Marten Law: Washington State Releases Draft GHG Reporting Rules That Are More Stringent Than New Federal Rule

In this Emerging Issues Analysis, Alyssa Moir and Svend Brandt-Erichsen of Marten Law PLLC review the provisions of a draft Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reporting Rule released by Washington State just two weeks after EPA released a final Federal GHG Reporting Rule. They also summarize the principal differences between the federal and WA State reporting rules, including the fact that the WA State rule is more stringent than its federal counterpart. They write:
"Greenhouse gas reporting is the first step toward greater regulation of sources of carbon dioxide. Neither EPA nor the states are waiting for Congress to enact climate change legislation. They are proceeding to set up regional cap and trade systems to regulate GHGs under the Clean Air Act, or both."
"There are several notable changes between the original draft of the rule, which was first circulated in January 2009, and the currently released draft. For example, an emitter may now submit a written petition to Ecology to end the reporting requirements when a change in operations results in the permanent reduction of direct emissions below the applicable threshold. Without a written petition, however, an emitter must continue to report until direct emissions are below the applicable reporting threshold for at least three consecutive years. Emitters also would no longer be required to submit a 'Greenhouse Gas Inventory Management Plan,' as originally proposed in the first draft rule."
"At least 17 states other than Washington have adopted rules which will require businesses to quantify and report their greenhouse gas emissions, including, on the west coast, Oregon and California. The state programs vary in reporting thresholds, the criteria for covered facilities, what emissions must be reported (only CO2, or some or all of the six primary GHGs), and monitoring and data verification requirements."
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