Today, the Washington Department of Ecology formally began writing a rule that would require the state’s largest polluters to reduce their greenhouse gases. Ecology is considering businesses and organizations that are responsible for producing 100,000 metric tons or more of greenhouse gases be covered under the rule. The types of businesses include:
· Natural gas distributors
· Petroleum fuel producers
· Power plants
· Waste facilities
In July 2015, Gov. Jay Inslee directed Ecology to strengthen existing air pollution rules and set limits on greenhouse gases to help meet emission reductions passed by the Legislature in 2008. Inslee said Washingtonians have too much at stake to wait any longer for action on climate change.
Regulated businesses would have a broad range of compliance options. In addition to gradually reducing their carbon pollution, businesses could obtain or trade credits from others, or fund projects that reduce carbon pollution. Over the next year Ecology will hold a series of public meetings and hearings to gather input from everyone interested in participating. A schedule of meetings and other ways to participate will be updated on Ecology’s website over the next several weeks.