Washington Ecology Department to Require Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting in 2012

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PORTLAND, Ore.--Large stationary sources and transportation fuel suppliers will have to report their greenhouse gas emissions starting in 2012 under a rule adopted by the Washington Department of Ecology on Dec. 3.

While the rule goes into effect Jan. 1, reporting will not be required until a year later. During 2011, major sources of greenhouse gas emissions will test how they should best report.

It will be a “get-ready year,” Neil Caudill, environmental planner at the department, told BNA Dec. 6.

Beginning in January 2012, large stationary facilities--such as power plants, industrial operations, and landfills--and transportation fuel suppliers must report their greenhouse gas emissions to the department, Caudill said. The annual reporting threshold for such stationary sources is 10,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

Fuel suppliers will use existing information on the sale of various fuels through the state Department of Licensing. Suppliers will have to convert the number of gallons of fuel into the amount of carbon dioxide emissions through a formula that includes an emission factor, depending on the type of fuel. Transportation emissions account for nearly half of the state's total greenhouse gas emissions, according to a department statement.

The move follows a 2009 executive order by Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire (D) urging state agencies to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A state judge in October dismissed a lawsuit challenging that order (206 DEN A-6, 10/27/10).

Gregoire issued another executive order Nov. 17 that suspended many noncritical proposed rules from all state agencies through 2011 (222 DEN A-4, 11/19/10)).

The Department of Ecology said the greenhouse gas emissions reporting rule is required under state law and is therefore exempt from the executive order.

By Tom Alkire

Text of the Washington Department of Ecology greenhouse gas reporting rule is available at http://op.bna.com/env.nsf/r?Open=jstn-8bw2ds.

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