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Recently, the Washington State Department of Commerce sent out notification letters to certain property owners that they may need to comply with the Clean Buildings law that was enacted in 2019.  In sending out the notifications, Commerce relied on data from county assessors and has admitted that their notification list may be inaccurate (see notification email below).  As a result, property owners may have received notification that they must comply with the new law when in fact they are exempt from the law.

We want to provide some help in responding to Commerce if you received a notification in error.  Notably, it is the property owner’s responsibility to notify Commerce if the notification is in error.

The Clean Buildings law only applies to commercial buildings of at least 50,000 square feet in size.  If two buildings are connected to one another, then they are considered one building according to Commerce.  Notably, if the building is an agricultural structure or the primary use of the building is manufacturing or other industrial purposes, it is exempt from the law.  "Agricultural structure" means a structure designed and constructed to house farm implements, hay, grain, poultry, livestock, or other horticultural products, and that is not a place used by the public or a place of human habitation or employment where agricultural products are processed, treated, or packaged.

There are two ways to notify Commerce if you received a notification that is not accurate.

1).  Create a Secure Access Washington (SAW) account and access the portal to correct it.  Apparently each notification letter includes instructions on how to create a Secure Access Washington (SAW) account and a unique code needed to access the Portal. You will need the unique code to sign in to the Portal for both Full Access and Guest Access. Here are more instructions: First-time access Clean Buildings Portal user guide (pdf).  If you choose this method, login and if your building is less than 50,000 square feet and/or is an agricultural building, indicate you are exempt. 

2).  Complete the customer support form which can be found here.  The form gives you the option under building size to say less than 50,000 square feet or not a building so doesn’t qualify.  Also there is an option under building type to scroll down to “exempt”.  Do this if your building is an agricultural structure or used for manufacturing or other industrial purpose. 



Friday, 19 November 2021