Clean Air Rule
Washington’s water supply, air quality, and infrastructure are at risk because of climate change. Ecology adopted a rule under our state’s Clean Air Act to reduce carbon pollution to do our part to help slow climate change. The Clean Air Rule regulates the businesses who are responsible for about two-thirds of carbon pollution in Washington, such as transportation, refining, and manufacturing.
Determining carbon markets for the Clean Air Rule
We gathered feedback to help us determine which carbon markets to consider for the Clean Air Rule. A carbon market is a program designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the trading of credits called allowances.
Organizations covered by the rule are given several ways to comply. One way to comply is to obtain carbon credits (allowances) that come from an approved carbon market outside of Washington. The rule requires that we determine which markets to approve based on three criteria:
Earlier this year we sent out a survey to gather information about domestic and international carbon markets. We used the responses, in addition to the criteria above, to develop an initial list of carbon markets to consider.
Potential markets, or countries with markets, include:
We gathered comments on the list, both online and at a listening session on Oct. 2, 2017. You can read the comments we received online. No comments were given at the listening session, although you can watch the presentation by Ecology staff.
We are currently reviewing comments and continuing our evaluation of potential markets.
If you have questions please contact Bill Drumheller, at (360) 407-7657.
Who is covered under the Clean Air Rule?
In 2017 organizations that are responsible for 100,000 metric tons of carbon pollution annually are required to cap and gradually reduce their emissions. Every three years, the threshold is lowered by 5,000 metric tons and more emitters are brought into the program. By 2035 the threshold will reach 70,000 metric tons where it will remain.
Businesses categorized as energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries and fuel importers begin participating in the program in 2020.
The types of organizations covered by the rule include:
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