Current Rulemaking Activity
New Chapter 365-175 WAC
Low-Income Home Rehabilitation Revolving Loan Program
Commerce is planning to adopt rules pursuant to RCW 43.330.482 for implementation of the Low-Income Home Rehabilitation Revolving Loan Program. Commerce filed proposed rules and a CR-102 on June 19, 2018 for publication on July 5th. A public hearing on the proposed rule will be held at Commerce’s Olympia office, 1011 Plum Street. SE, Olympia, WA, 98501 on July 30, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. A courtesy call-in line will be available to allow for comments to be provided by phone during the hearing. The call-in number is (360) 407-3780 and PIN Code is 883401#. Participants choosing to provide oral comments via the conference line are advised to also submit written comments, in the event of technical difficulties. Written comments may be submitted no later than July 31 to Amanda Rains, Washington State Department of Commerce, P.O. Box 42525, Olympia, WA, 98504-2525 or by email to email@example.com.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Performance Standard
Commerce is conducting a rulemaking to update the average greenhouse gas emission rate from new, commercially available combined cycle combustion turbines which is referenced in RCW 80.80.040 Greenhouse gas emission performance standard – Rules. Commerce’s rule is referred to in Ecology rules which establish the state greenhouse gas emission performance standard for utility baseload electric generation, which is the lower of 1,100 pounds per megawatt-hour; or the average greenhouse gas emission rate as determined under RCW 80.80.050. The determination is to be updated every five years after July 22, 2007. Commerce filed a draft rule and supplemental CR-102 on May 2nd for publication on May 16th. A public hearing on the proposed rule was held on June 11th, and written comments were accepted through June 14th. Review of comments is underway.
Upcoming Rulemaking Activity
Recently Completed Rulemaking
Documentation of renewable resource financial path for no-load growth utilities
Commerce received a request from the State Auditor for an interpretation of the “no-growth” provision in WAC 194-37- 140(2) and the associated statute, RCW 19.285.040(2)(d)(i) of determining whether a utility’s weather-adjusted load is growing. The rule was adopted on June 5th, 2018.
Energy Independence Act – Incremental Biomass Generation
Commerce updated rules to implement recent legislation changing the eligibility of renewable energy from biomass generating facilities. The new law, Engrossed Senate Bill 5128, expanded biomass eligibility under the state’s renewable energy law, the Energy Independence Act (EIA). Eligible renewable energy includes incremental generation that results from capital investment projects at older biomass generating facilities. The law has specific eligibility requirements, and it required that Commerce adopt rules on how the baseline level of generation should be calculated. The rules were adopted on September 13. For more information please visit the Energy Independence Act rulemaking webpage.
Public Records – Disclosure
Commerce conducted a rulemaking to update its Public Records disclosure rules to reflect changes to the Public Records Act made during the 2017 legislative session. The updated rule was adopted on November 11, 2017.
Chapters 365-190, 365-196, and 365-191 WAC
Land use planning | Critical areas | Agriculture
Commerce conducted a rule update following the addition of the Voluntary Stewardship Program to the Growth Management Act. Rules were updated to reflect the new requirements and to provide clear guidance to regulate and protect critical areas on land used for agricultural activities. The rulemaking effort included a review of court cases and best practices in regulating existing and new agricultural activities, and formation of an advisory committee. The rules were adopted on October 2. For more information please visit the project website.
Chapter 365-65 WAC
Small Business Retirement Marketplace
Commerce conducted a rule update following the passage of SSB 5675, amending elements of the minimum operating requirements of the Small Business Retirement Marketplace, during the 2017 regular legislative session. Commerce is responsible for managing the Washington Small Business Retirement Marketplace in consultation with the state Office of the Insurance Commissioner and Department of Financial Institutions. The retirement plans to be offered on the Marketplace are regulated by the US Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service and US Department of Labor; this rulemaking did not impact how retirement plans are regulated by these federal entities. The affected Washington regulatory and administrative agencies coordinated to implement the updates to the Washington Small Business Retirement Marketplace. Commerce amended its rules in consultation with the Department of Financial Institutions, Office of the Insurance Commissioner and organizations representing eligible employers, qualified employees, private and nonprofit sector retirement plan administrators and providers and another other interested individuals or entities. The rules were adopted on September 12. For more information please visit the Small Business Retirement Marketplace website
CR-102 ( PDF)
Final Rules (PDF)
Concise Explanatory Statement of Changes to Draft Rules (PDF)