Seattle Building Emissions Performance Standard (BEPS) Rulemaking

Seattle’s new Building Emissions Performance Standard (BEPS) policy (SMC 22.925), signed by Mayor Harrell on December 13, 2023, establishes carbon emissions targets that larger existing buildings must meet over the next two to three decades. The policy is projected to reduce building emissions 27% by 2050, making it one of the most impactful climate actions Seattle is taking. The City’s next phase is to develop the Director’s Rule which will contain details such as required documentation, processes for compliance, and other key elements that were flagged for rulemaking in the BEPS ordinance. 

Director’s Rule Process Overview 

Per Seattle Municipal Code, a Director's Rule is the required next step to clarify ordinance elements (e.g., timeline for extension requests, documentation required) as well as to address specific rulemaking elements. OSE envisions that a successful rulemaking process will engage stakeholders and maintain the stringency of BEPS, while explaining how to use the flexible compliance options in a readable final Director’s Rule. 

Stakeholder Engagement

The BEPS policy includes many flexible options for compliance and OSE values opportunities for stakeholder participation to help the City further shape and clarify these options. To facilitate this OSE will enable: 

  1. A facilitated Technical Rulemaking Workgroup with subject matter experts from multiple sectors to weigh in on options to inform the draft. 
  2. Facilitated topic-specific focus groups (e.g., affordable housing, decarbonization plans, private building portfolios, and others TBD). 
  3. Public webinars for feedback on key elements of the draft rule. 
  4. Continuous opportunities to share written comments. 
  5. A three-week formal public comment period after the draft rule is released

Rulemaking Timeline 

Dates will be update or announced on this website as events are scheduled.

  • Q3 2024
    • Kick off Technical Rulemaking Workgroup
    • Kick off focused topical meetings
  • Q4 2024
    • Conclude Technical Rulemaking Workgroup
    • Conclude focused topical meetings
    • Kick off rulemaking public webinars
  • Q1 2025
    • Develop draft rule
    • Conclude rulemaking public webinars
  • Q2 2025
    • Share final rule draft for public comment
    • Publish adopted final rule

Technical Rulemaking Workgroup & Focused Topical Summaries 

Agendas, slides and summaries of the technical workgroup meetings will be posted on this webpage. 

Focused Topical Meetings

These small group meetings will focus on key technical elements of the ordinance that need rulemaking discussion such as campus decarbonization, provisions that impact affordable housing or challenging spaces like laboratories. Please contact us if you have a technical expertise and a strong interest in participating.

Rulemaking Public Webinars

Schedule to be posted in the Fall. Please contact us to get on the mailing list.

Opportunities for Public Comment 

We welcome your questions about the process or comments. Please email cleanbuildings@seattle.gov

Sustainability and Environment

Jessyn Farrell, Director
Address: 700 5th Avenue, #1868, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94729, Seattle, WA, 98124-4729
Phone: (206) 256-5158
OSE@seattle.gov

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