Clean Fuel Standard requirements for participation

As of Jan. 1, 2023, producers and suppliers of high-carbon intensity fuels must register, report, and meet the requirements of the Clean Fuel Standard program. Producers and suppliers of low-carbon intensity fuels may opt in and meet the requirements to generate credits.

Information on this page will help you meet the requirements:


Who needs to register

Producers and suppliers of regulated fuels to Washington consumers must participate and register in the Washington Fuels Reporting System. Regulated fuels include:

  • Gasoline
  • Diesel
  • Ethanol and blends
  • Biomass-based diesel and blends
  • Fossil compressed natural gas (CNG), liquid natural gas (LNG), and liquid-compressed natural gas (L-CNG)
  • Propane, liquified petroleum gas
  • Hydrogen, compressed or liquified
  • Any other liquid or non-liquid fuel

Producers of low carbon fuels may participate and need to register. Low carbon fuels include:

  • Electricity
  • Bio-CNG, bio-LNG, or bio-L-CNG
  • Alternative jet fuel

Exempt fuels include:

  • Aviation fuel
  • Marine fuel
  • Railroad fuel
  • Offroad fuel used for agriculture, logging, mining, and other activities

See the Documenting Exempt Fuels: Clean Fuel Standard participant guidance publication.

.

Registration

Participants started registering in the Clean Fuel Standard program on Jan. 1, 2023. We developed the Washington Fuels Reporting System (WFRS) to manage all data and processes related to Clean Fuel Standard implementation, including:

  • Fuel pathway certification.
  • Fuel transactions reporting and recordkeeping.
  • Credit generation and transfers.

WFRS is part of an interactive, secure, web-based data-management system, made up of the following three modules:

  • Washington Fuels Reporting System (WFRS)
  • Credit Bank & Transfer System (CBTS)
  • Alternative Fuels Portal (AFP)

Get started

To register in WFRS-CBTS:

  1. Use the step-by-step user guide in the guidance document library.
  2. Sign up for a Secure Access Washington (SAW) account. SAW is a platform used by Washington state agencies for information security. Skip this step if you already have a business account in SAW.
  3. Sign in to your SAW account.
  4. Add the Air Quality Application portal to your list of services in SAW.
  5. Create a profile in the Air Quality Application portal.
  6. Add the Washington Fuels Reporting System (WFRS) to your list of applications in the Air Quality Application portal.
  7. Open WFRS through the Air Quality Application portal to access your account.
  8. Access your WFRS account. (This shortcut link will work after steps 1-7 are done.)

If you have questions about the Washington Fuels Reporting System or need help, email us.

Training

Watch a video of the Jan. 12, 2023, training about SAW and WFRS account registration.

Program fee

We charge a fee for program participation. This fee covers the cost of program implementation and is based on the estimated budget for the upcoming year. The estimated budget and estimated fee for 2023 was posted Feb. 1, 2023, with a 30-day public comment period. If the actual budget is different than the estimate, the fee for the following year will be adjusted to reflect the difference.

  • Deficit generators pay 95% of the program cost.
  • Credit generators pay 5% of the program cost.

Estimated budget: $1,865,999

Estimated fee:

  • Each deficit generator may pay: $77,074
  • Each credit generator may pay: $2,276

The proposed fee amount is based on the total number of registered participants (64) as of January 30, 2023.

  • The final fee will be set on March 15, 2023.
  • The final fee will be based on the number of registered participants at the end of the public comment period, which should be lower than the proposed fee.
  • Comment on proposed fee.

Estimated budget: $1,865,999

This estimate includes:

  • Ecology staffing costs: $1,018,919
  • Other costs (IT, fuel supply forecast, cost benefit analysis): $847,080

Estimated fee:

Generators Number
(as of Jan. 30, 2023)
Amount
(percent of program cost)
Deficit generators 23 $1,772,699 (95%)
Credit generators 41 $93,299 (5%)

All participants will pay a small, flat participation fee, to be determined. Deficit generators will pay an additional fee based on the quantity of deficits they generate. The structure will be:

  • Category 1 (highest fee) — top 30% of deficit generators (70% of fee amount)
  • Category 2 (middle fee) — middle 30% of deficit generators (20% of fee amount)
  • Category 3 (lowest fee) — lower 30% of deficit generators (10% of fee amount)
  • The lowest 10% of deficit generators will only pay the flat participation fee.

