The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (APCD) has recently announced that it will hold a workshop on February 18th to discuss a new program that will provide emission offsets for greenhouse gas sources. Referred to as the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Exchange (GHG Rx), the program was launched by the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association (CAPCOA) on January 2, 2014.
The new exchange was designed as a source of information and GHG emission reduction credits that are generated in California for California projects. The credits generated will be subject to stringent criteria to ensure that they are "...real, quantified, verified, permanent, fully enforceable, and are additional or surplus to any reductions that are required (or would otherwise occur)."
The new program complements the Cap and Trade program operated by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to comply with California's AB32 Climate Change regulations. However, offsets generated for the GHG Rx may not be allowed to be used in that program because the ARB has limited the use of emission reduction offsets to those generated from only four areas: forestry, urban forestry, dairy digesters, and destruction of ozone depleting substances. As a result, until CAPCOA and ARB reach an agreement, the GHG Rx will probably be used mainly as mitigation for local CEQA projects or other projects not subject to AB32.
The SJVAPCD will be holding its workshop on February 18, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at its Fresno office, although interested parties will also be able to participate remotely at its Modesto and Bakersfield offices. Additionally, the workshop will be webcast for those not able to attend in person. The workshop represents the last of a series of GHG Rx workshops to be held across the state, beginning next week.