Considering A Regional Clean Fuel Standard

Traffic on I-5

Transportation is the primary source of climate pollution in the Puget Sound region – over 40 percent of the Puget Sound region's greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution.

In 2017, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency's Board of Directors adopted a science-based target to reduce greenhouse gas pollution by 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, and is considering adopting a regional Clean Fuel Standard to help meet that target. 

A Clean Fuel Standard would reduce greenhouse gas pollution from transportation to address climate change and protect human health. The standard would apply to transportation fuels supplied or sold in the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency's jurisdiction -- King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish counties. 

Rulemaking Process

The Agency has drafted a rule for the Agency's Board of Directors to consider for action in early 2020. The draft rule is currently available for public comment. To provide more opportunities for input, the Agency has extended the public comment period from January 6, 2020, to February 10, 2020. 

Timeline

  • October 9, 2019: Release of a draft Clean Fuel Standard rule and the start of the public comment period.
  • February 10, 2020: The extended public comment period closes (previously was January 6, 2020).
  • First Quarter 2020: The Agency will consider all comments received during the public comment period. With the public comment period extension, the Agency's Board of Directors will review a summary of public comments and discuss next steps at its next meeting on February 27, 2020.

Updates

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Draft Rule

Rule Summary 
Draft Rule
Washington State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) - Environmental Checklist (October 8, 2019)
Determination of Nonsignificance (October 8, 2019)
Determination of Nonsignificance - Revised to extend public comment period (January 7, 2020)
CR-102 (October 8, 2019)
Technical Analysis (September 2019)
Technical Analysis Appendices (November 2019)

Public Comment

The public can provide comments and feedback on the proposed Clean Fuel Standard in the following ways:

  • Email: CleanFuels@pscleanair.gov
  • Mail: Send to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, 1904 Third Avenue, Suite 105, Seattle, WA 98101
  • In-person public hearings (more details below):
    • December 19, 2019 -- Seattle 
    • January 30, 2020 -- Everett 
    • February 4, 2020 -- Bremerton 
    • February 5, 2020 -- Tacoma

All comments are due by February 10, 2020.

Following the public comment period, the Agency will consider and summarize all comments received and respond to comments by category. The Agency will then make the comment and response summary available on this webpage or to individuals upon request. 

Public Hearings

Seattle
Thursday, December 19, 2019 | 12:30 - 4:30 p.m., 5 - 8 p.m.
Washington State Convention Center, Room 2AB
705 Pike Street, Seattle, WA 98101

Everett
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 4 - 7 p.m.
Everett Public Library - Main Branch Auditorium
2702 Hoyt Avenue, Everett, WA 98201

Bremerton
Tuesday, February 4, 2020 | 4 - 7 p.m.
Kitsap Conference Center Ballroom
100 Washington Avenue, Bremerton, WA 98337

Tacoma
Wednesday, February 5, 2020 | 4 - 7 p.m.
Tacoma Public Library - Main Branch, Olympia Room
1102 Tacoma Avenue South, Tacoma, WA 98402

Technical Analysis

The Agency contracted with ICF to assess the availability of clean transportation fuels and to conduct an analysis of the air quality, health, and economic impacts of a regional Clean Fuel Standard.

The key findings from the analysis include:

  • A Clean Fuel Standard can significantly reduce the Puget Sound region’s GHG pollution – up to a 26% reduction in carbon intensity of transportation fuels by 2030.
  • A Clean Fuel Standard will improve air quality and public health, especially in communities near major roadways.
  • A Clean Fuel Standard is consistent with the region’s economic growth. Any changes to economic productivity and employment are estimated to be very small (plus or minus one tenth of one percent in 2030).

Two-Page Analysis Summary
Executive Summary
Full Analysis

Additional Information

Videos
Note: The public comment period has been extended to February 10, 2020 (previously was January 6, 2020).
What's in the Agency's draft Clean Fuel Standard rule? – Joel Creswell, Puget Sound Clean Air Agency [10 minutes]
How Carbon Intensity Works with a Clean Fuel Standard – Julie Witcover, Ph.D., UC Davis [13 minutes]
Why a Clean Fuel Standard is Necessary to Fight Climate Change – Colin Murphy, Ph.D., UC Davis [11 minutes]
An Overview of Oregon's Clean Fuels Program – Cory-Ann Wind, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality [8 minutes]
California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard – Jim Duffy, California Air Resources Board [9 minutes]

Materials
Clean Fuel Standard fact sheet

What is a Clean Fuel Standard?

A Clean Fuel Standard reduces greenhouse gas pollution from transportation through a system of deficit and credit trading that requires transportation fuels to become cleaner over time.

Who else has a Clean Fuel Standard?

California, Oregon, and British Columbia have established Clean Fuel Standards to reduce transportation pollution and are already seeing success. 

  • California began their Low Carbon Fuel Standard in 2011. The state reduced over 11 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018 alone. 
  • Oregon has reduced over 2.9 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector since 2016. 
  • British Columbia has avoided over eight million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions since 2010. 

What is carbon intensity?

Carbon intensity is the amount of total carbon generated from the type of fuel used. It includes direct and indirect effects, such as land use changes that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and includes the complete life-cycle of the fuel pathway (often called "wells to wheels") from production to transportation to use. 

Carbon intensity is a way to measure and compare different fuels' impact on climate change.

Previous Public Involvement 

Webinar

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 | 10 - 11 a.m.
View the webinar recording here.

Public Information Session

Thursday, November 15, 2018 | 5:30 - 8 p.m.
Mayflower Park Hotel, Plymouth Room
405 Olive Way, Seattle, WA 98101

Agenda
Presentation
Public Input Summary - December 2018