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Bioenergy Facility Permitting

Development of biomass energy facilities in Washington is subject to required permits and standards. State and local agencies can assist biomass energy project planners and should be contacted at the very beginning of project planning to help avoid any obstacles that could delay project startup.

The Governor’s Office of Regulatory Assistance (ORA) provides answers to permitting questions and access to information about state regulations. For complex environmental permitting, ORA helps coordinate between the several layers of state, local, and federal permit review. For more detailed information on environmental permitting, visit ORA’s Environmental Permitting Service website. The recently published “ Permit Handbook: Commonly Required Environmental Permits, Licenses and Approvals for Washington State” is also available and is based on the Environmental Permit Handbook web site which can be viewed online at http://apps.ecy.wa.gov/permithandbook.

For biodiesel producers, ORA has prepared some factsheets which outline the permit steps needed to develop a biodiesel project. This information can be found at their publication’s website. The Seattle Fire Department has also developed a PowerPoint presentation which details the various building and fire codes that may apply to both small and large biodiesel producers. The Biodiesel and Fire Permits PowerPoint can be viewed here.

Biofuel Sales

Biofuel suppliers and retailers may also want to contact the Washington State Department of Licensing and the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Weights and Measures Program, as both of these agencies have regulatory authority over certain aspects of biofuel sales.


The WSDA Weights and Measures Program promotes marketplace equity in commercial transactions through testing and inspecting commercial devices, price verification, package inspection, public education, monitoring fuel quality, and investigating complaints. Biofuel retailers need to register their fuel dispensing devices with WSDA and must comply with WSDA fuel dispenser labeling requirements. Additional information on the WSDA Weights and Measures Program is available at their website.


Motor fuel blenders, suppliers, exporters, and importers must register with DOL, report fuel sales, and pay fuel tax as necessary. Fuel tax evasion is a crime. Fuel tax evasion includes: the use of red-dyed diesel fuel in licensed vehicles, importing fuel into Washington without a Washington State fuel license, and, manufacturing biodiesel for sale without a license. Additional fuel tax information is available at the DOL website.

Handling and Use of Biofuels

The U.S. Department of Energy has prepared a couple of useful guidebooks for those who blend, distribute and use biodiesel, biodiesel blends and ethanol fuel.

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