or any other entity, public or private, however organized.

    (4) "Site" means any proposed or approved location of an energy facility.

    (5) "Certification" means a binding agreement between an applicant and the state which shall embody compliance to the siting guidelines, in effect as of the date of certification, which have been adopted pursuant to RCW 80.50.040 as now or hereafter amended as conditions to be met prior to or concurrent with the construction or operation of any energy facility.

    (6) "Associated facilities" means storage, transmission, handling, or other related and supporting facilities connecting an energy plant with the existing energy supply, processing, or distribution system, including, but not limited to, communications, controls, mobilizing or maintenance equipment, instrumentation, and other types of ancillary transmission equipment, off-line storage or venting required for efficient operation or safety of the transmission system and overhead, and surface or subsurface lines of physical access for the inspection, maintenance, and safe operations of the transmission facility and new transmission lines constructed to operate at nominal voltages in excess of 200,000 volts to connect a thermal power plant to the northwest power grid((:  PROVIDED, That)).  However, common carrier railroads or motor vehicles shall not be included.

    (7) "Transmission facility" means any of the following together with their associated facilities:

    (a) Crude or refined petroleum or liquid petroleum product transmission pipeline of the following dimensions:  A pipeline larger than six inches minimum inside diameter between valves for the transmission of these products with a total length of at least fifteen miles;

    (b) Natural gas, synthetic fuel gas, or liquified petroleum gas transmission pipeline of the following dimensions:  A pipeline larger than fourteen inches minimum inside diameter between valves, for the transmission of these products, with a total length of at least fifteen miles for the purpose of delivering gas to a distribution facility, except an interstate natural gas pipeline regulated by the United States federal power commission.

    (8) "Independent consultants" means those persons who have no financial interest in the applicant's proposals and who are retained by the council to evaluate the applicant's proposals, supporting studies, or to conduct additional studies.

    (9) "Thermal power plant" means, for the purpose of certification, any electrical generating facility using any fuel, including nuclear materials, for distribution of electricity by electric utilities.

    (10) "Energy facility" means an energy plant or transmission facilities((:  PROVIDED, That)).  However, the following are excluded from the provisions of this chapter:

    (a) Facilities for the extraction, conversion, transmission or storage of water, other than water specifically consumed or discharged by energy production or conversion for energy purposes; and

    (b) Facilities operated by and for the armed services for military purposes or by other federal authority for the national defense.

    (11) "Council" means the energy facility site evaluation council created by RCW 80.50.030.

    (12) "Counsel for the environment" means an assistant attorney general or a special assistant attorney general who shall represent the public in accordance with RCW 80.50.080.

    (13) "Construction" means on-site improvements, excluding exploratory work, which cost in excess of two hundred fifty thousand dollars.

    (14) "Energy plant" means the following facilities together with their associated facilities:

    (a) Any stationary thermal power plant with generating capacity of three hundred fifty thousand kilowatts or more, measured using maximum continuous electric generating capacity, less minimum auxiliary load, at average ambient temperature and pressure, and floating thermal power plants of one hundred thousand kilowatts or more, including associated facilities.  For the purposes of this subsection, "floating thermal power plants" means a thermal power plant that is suspended on the surface of water by means of a barge, vessel, or other floating platform;

    (b) Facilities which will have the capacity to receive liquified natural gas in the equivalent of more than one hundred million standard cubic feet of natural gas per day, which has been transported over marine waters;

    (c) Facilities which will have the capacity to receive more than an average of fifty thousand barrels per day of crude or refined petroleum or liquified petroleum gas which has been or will be transported over marine waters, except that the provisions of this chapter shall not apply to storage facilities unless occasioned by such new facility construction;

    (d) Any underground reservoir for receipt and storage of natural gas as defined in RCW 80.40.010 capable of delivering an average of more than one hundred million standard cubic feet of natural gas per day; and

    (e) Facilities capable of processing more than twenty-five thousand barrels per day of petroleum into refined products.

    (15) "Greenhouse gas" or "greenhouse gases" includes, but is not limited to, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and natural gas (CH4),  and nitrous oxide (N20).

    (16) "Land use plan" means a comprehensive plan or land use element thereof adopted by a unit of local government pursuant to chapters 35.63, 35A.63, or 36.70 RCW.

    (((16))) (17) "Zoning ordinance" means an ordinance of a unit of local government regulating the use of land and adopted pursuant to chapters 35.63, 35A.63, or 36.70 RCW or Article XI of the state Constitution.

    (((17))) (18) "Alternative energy resource" means:  (a) Wind; (b) solar energy; (c) geothermal energy; (d) landfill gas; (e) wave or tidal action; or (f) biomass energy based on solid organic fuels from wood, forest, or field residues, or dedicated energy crops that do not include wood pieces that have been treated with chemical preservatives such as creosote, pentachlorophenol, or copper-chrome-arsenic.


