Wash. moves to regulate facilities producing majority of state’s GHGs

Source: By Becky Kramer, Spokane Spokesman-Review • Posted: Thursday, September 24, 2015

Washington state officials are developing new rules to limit the greenhouse gas emissions of the state’s largest polluters.

The proposed regulation, announced Monday, would target about 35 industrial facilities responsible for 60 percent of the state’s emissions.

“This year’s record-setting drought and forest fires are sobering examples of what our future could look like if we fail to act now,” said Maia Bellon, the director of the Department of Ecology. “We can’t afford the cost of inaction.”

Companies could cut emissions by changing manufacturing methods, boosting energy efficiency or buying carbon offset credits, officials said.

Agency officials will meet with companies, governments, tribes and environmental groups in the coming weeks. A draft rule could be released by December and a final rule by June, with regulations coming into effect in 2017, Bellon said.

The proposed regulation comes after a cap-and-trade system and carbon tax backed by Gov. Jay Inslee (D) failed to win approval by the Legislature this year.

The new rules would help Washington comply with its target to reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, further cutting them 25 percent by 2035 and 50 percent by 2050.