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.
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
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 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
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.