Meaningful Momentum: CCA updates for May 2022

Things are moving at a brisk clip over in Ecology’s Air Quality Program as the Climate Commitment Act (CCA) Implementation Group and other Air Quality team members continue their work on the development of the cap-and-invest program and other key aspects of this sweeping legislation. Read on to find out what the team has been up to and which major milestones are just around the corner.

To catch up on CCA updates from earlier this year, check out our earlier blog posts from April and March.

A program for all Washingtonians

By law, Ecology must have the cap-and-invest program up and running by January 1, 2023. Hitting this statutory deadline required that we begin rulemaking on various aspects of this legislation as quickly as possible.

The largest of these rulemakings is the Chapter 173-446 WAC rule, which outlines the structure and parameters of the cap-and-invest program established by the CCA. On May 16, we formally proposed draft language for this rule, marking the beginning of the formal comment period for this rulemaking, and a major opportunity for all interested parties to weigh in on this rule and have their feedback reviewed and recorded by the Air Quality team. As part of this public input process, the team will also produce a document outlining and responding to all the feedback received, and noting any ways in which the proposed language is changed as a result of that feedback.

This formal comment period will extend from May 16 through June 30, 2022, and will include four virtual public hearings on June 21, 22, 27, and 28 — but comments will also be accepted throughout the formal comment period via our website. Below, we’ve provided links to the rulemaking webpage, draft rule language, online comment platform, and public hearing registration pages:

We’re dedicated to ensuring that everyone in Washington who wants to participate in this rulemaking process has the informational resources they need to be able to engage meaningfully. If you have questions about the Chapter 173-446 WAC rule or would like to request an informational presentation for your group, organization, or community, please contact Claire Boyte-White at

Addressing inequity

The Air Quality team is also undertaking a separate public process, outside of the current rulemaking on Chapter 173-446 WAC, focusing on the environmental justice aspects of the CCA.

The Improving Air Quality in Overburdened Communities initiative team has been hard at work on the process of identifying overburdened communities highly impacted by air pollution in Washington. The first step is to develop the list of criteria that will be used to identify these communities, a robust public and technical process incorporating input from Tribes, stakeholders, environmental groups, the public, and recommendations from the Environmental Justice Council.

In June, we anticipate making the following items available to the public:

  • The list of draft criteria
  • A map of initial screening areas based on those criteria
  • Information about the resources used to develop those criteria; and
  • A draft list of factors that will be used to determine communities’ physical boundaries

At that time, we will open a public comment period to receive feedback on these materials. The team anticipates having a finalized list of communities by the end of the summer, and will begin the work of placing additional air quality monitoring networks in the fall. In 2023, they will begin a second public process to develop new emissions-reduction strategies targeting the issues impacting these areas.

You can learn more about this initiative on the Improving Air Quality in Overburdened Communities webpage. If you have questions about this initiative or about opportunities for input during this ongoing public process, please reach out to Caroline Mellor at or Claire Boyte-White at

Centering justice

In addition to the work being done on this initiative, the CCA directs Ecology to engage the Environmental Justice Council established under the Healthy Environment for All Act (HEAL) to ensure that environmental justice and health equity remain at the core of our work toward reducing statewide emissions by 95% by 2050.

The council was fully empaneled in March and held their first meeting on April 4, 2022. Representatives from the Air Quality team were asked to present at this meeting and have been working to ensure council members have all the informational materials they need to be able to provide recommendations on the development and implementation of the programs established by the CCA.

The council’s next meeting will be held on May 25, 2022. You can find out more about the council, their meetings, agenda documents, and other information on the Department of Health website.

Join our team!

Excited about the CCA and the impact it will have on our shared environment? Come work with us! The CCA Implementation Group is currently hiring for several positions working on all aspects of this exciting legislation. Check out our open positions or sign up for email alerts to see how you can become part of this important work.