70A.65.050  <<  70A.65.060 >>   70A.65.070

Cap on greenhouse gas emissions.

(1) In order to ensure that greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by covered entities consistent with the limits established in RCW 70A.45.020, the department must implement a cap on greenhouse gas emissions from covered entities and a program to track, verify, and enforce compliance through the use of compliance instruments.
(2) The program must consist of:
(a) Annual allowance budgets that limit emissions from covered entities, as provided in this section and RCW 70A.65.070 and 70A.65.080;
(b) Defining those entities covered by the program, and those entities that may voluntarily opt into coverage under the program, as provided in this section and RCW 70A.65.070 and 70A.65.080;
(c) Distribution of emission allowances, as provided in RCW 70A.65.100, and through the allowance price containment provisions under RCW 70A.65.140 and 70A.65.150;
(d) Providing for offset credits as a method for meeting a compliance obligation, pursuant to RCW 70A.65.170;
(e) Defining the compliance obligations of covered entities, as provided in chapter 316, Laws of 2021;
(f) Establishing the authority of the department to enforce the program requirements, as provided in RCW 70A.65.200;
(g) Creating a climate investment account for the deposit of receipts from the distribution of emission allowances, as provided in RCW 70A.65.250;
(h) Providing for the transfer of allowances and recognition of compliance instruments, including those issued by jurisdictions with which Washington has linkage agreements;
(i) Providing monitoring and oversight of the sale and transfer of allowances by the department;
(j) Creating a price ceiling and associated mechanisms as provided in RCW 70A.65.160; and
(k) Providing for the allocation of allowances to emissions-intensive, trade-exposed industries pursuant to RCW 70A.65.110.
(3) The department shall consider opportunities to implement the program in a manner that allows linking the state's program with those of other jurisdictions. The department must evaluate whether such linkage will provide for a more cost-effective means for covered entities to meet their compliance obligations in Washington while recognizing the special characteristics of the state's economy, communities, and industries. The department is authorized to enter into a linkage agreement with another jurisdiction after conducting an environmental justice assessment and after formal notice and opportunity for a public hearing, and when consistent with the requirements of RCW 70A.65.210.
(4) During the 2022 regular legislative session, the department must bring forth agency request legislation developed in consultation with emissions-intensive, trade-exposed businesses, covered entities, environmental advocates, and overburdened communities that outlines a compliance pathway specific to emissions-intensive, trade-exposed businesses for achieving their proportionate share of the state's emissions reduction limits through 2050.
(5) By December 1, 2027, and at least every four years thereafter and in compliance with RCW 43.01.036, the department must submit a report to the legislature that includes a comprehensive review of the implementation of the program to date, including but not limited to outcomes relative to the state's emissions reduction limits, overburdened communities, covered entities, and emissions-intensive, trade-exposed businesses. The department must transmit the report to the environmental justice council at the same time it is submitted to the legislature.
(6) The department must bring forth agency request legislation if the department finds that any provision of this chapter prevents linking Washington's cap and invest program with that of any other jurisdiction.
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