WSR 17-05-029
[Order 16-12—Filed February 7, 2017, 3:40 p.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: The department of ecology (ecology) plans to amend chapter 173-407 WAC, Carbon dioxide mitigation program, greenhouse gases emissions performance standard and sequestration plans and programs for thermal electric generating facilities. This rule requires power plants and units to:
Reduce carbon dioxide emissions (CO2 mitigation).
Meet the greenhouse gas emissions performance standard.
Develop plans or programs to reduce greenhouse gases as approved by ecology.
This rule making only applies to new power plants, existing power plants that change ownership or undergo modification to increase power output, and power plants making new long-term financial commitments (power purchase agreements and plant purchases).
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapters 80.70 and 80.80 RCW.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Ecology is proposing to amend chapter 173-407 WAC for the following reasons:
As directed by RCW 80.80.050, the department of commerce revised the greenhouse gas emissions performance standard in WAC 194-26-020. We are proposing to adopt the revised standard. This meets the intent of the state law to periodically update the standard if necessary. These changes will also simplify future updates to the standard.
To evaluate emission testing requirements.
To reflect updates to chapter 80.70 RCW, Carbon dioxide mitigation and chapter 80.80 RCW, Greenhouse gas emissionsBaseload electric generation facilities, so that this rule would align with these laws.
To make technical clarifications, correct errors, and improve readability.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: RCW 80.80.040 and [80.80.]050 allow ecology to differ from federal standards. Chapter 80.70 RCW sets up a state program with no federal counterpart.
Energy facility site evaluation council has authority to implement both chapters 80.70 and 80.80 RCW for facilities under their jurisdiction.
Local clean air agencies have authority to implement the chapter 80.70 RCW provisions for power plants under their jurisdiction. To see a list visit
Utility and transportation commission has authority to implement chapter 80.80 RCW for investor-owned utilities under their jurisdiction.
Consumer-owned electric utilities have authority to comply with the chapter 80.80 RCW requirements for power plants and power purchase agreements.
Department of commerce has authority under chapter 80.80 RCW to conduct a survey and adopt the average available greenhouse gas emissions output, new greenhouse gas emissions performance standard, every five years.
Environmental Protection Agency has authority to regulate this subject under its own rules (40 C.F.R. Part 60, Subpart TTTT and UUUU). Most of the carbon dioxide emission standards under these federal rules are less stringent than the 2013 greenhouse gas emissions performance standard adopted by commerce. One possible exception is that Washington needs to develop a plan to implement the more restrictive requirements under Subpart UUUU of the federal rules. However, the United States Supreme Court stayed the requirement to develop this plan until the completion of litigation. Therefore, this plan has not been developed. In the future, the more restrictive standard could apply.
Ecology air quality program will notify these agencies to offer them opportunities to participate in the stakeholder meetings.
Process for Developing New Rule: Ecology will follow the standard process for the adoption of rules under the Administrative Procedure Act (chapter 34.05 RCW).
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. Interested parties can stay informed about the rule making and public involvement opportunities as described below:
Visit the agency web page at
Sign up to receive email notices at
Participate in a stakeholder meeting and/or a public hearing by going to or
Contact the rule-making lead Caroline (Ying) Sun, Department of Ecology, Air Quality Program, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600,, (360) 407-7528.
Ecology will also extend an offer for government-to-government consultation with tribal governments during each phase of rule development.
February 7, 2017
Stuart A. Clark
Air Quality Program Manager