    Sec. 3.  RCW 80.50.040 and 2001 c 214 s 6 are each amended to read as follows:

    The council shall have the following powers:

    (1) To adopt, promulgate, amend, or rescind suitable rules and regulations, pursuant to chapter 34.05 RCW, to carry out the provisions of this chapter, and the policies and practices of the council in connection therewith;

    (2) To develop and apply environmental and ecological guidelines in relation to the type, design, location, construction, and operational conditions of certification of energy facilities subject to this chapter;

    (3) To establish rules of practice for the conduct of public hearings pursuant to the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, as found in chapter 34.05 RCW;

    (4) To prescribe the form, content, and necessary supporting documentation for site certification;

    (5) To receive applications for energy facility locations and to investigate the sufficiency thereof;

    (6) To make and contract, when applicable, for independent studies of sites proposed by the applicant;

    (7) To conduct hearings on the proposed location of the energy facilities;

    (8) To prepare written reports to the governor which shall include:  (a) A statement indicating whether the application is in compliance with the council's guidelines, (b) criteria specific to the site and transmission line routing, (c) a council recommendation as to the disposition of the application, and (d) a draft certification agreement when the council recommends approval of the application;

    (9) To prescribe the means for monitoring of the effects arising from the construction and the operation of energy facilities to assure continued compliance with terms of certification and/or permits issued by the council pursuant to chapter 90.48 RCW or subsection (12) of this section:  PROVIDED, That any on-site inspection required by the council shall be performed by other state agencies pursuant to interagency agreement:  PROVIDED FURTHER, That the council may retain authority for determining compliance relative to monitoring;

    (10) To integrate its site evaluation activity with activities of federal agencies having jurisdiction in such matters to avoid unnecessary duplication;

    (11) To present state concerns and interests to other states, regional organizations, and the federal government on the location, construction, and operation of any energy facility which may affect the environment, health, or safety of the citizens of the state of Washington;

    (12) To issue permits in compliance with applicable provisions of the federally approved state implementation plan adopted in accordance with the Federal Clean Air Act, as now existing or hereafter amended, for the new construction, reconstruction, or enlargement or operation of energy facilities:  PROVIDED, That such permits shall become effective only if the governor approves an application for certification and executes a certification agreement pursuant to this chapter:  AND PROVIDED FURTHER, That all such permits be conditioned upon compliance with all provisions of the federally approved state implementation plan which apply to energy facilities covered within the provisions of this chapter; ((and))

    (13) To serve as an interagency coordinating body for energy-related issues; and

    (14) To calculate and designate the amount of the fee to be paid by a new energy facility that emits greenhouse gases under section 4 of this act.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.  A new section is added to chapter 80.50 RCW to read as follows:

    (1) Every energy facility that submits an application for an energy facility site certification under this chapter after the effective date of this act is responsible for permanently mitigating in Washington all of their greenhouse gas emissions at actual market cost.

    (2) The mitigation fee will be calculated every ten years and the operator of the energy facility has the option to pay the mitigation fee for the subsequent ten years in one lump sum or over ten annual payments.

    (3) The council will determine the mitigation fee for every new energy facility at the time of the initial certification and again once every ten years by the anniversary date of the energy facility's certification.  In calculating this fee, the council must account for the actual market cost of the greenhouse gases that the energy facility is projected to release over the upcoming ten years, taking into consideration production capability, projected production, fossil fuels used, pollution control equipment, and other measures taken by the facility to minimize the releases of greenhouse gases.  The initial mitigation will be calculated taking into account the design of the facility.  Subsequent calculations will account for the historic greenhouse gas emissions from the facility.  

    (4) The council is not required to exclusively issue financial mitigation.  The council may require, or make available as an option to reduce the mitigation fee, mitigation projects that permanently mitigate in Washington greenhouse gas releases.

    (5) In designating mitigation under this section, the council may  consult with any public or private entity or individual, or commission an independent consultant.  A portion of any fees collected under this section may be used to reimburse the council for any reasonable expenses incurred in the calculation of mitigation, including fees for an independent consultant.

    (6) The council is encouraged to develop a standard formula for the calculation of mitigation that can be applied to all new energy facility applications.  This formula should include a monetary value that is equivalent to a ton of emitted greenhouse gas.  In developing the formula, the council is encouraged, but not required, to study the mitigation models of other states in the country.

    (7) Mitigation designated under this section becomes part of the certification document developed under this chapter.

    (8) All mitigation calculated and designated by the council under this section must be verified and approved by the Washington State University energy program before becoming official.  The Washington State University energy program may delegate this responsibility to any group under its auspices.   

    (9) Five percent of any fees collected under this section must be transferred to the Washington State University energy program to be used for the study of the climate and rural energy development.

    (10) All payments required under this section are to be made to the state treasurer who will make payments as instructed by the council from the funds submitted.  All such funds are subject to the state auditing procedures.  Any unexpended portions revert to the department of revenue under chapter 63.29 RCW.

    (11) A new energy facility that generates all of its energy without using fossil fuels is exempt from this section.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5.  This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately.


                            --- END ---