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Air Quality Program

Energy-Intensive, Trade-Exposed Businesses

Industries that face significant global competition and use a large amount of energy to manufacture their products are collectively referred to as "energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries (EITEs)." Under the Clean Air Rule, businesses are identified as an EITE by their North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. Because of the unique needs and pressures facing these businesses, Washington's Clean Air Rule uses a special formula to determine the amount of carbon reductions these organizations need to make. Companies had a one-time option to use the special formula or opt for the standard approach.

EITEs opt-out deadline

EITEs who wanted to opt for the standard compliance pathway needed to inform the Department of Ecology by Dec. 31, 2016. EITEs who did not contact Ecology by Dec. 31, 2016 were automatically placed in the EITE compliance pathway. This is a one-time decision and no changes can be made after the deadline.

EITEs first compliance period begins in 2020

Companies that create 100,000 metric tons of carbon pollution annually and that chose to use the compliance path developed for EITEs are required to begin reducing their emissions starting in 2020. If a business opted for the standard approach and creates 100,000 metric tons of carbon pollution annually, they are required to start making reductions to comply with the Clean Air Rule in 2017.

How EITEs emission limits will be determined

EITE companies’ emission limits are based on their efficiency. Ecology is in the process of collecting data to determine companies’ limits. Our EITE video above explains some of the steps to determining emission limits for EITE companies.

Efficiency rating

One of the first steps in determining emission limits is to evaluate each company’s efficiency. Ecology will do this by comparing EITEs to similar facilities. A company's emission limits will be based on its efficiency rating:

  • Less efficient: Up to 2.7% reduction per year.
  • Average efficiency: 1.7% reduction per year.
  • More efficient: At least 0.7% reduction per year.


In addition to an efficiency rating, each business will have a baseline that is determined by data submitted to Ecology. A business’s baseline is the average amount of carbon emissions created when making their product. Reduction requirements will be determined using this baseline and will adjust as the company's production changes. Watch the short video at the top of this page to learn how the efficiency rating and baseline determines the emission limit for an EITE business.

More information to come

We will continue to update this page with information specific to EITEs.


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