Meaningful Momentum: CCA Updates for August 2022

As summer comes to a close, there are just four short months left before the cap-and-invest program launches on January 1, 2023, and we are hard at work ensuring businesses and individuals that wish to participate in the new allowance marketplace have the tools and resources needed to do so. Here’s a quick recap of what August had in store.

Incorporating your input

Rulemaking is still underway for the Chapter 173-446 WAC rule. Our formal public comment period ended on July 15, 2022, and we spent weeks reading, analyzing, and drafting responses to over 1,400 comments submitted by mail, online, and during our four formal public hearings in June.

Responses to all comments will be made public in the Concise Explanatory Statement, a document which outlines all the comments received and why or why not a change was made to the rule as a result of that feedback. That document, along with the adopted rule language, our rule implementation plan, and other documents will be made public when the rule is adopted.

Based on the comments received, there will be some small amendments to the rule that will increase the clarity of the final language when it’s adopted in the fall. By law, the rule must be adopted by October 1, 2022, and we’re on track to meet that deadline.

You can read all submitted comments in our online comment portal.

Making a marketplace

As we mentioned in last month’s blog, we recently launched a new CCA auctions and trading webpage to serve as a hub for information on the cap-and-invest market platform, trainings for participating businesses and individuals, and upcoming auctions (once scheduled).

We recently opened registration for the first three trainings for market participants. These trainings will walk through the process of registering for an account in the Compliance Instrument Tracking System Service (CITSS). A CITSS account is required in order to buy and sell allowances or offset credits in the cap-and-invest market, so we strongly encourage anyone who is interested in participating to attend the relevant trainings.

You can register for these trainings in the More resources section of the Auctions and Trading webpage, and sign up for email alerts to be notified about new trainings as they become available.

A renewable resource

And the hits just keep coming! Website hits, that is.

Hot on the heels of the new auctions page, we’ve also just unveiled our new CCA emissions reporting webpage, which will serve as a one-stop resource for anyone who wants to understand who needs to report their emissions and how to do it.

While the CCA’s emissions reporting requirements are built off the existing regulations governing our Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (Chapter 173-441 WAC), the CCA also contains some additional requirements specific to the cap-and-invest program.

This new webpage will provide information about how businesses can report their emissions, when they need to do so, and how they can access relevant trainings. In fact, the emissions reporting team just opened registration for our first training for fuel suppliers — aimed at suppliers of fuel other than natural gas, like diesel, propane, and gasoline.

Facilitating feedback

Last month, we mentioned that we would begin a second public engagement period in the fall for the Improving Air Quality in Overburdened Communities initiative. This effort is for the section of the Climate Commitment Act that directs Ecology to develop a process to identify overburdened communities highly impacted by air pollution.

We are currently building out an inclusive engagement process to reach community members across the state. In this fall engagement process, we look forward to hearing if our draft process to identify overburdened communities highly impacted by air pollution reflects your experiences with air pollution. We developed this draft process using feedback received in the initial engagement period.

Once these communities are identified, Ecology will expand air quality monitoring and develop strategies to reduce air pollution in these identified communities.

More information about this fall engagement process will be made available in the coming weeks on the initiative webpage.