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Air Quality Program

What are greenhouse gases?

Greenhouse gases (GHGs) are chemicals that contribute to climate change by trapping heat in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases include: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), and other fluorinated gases. See a list of GHGs that must be reported to Washington.

How are GHGs emitted?

GHG emissions result from various industrial and chemical processes. CO2, CH4, and N2O are released during the burning of fuel. Fluorinated GHGs are usually emitted from process leaks.

How are GHGs measured?

Each gas is measured in units of mass of each gas. This measurement is then converted into metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) by multiplying by the gas's global warming potential (GWP). This allows us to compare and add the impacts of different GHGs. Each gas is assigned a GWP based on how much that gas warms the atmosphere over 100 years compared to an equivalent mass of CO2. GWPs range from 1 to 23,900. See a list of GHGs and their GWPs.

Why is Ecology requiring greenhouse gas emission reporting?

The Governor's 2007 Executive Order about climate change set goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Washington over the next several decades. In 2008, the Legislature passed the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Bill, requiring Ecology to adopt a mandatory greenhouse gas reporting rule. A new bill was passed in 2010 requiring certain fuel suppliers to report. Ecology needs to determine what sources are emitting greenhouse gases, and how much they are emitting, to determine how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Washington.

How can I access the data?

See the summary provided in the following: Washington Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program — Reported Emissions for 2012 and 2013. Please Note: This data is preliminary and has not been fully verified by Ecology.

Also, see GHG data reported to EPA.

How is the GHG reporting program related to Washington's GHG inventory?

Ecology publishes the Washington GHG inventory every two years. It is a big picture summary of the annual GHG emissions in the state. It attempts to include all GHG emissions from all sectors of the economy by looking at things like total fuel use in the state. The inventory is broad in scope, but lacks detail and does not attempt to estimate emissions from specific facilities.

The reporting program gathers information from specific facilities and suppliers. It has more detail, but does not attempt to measure all GHG emissions in Washington.

Who must report?

These large facilities and transportation fuel suppliers must report their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to the Department of Ecology:

  • Facilities that emit at least 10,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases per year in Washington; or
  • Suppliers of liquid motor vehicle fuel, special fuel, or aircraft fuel that supply products equivalent to at least 10,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year in Washington.

Do I have to report GHG emissions from my mobile fleet?

No. Mobile source fleets, including cars, buses, mobile construction equipment, aircraft, ships, boats, trains, and other types of mobile equipment are not required to report their GHG emissions. Washington's law was changed in 2010 to transfer responsibility for transportation reporting from individual fleet operators to transportation fuel suppliers

Fuel suppliers already gather and report their fuel data. The change reduces overall reporting workload and collects information on the majority of Washington's transportation based GHG emissions instead of the small percentage emitted by fleet operators.

Do I have to report all emissions from my organization?

No. You only have to report eligible emissions from facilities in Washington or the emissions from certain transportation fuels you supply in Washington. Each facility has a separate reporting threshold and you only report emissions from the facilities that exceed the threshold.

When to report

Reporting began with 2012 emissions reported in 2013. The 2013 report will contain information on emissions that occur in 2012. The 2012 emissions year registration and reporting deadlines for facilities that report to Ecology and EPA have been extended to match the deadlines for other facilities and transportation fuel suppliers. ALL facilities and transportation fuel suppliers will register by the deadlines in the table below:

Emissions Year Deadlines:

Reporter Type

Deadline

Facilities that report to both Ecology and EPA ( >25,000 MT CO2e)

March 31 of the year following the emissions year

Facilities that only report to Ecology, including those:

  • Emitting between 10,000 and 25,000 MT CO2e
  • That choose to voluntarily report emissions
  • That exceed the threshold based on combustion of biomass
October 31 of the year following the emissions year
Transportation fuel suppliers October 31 of the year following the emissions year

 

The Registration deadline is 60 days before your report is due.

What am I required to report?

For more information on reporting requirements, see the following:

How does this relate to what facilities are reporting to EPA?

Ecology is working with EPA to make the reports as consistent as possible. Washington's web-based reporting tool will be based on and compatible with EPA's Electronic Greenhouse Gas Reporting Tool (e-GGRT). Reporters enter data into e-GGRT, download their data from e-GGRT, then upload the data files into Washington's system.

Do I need to complete and submit EPA’s Excel spreadsheets?

No.  That functionality is now built into EPA’s e-GGRT.  Submitting the Inputs Verifier Tool (IVT) file replaces the Excel files.

For Subpart C EPA gives me a choice to either use the new IVT tool or enter the data directly into e-GGRT.  Do I have the same choice for WA reporting?

Yes.  Either method is acceptable.  As long as the required information is in either the full report xml file or the IVT xml file your report will be considered complete.

Do all facilities use the IVT tool?

No.  Not all subparts or reporters are required to use the IVT.  EPA’s e-GGRT will prompt you if you need to use the IVT.

EPA is requiring some reporters to submit additional data for their 2010-2013 reports.  Ecology has also adopted the new EPA global warming potentials (GWPs).  Do either of these mean I need to resubmit my past reports?

No.  Ecology already collected the data elements deferred by EPA using the Excel spreadsheets.  As long as the content of your report has not changed, you do not need to resubmit.  Ecology will adjust the GWPs for you on our end.

How does this relate to what suppliers are reporting to the Washington State Department of Licensing?

Ecology is working with the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) to make reporting as simple as possible. You do not need to collect additional data. The fuel volumes you report to Ecology are the same that you report to DOL. You continue to submit reports to DOL and submit a new report containing your total and biogenic GHG emissions to Ecology.

How much will the reporting fee be?

There will be an annual reporting fee. The fee is based on Ecology's costs to administer the program and the number of facilities and suppliers reporting that year. More detail is available on our Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program webpage.

How do I get more information or updates about the program?

You can sign up for GHG reporting program email updates and announcements here.

For questions please contact:
Neil Caudill at 360-407-6811

QUICK LINKS:

Greenhouse Gas Reporting

Transportation Fuel Supplier Reporting

Chapter 173-441 WAC - Reporting of Emissions of Greenhouse Gases

EPA GHG Facility Reporting Data

EPA GHG Supplier Reporting Data

EPA GHG Reporting Program

Sign up for email announcements about GHG Reporting

Contact: Neil Caudill