The Washington State Department of Ecology has finalized the regulatory language for the Post-Consumer Recycled Content (PCRC) rule, a significant step following the passage of Senate Bill 5022. This development is particularly noteworthy for committee members who recall the debate over the definition of “producer” during the CR-102 stage. The finalized rule retains the original definition of “producer” as it was initially negotiated and enacted in the legislation.
The rule, which will come into effect on December 1, 2023, is a critical component of Washington’s environmental regulatory framework. Stakeholders and the public can access the rule adoption documents for a comprehensive understanding of the new regulations. The documents are available on the PCRC Rule Webpage and include the adopted rule language, the rule implementation plan, and a concise explanatory statement. This statement also contains Ecology’s responses to the public comments received during the consultation period. Those interested in the feedback can review the comments on the WAC 173-925 eComments page.
The Department of Ecology has not endorsed using the PCRC’s definition of “producer” within the broader Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) bill. Ecology’s position is based on the assessment that the definition is inadequate, considering the EPR bill will encompass a broader range of products.
EPR stakeholders may be required to navigate differing interpretations of “producer” as they work to comply with the various environmental regulations in Washington State.
The Adoption Notice is pivotal in the state’s environmental policy, setting the stage for implementing a rule that will influence the production and recycling of consumer goods, reflecting the state’s commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility.