Department of Ecology News Release - September 7, 2023

New rules add clarity for cap-and-invest program

Rulemaking updates process for Allowance Price Containment Reserve


The Washington Department of Ecology has proposed new rules to clarify aspects of the Allowance Price Containment Reserve (APCR) – a tool used to provide cost controls for businesses and organizations participating in the cap-and-invest program under the Climate Commitment Act.

This rulemaking will protect the integrity of the cap-and-invest program by clarifying that holding limits apply to allowances purchased in an APCR auction and that those allowances can only be used to meet a compliance obligation and not be used for speculatory purposes. These clarifications will allow the APCR auctions to function as intended – as a means of ensuring that regulated entities have access to sufficient allowances at reasonable prices so that they can participate in the program sustainably.

The new rules limit the number of allowances that can be held by an entity participating in an APCR auction at any given time and require those allowances to be deposited directly into the entity’s compliance account – preventing them from being sold or traded on a secondary market. These changes will not affect the schedule, process, or bidding for the regular quarterly allowance auctions.

If adopted, the proposed regulations would formalize provisions Ecology put in place in June through a temporary rule, using the emergency rulemaking process. Ecology has extended the temporary rule changes, which will remain in effect until the permanent rule is adopted.

Ecology is accepting public comment on the permanent rule proposal through Nov. 1. A public hearing on these changes will be held at 10 a.m. Oct. 24.

Provide input 

Ecology is accepting public comments on this rule through Nov. 1, 2023. 

Submit comments online, by mail, or at a public hearing: 

  • Comment online
  • Mail to: 
    Nikki Harris
    Department of Ecology 
    Climate Pollution Reduction Program 
    P.O. Box 47600 
    Olympia, WA  98504-7600 

Public hearing

Ecology will hold a virtual public hearing at 10 a.m. Oct. 24, 2023.

Ecology will provide an overview of the proposed rule changes and hold a question-and-answer period, followed by public comment. 

Register here

Learn more

Contact information

Jeff Zenk
Twitter: ecologywa