Reporting and compliance

Regulated parties and credit-generating entities that opt into the program must:

  • Register with us to:
    • Produce fuel in Washington.
    • Import fuel into Washington.
    • Generate or transact credits for fuels supplied in Washington​.
  • Keep records for each transaction of transportation fuel imported, sold, or supplied for use in Washington.
  • Submit quarterly and annual reports using the Washington Fuels Reporting System. ​

Regulated parties must comply with the Clean Fuel Standard by purchasing a sufficient number of credits to cancel out their deficit balance for each calendar year. Regulated parties can retire credits they generated themselves or purchase credits from other entities. A Credit Clearance Market will provide an additional opportunity for regulated parties to comply with the Clean Fuel Standard if they cannot generate or purchase sufficient credits by the annual report deadline. The Clean Fuel Standard guidance document library has more information about reporting and compliance.

Reporting schedule

Quarter Dates for all participants Due dates for electric utilities
Quarter 1
(Jan. 1 – March 31)
Program registration opens Notify us by Jan. 15, 2023, if they intend to generate credits.
In future years, utilities must notify us by Oct. 1.
Quarter 2
(April 1 – June 30)
Quarter 1 report is due by the end of quarter 2. Provide daily average electric vehicle electricity use data for quarter 1 within 45 days (May 15).
Quarter 3
(July 1 – Sept. 30)
Quarter 2 report is due by the end of quarter 3. Provide daily average electric vehicle electricity use data for quarter 2 within 45 days (Aug.15).
Quarter 4
(Oct. 1 – Dec. 31)
Quarter 3 report due by the end of quarter 4. Provide daily average electric vehicle electricity use data for quarter 3 within 45 days (Nov. 15).

When to expect credits

We will assign credits based on data participants report each quarter. In 2023, we will assign credits starting in April as participants submit quarterly reports. Credits will be issued after each reporting cycle.

Carbon intensity and fuel pathways

All transportation fuels need a carbon intensity (CI) score to participate in the Clean Fuel Standard program. The fuel type dictates which process is used to determine that carbon intensity. A fuel pathway carbon intensity consists of the sum of the greenhouse gases emitted throughout each stage of a fuel's production and use, also known as the "well-to-wheels" or life-cycle analysis for the fuel. Carbon intensity is expressed as the amount of life cycle greenhouse gas emissions per unit of fuel energy in grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per megajoule (g CO2e/MJ). Carbon intensity includes the direct effects of producing and using this fuel, as well as indirect effects that may be associated with how the fuel affects other products and markets.

Companies, account administrators, and owners or operators of fuel-supplying equipment must register in the Washington Fuels Reporting System (WFRS). Applications are submitted through the Alternative Fuels Portal (AFP). See the WFRS and AFP User Guide in the Clean Fuel Standard guidance document library for detailed information.

There are three ways to determine a carbon intensity value for use in the Clean Fuel Standard:

  1. If the fuel has a carbon intensity value approved by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and/or the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the fuel producer can apply to Ecology to accept that value with modifications as needed to reflect its destination to Washington. The fuel producer can submit the application packet sent to CARB or Oregon, and approval from CARB or Oregon. The applicant should also submit a version of the WA-GREET 3.0 model modified to reflect the transportation mode and distance to Washington (not to California or Oregon). Fuel producers will submit their fuel pathway applications through the Washington Fuels Reporting System.

  2. If the fuel does not have a carbon intensity value from California or Oregon, then the fuel producer can submit their fuel pathway application to Ecology for certification. Ecology has developed a series of simplified calculators for well-understood fuel types and the WA-GREET model for more complex fuel pathways. These are listed in the "lookup tables" tab. Fuel producers will submit their fuel pathway applications through the Washington Fuels Reporting System.  

  3. If an applicant has applied for a fuel pathway under the second option, but it hasn't been certified yet, temporary carbon intensity values can be used. See Table 8 in WAC 173-424-900.

To apply for a fuel pathway, view all certified fuel pathways, access the life cycle analysis (WA-GREET), land use change, and OPGEE v2.0 models, and view the carbon intensity values for crude oil used in Washington.

* This spreadsheet is a large file. Get a cup of coffee or tea while it's downloading.
   Click "read only" at the password pop-up box.
   Wait again.

  • Tier 2 fuel pathways approved by California and/or Oregon (coming soon)
  • Ecology will start accepting new Tier 2 fuel pathway applications by October 1, 2024.