Vehicle Fleet Reporting Requirements in Washington State

California’s Clean Vehicle Rules Come to Washington State

Update: On October 24, 2023, the Washington Department of Ecology extended the fleet reporting requirement discussed in the alert below by another two months, to December 31, 2023.

Fleet Reporting Requirement

The Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) is requiring owners and operators of medium- and heavy-duty vehicle fleets to report information about their fleets to Ecology by December 31, 2023. Adopted in December 2022, WAC 173-423-083 requires owners, operators, and managers of medium- and heavy-duty vehicle fleets to complete a one-time report with certain information about their vehicles and their operations to Ecology. The broadly applicable reporting requirement aims to gather information on medium- and heavy-duty (MHD) vehicles and vehicle operations throughout the state, which Ecology will use to evaluate options for future emissions reduction strategies. The requirement is modeled on similar reporting obligations under California’s Advanced Clean Trucks rule and Oregon’s Clean Trucks rule. MHD vehicles are those weighing more than 8,500 pounds GVWR.

Who Must Report

Fleet owners and operators, including business entities and government agencies, must complete the fleet reporting requirement if they meet any of the following criteria:

  • You own or operate a facility in Washington and owned or operated five or more MHD vehicles in the state in 2022;
  • You are a Washington-based freight broker, dispatcher, or other entity that dispatched five or more MHD vehicles into or throughout Washington in 2022, regardless of whether you own these vehicles; or
  • Your business had gross annual revenues above $50 million in the United States (including revenues from all subsidiaries, subdivisions, or branches) and operated a facility that had at least one MHD vehicle in Washington in 2022 (i.e., if you operated between one and four MHD vehicles in Washington in 2022, you are only required to report if your business’ revenues are above $50 million).
  • You are a government agency that operated at least five MHD vehicles in the state in 2022.

Exemptions from Reporting

You are not required to report if:

  • You operated or dispatched four (4) or fewer MHD vehicles in Washington in 2022, and your business or entity had gross annual revenues below $50 million in the 2022 tax year.
  • The vehicles in your fleet are awaiting sale (such as vehicles at an auto dealership).
  • The vehicles are classified as authorized emergency vehicles.

Deadline for Fleet Reporting

Ecology is requiring owners and operators of MHD vehicle fleets to report information about their fleets to Ecology by December 31, 2023.

Recordkeeping Requirements

Entities required to report must maintain certain records related to their reporting for five years after the reporting deadline, such as mileage records and maintenance logs.

Fleet Reporting Requirement is Tied to Washington’s Adoption of California’s Vehicle Rules

Ecology’s fleet reporting requirement mirrors similar requirements in California’s Advanced Clean Trucks and Oregon’s Clean Trucks rules. By way of background, in March 2020, the Washington Legislature passed the Motor Vehicle Emission Standards – Zero-Emission Vehicles law (RCW 70A.30.010), which directs Ecology to adopt California’s vehicle emission standards, including California’s ZEV program. This includes new requirements to increase the number of new zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) sold in Washington, until all new vehicles meet California’s ZEV standard starting in 2035. Ecology must maintain consistency with California’s standards and Section 177 of the federal Clean Air Act. Ecology explained the MHD fleet reporting requirement by stating that “Ecology has very little data on fleets, and the inventory of the existing heavy-duty fleet and information on where these vehicles operate will help provide us information to develop a statewide strategy to reduce their emissions.”

The Road Ahead – Increasingly Stringent ZEV Requirements on the Horizon

While Ecology had implemented some of California’s clean vehicle rules in response to previous legislative directives, in November 2021, Ecology adopted for the first time California’s ZEV rules. Ecology’s rulemaking included light-duty ZEV requirements for model year 2025 (Advanced Clean Cars I), as well as ZEV requirements for MHD vehicles sold in model year 2025 and subsequent years (Advanced Clean Trucks). Ecology’s rulemaking was initiated because the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has since adopted additional rules, including the Advanced Clean Cars II (ACC II) program, which the Washington Motor Vehicle Emission Standards law requires that Ecology adopt into Washington’s rules.

Under the Washington Motor Vehicle Emission Standards law, Ecology has also adopted the following standards from Title 13 of California’s Code of Regulations:

  1. Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Omnibus Regulation and associated amendments. These rules require cleaner heavy-duty internal combustion engines that emit much lower quantities of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM); and
  2. ACC II. This rule will increase the percentage of ZEV passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty vehicles sold in Washington State. The sales mandate takes effect in model year 2026 with the requirement that 35% of new passenger vehicle sales are ZEV. That ZEV percentage increases between 6-9% per year until ZEVs make up 100% of new sales in model year 2035. It will also require light and medium-duty vehicles to meet stronger emissions standards.

Please contact the authors for more information about Ecology’s reporting requirement, assistance with Clean Vehicles Program, or California’s vehicle programs.

Beveridge & Diamond’s Mobile Source Emissions group, including lawyers in our Seattle and San Francisco offices with deep knowledge of ZEV regulations, has experience in all aspects of mobile source emissions regulation. For over two decades, the firm has engaged in a host of matters involving rulemakings, regulatory interpretation, compliance, enforcement, litigation, and advocacy with respect to automobiles and light-duty vehicles (gasoline, diesel, and electric), heavy-duty vehicles, non-road engines and equipment/vehicles, and commercial aircraft and marine engines.