Low-carbon energy project siting improvement study

The Washington state departments of Ecology and Commerce issued the final Low-Carbon Energy Project Siting Improvement Legislative Report in November 2022. It identifies 73 potential legislative, agency, and policy recommendations that could be implemented singly or in groups.

Clean energy projects and facilities would contribute to achieving the state’s greenhouse gas emissions limits. The recommendations in this report would improve siting and permitting processes, while protecting Tribal rights and resources and maintaining standards for the protection of the environment and local communities. These recommendations are a further step in ongoing discussions, and additional work will be needed, with broader sets of stakeholders and Tribes to further refine and implement them.

The legislative intent of the study is to "provide increased clarity on areas in the state that may be suitable for siting projects that have a lower potential for negative environmental impacts, especially to highly impacted communities as defined in RCW 19.405.020 and identify strategies for minimizing and mitigating negative environmental impacts where possible."

In December 2021, we submitted an interim legislative report about the approach for the study and the people involved. It includes issues to be considered and built upon in the siting study and an overview of siting work in Washington. We also published a report with an overview of state siting efforts and agencies to provide further information.

Focus of the study

The study identified systemic issues related to:

  • Siting industrial clean-energy projects
  • Environmental review and permitting processes
  • Tribal treaty rights and cultural resources processes
  • Consideration of highly-impacted and overburdened communities

Tribal consultation and engagement

We consulted and engaged with Tribes through government-to-government consultation, Tribal information sessions, and Tribal forums.

Public engagement

We held public meetings in May, June, and September 2022. At these meetings, we provided information on the study and received comments. View recordings of the:

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