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Clean Air Rule requirements

In March 2018, Thurston County Superior Court ruled that parts of the Clean Air Rule are invalid. The Superior Court's ruling prevents us from implementing the Clean Air Rule regulations that cap and gradually reduce major sources of carbon pollution. This means that compliance with the rule currently is suspended. On May 14, 2018 we published a media release and filed an appeal with the Washington State Supreme Court.

Under a separate Ecology rule, facilities covered by the Clean Air Rule still are required to report their emissions for the Greenhouse Gas Reporting program.

Businesses covered by the Clean Air Rule are required to reduce their emissions and report their reductions to us every three years.

Emission reduction units

Emission reduction units (ERUs) provide businesses a way to comply with the rule regardless of whether they can reduce emissions at their facility or not. One emission reduction unit is equal to one metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent. ERUs need to be verified by an approved third party and reported in the online tracking system.

How an organization can meet their requirements

There are multiple ways to reduce emissions. One way to cut emissions is by making changes at their facility. This can be done by:

  • Installing more efficient equipment.
  • Changing fuel sources.
  • Modifying processes to reduce carbon pollution.

If emissions are reduced more than required, the extra reductions can become ERUs. Organizations can trade or sell their ERUs to other businesses in the program. Organizations can also save their ERUs for future use. ERUs can be saved up to 10 years.

Organizations can get ERUs from other sources

If you cannot reduce enough emissions at your facility to meet its requirements, you must get ERUs from another source. This can be done in a variety of ways.

ERUs from others in the CAR Program Purchase allowances outside Washington Sponsor a program or project