Rulemaking is an essential part of government to develop regulations or rules that guide the implementation of state laws and adapt state programs to changing circumstances. This page organizes the Department of Commerce’s active rulemaking efforts and those that have completed in the last year.

Active Rulemaking

Commerce is considering version updates to any existing appliances that use an adopted reference standard or test method under WAC 194-24. Commerce is not considering any new products or standards.

A CR-101 preproposal statement of inquiry was filed on September 22, 2021. Commerce is soliciting written comments on the scope of this rulemaking by October 13, 2021.

Interested parties may add their names to the email distribution list at Questions or comments may be submitted to Liz Reichart, at

This rulemaking will modify the allocation date for the maximum bond cap allocation for an exempt facility applicant from July 1 to May 1. This will affect the timing of exempt facility release/reallocation provisions but will not change the overall amount of private activity volume cap available. It may assist in maximizing use of volume cap within the calendar year.

A CR-105 was filed on April 20, 2022 for the proposed revisions to WAC 365-135-070. Commerce is soliciting additional comment until June 20, 2022.

Comments can be directed to Dave Pringle at

Commerce is updating WAC 365-230, to align Commerce with the EPA’s newly lowered clearance standards for lead-based paint on floors and windows and existing definitions for “landlord” and “property manager.” The proposed rules also amend certain training and certification requirements to reflect programmatic updates and to clarify language for firms and employees.

A CR-101 was filed on March 9, 2021. A CR-102 was filed on July 7, 2021. The CR-103 with the final adopted language was filed on Oct. 29, 2021.

The Washington State Department of Commerce is preparing to update administrative rules for the Growth Management Act (GMA) and filed a CR101, intent for rulemaking on June 21, 2023. We will work with local governments to ensure comprehensive plans and development regulations include efforts to accommodate housing affordable to all economic segments of the population in Washington. Planning for housing now requires an inclusive and equity-driven approach to meet the housing needs for all residents at all income levels.

Over the next five months, Commerce will consider amending and the possibility of adding a new section to Chapter 365-196 WAC. These possible amendments will reflect new legislation on housing, urban growth areas, and rural planning. This includes changes in how local governments plan for affordable housing, increases in residential density, accessory dwelling units, tiny houses, design review, local project review, urban growth area swaps, and infill development in limited areas of more intensive rural development.

Completed Rulemaking

Commerce concluded phase three of its Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA) rulemaking on renewable resource eligibility and the social cost of green house gas emissions. The department filed a CR-103 for final rule adoption on May 24, 2021, to align Commerce with the Utilities and Transportation Commission’s CETA definitions for “energy assistance need” and “low income.” A virtual public hearing was held on April 28, 2021 (recording available on YouTube). For more information about CETA, visit the Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA) webpage.

This rulemaking aligns state rules with federal requirements, to include an opportunity for reconsideration of any decision of the state long-term care ombudsman to grant, refuse, suspend, or remove the designation and certification of an individual long-term care ombudsman or a regional long-term care ombudsman program. A CR-101 was filed on Feb. 19, 2020. A CR-102 was filed on Aug. 18, 2020. The department filed the final rule adoption package on Dec. 29, 2020. The new rule language is effective January 30, 2021.

Commerce concluded phase three of its Clean Commercial Building Standard rulemaking (see 2019 House Bill 1257). The department filed a CR-103 for final rule adoption on October 30, 2020.

Commerce concluded phase two of its Appliance Efficiency Standards rulemaking (see 2019 House Bill 1444). The department filed a CR-103 for final rule adoption on October 2, 2020. The effective date for the standards is January 1, 2021. For more information about the standards, see our Appliance Standards webpage

Commerce conducted a rulemaking to support The Encouraging Investments in Affordable and Supportive Housing Act. The department filed a CR-103 final rule on April 13, 2020.

For more information about the reporting requirements please contact Emily Grossman at 360-764-0262 or

This rulemaking provides conformance with the provisions of RCW 39.86, which were amended in 2010, to alter release/allocation dates for initial bond cap set-asides from September 1 to July 1. This affects the timing of certain release/reallocation provisions but does not change the overall amount of private activity volume cap. It may assist in maximizing use of volume cap within a specific calendar year.

A CR-105 was filed on May 19, 2021, with proposed revisions to six references in WAC 365-135. No written objections were received and a CR-103 was filed on July 20, 2021, adopting the rule changes. The changes will take effect on August 20, 2021.

This rulemaking is authorized under RCW 34.05.353(1)(b) and (1)(d), which allows for an expedited process to rule changes that bring WAC provisions into conformance with dates identified in statute. Any questions can be directed to Allan Johnson at

The Public Works Board (PWB) concluded rulemaking to update WAC 399-080-010 to align with legislation enacted in the 2022 legislative session (see HB 1673 (2022)). This rulemaking clarifies the requirements and timeline for both the broadband program’s application and challenge processes, as well as outlines an emergency broadband program.

Two workshops to discuss draft rules were held on November 9, 2022 and Nov. 22, 2022, and the PWB held a public hearing for the draft rule on Feb. 7, 2023. The CR-103 for final rule adoption was filed Feb. 15, 2023 and will become effective March 18, 2023.

For more information, please visit the Public Works Board’s Broadband Financing page.

Growth Management Services (GMS) concluded a comprehensive update to the administrative rules that implement the Growth Management Act (GMA). GMS initiated rulemaking on December 29, 2020 and worked with state agencies, local governments, tribal governments, and other stakeholders to develop a project scope and consider proposed changes to the Washington Administrative Code (WAC). The update included revisions to the following chapters:

  • WAC 365-190: Minimum Guidelines to Classify Agriculture, Forest, Mineral Lands, and Critical Areas
  • WAC 365-195: Best Available Science
  • WAC 365-196: Procedural Criteria for Adopting Comprehensive Plans and Development Regulations

GMS hosted listening sessions in 2021 to discuss the project scope on June 30, July 19, July 26 and July 28. GMS hosted public meetings in 2021 with local governments and other interested stakeholders to review preliminary changes to the WAC on December 1, December 8, December 9 and December 13. After making changes based on public feedback, GMS held two public hearings in 2022 on July 26 and July 27.

Commerce filed the final amendments to the GMA administrative rules on March 29, 2023.

Relevant documents:

Other Rulemaking Activity

About Commerce


Amanda Hathaway, Rules Coordinator
Phone: 360-789-0843


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