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Publications

California Environmental News

Upcoming Training

ARB Consumer and Commercial Products Survey

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) is conducting a Consumer and Commercial Products Survey to update the state’s consumer products inventory and help determine emission inventories. The main objective of the survey is establish the scientific foundation for new State Implementation Plans (SIPs) that address additional reduction of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) necessary to meet the new National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). This survey is mandatory for all entities listed on any consumer and commercial products sold or supplied for use in California during calendar years 2013 through 2015 and on the List of Survey Categories. Information regarding the types of products, formulations, ingredients, and packaging is required for the survey. Surveys must be submitted by March 2, 2015 and can be completed via an online reporting tool created by ARB. The survey can be completed manually or using an excel import template.

Since the public workshop notice in May 2014, ARB has been updating its progress and activities on its website. As of November 18, 2014, ARB has posted a compilation of the most frequently asked questions regarding the survey requirements, in addition to an example of the completed Consumer Product Reporting Tool (CPRT) Import Template. ARB plans to conduct a webinar to review the CPRT data upload for the subject reporting entities on December 15, 2014. To register for the webinar, click here.

For more information or assistance regarding this survey, contact Trinity at (949) 567-9880.

SJVAPCD Launches Permit Administration System

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) is improving its ability to allow permittees access to their own records as maintained by SJVAPCD. SJVAPCD is currently undergoing a soft launch of the Permit Administration System (PAS) web portal to the permitted population. The PAS web portal allows permittees and those designated by the permittee access to historical documents such as applications for construction or Title V permits, district engineering evaluations for historical permitting actions, issued permits, inspection documents, breakdown and deviation reports, reported source test documents, and other compliance related submissions and correspondence. The PAS web portal is also designed to allow facilities to immediately generate and submit breakdown and deviation reports. The ability to submit breakdown and deviation reports via the web portal will be especially advantageous to permittees required to report within one hour of breakdown discovery. Using this system, permittees may print out the deviation/breakdown report, complete the certification of truth and accuracy, and mail to SJVAPCD to meet the 10 day notification compliance requirement.

Historical documents and breakdown/deviation reports are all currently available, with granted access, through the PAS web portal. SJVAPCD hopes to add other features for report submission in the future. Such features may include the capability to submit annual compliance certifications, reports of required monitoring (RRM), and possibly provide signature on submitted reports as well. The system is currently in its initial stages and SJVAPCD is working through any issues as they arise.

If you are interested in having access to the PAS web portal, and/or interested in giving your contact at Trinity access for your facility, contact Nick Peirce, Permit Services Manager-Northern Region, at (209) 557-6447 or Nick.Peirce@valleyair.org. Mr. Peirce requires the facility identification number, and a list of names, phone numbers, and emails of people for whom the permittee would like to designate access. Those designated by the facility will receive an email with a link and temporary password to gain access to the PAS web portal.

November 2014 California Cap-and-Trade and Québec Cap-and-Trade Joint Auction Details Released

Saturday, October 25, 2014

On September 19, 2014, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) released the official auction notice with detailed requirements and instructions pertaining to participation in the greenhouse gas (GHG) allowance auction scheduled to take place on November 19, 2014 (the November 2014 Auction). In contrast to previous auctions, this auction will be a joint auction between the California Cap-and-Trade Program and the Québec Cap-and-Trade system. Any California covered entity, opt-in covered entity, and voluntarily associated entity and any Québec emitters and participants are eligible to participate in the November 2014 Auction provided that the entity has a Compliance Instrument Tracking System Service (CITSS) account and completed other administrative pre-auction requirements.

The auction will feature 2014 (current) vintage allowances as well as 2017 (advance) vintage allowances. Bidding will take place during a 3-hour window. An Auction Exchange Rate (US Dollars to Canadian Dollars) will be established prior to the joint auction in order to manage the multiple currencies.

The table below shows the results of ARB’s previous GHG allowance auctions.

AuctionVintageAllowances Sold / Allowances OfferedSettlement Price (US Dollars)
February 2014201419,538,695 / 19,538,695 (100%)$11.48
20179,260,000 / 9,260,000 (100%)$11.38
May 2014201416,947,080 / 16,947,080 (100%)$11.50
20174,036,000 / 9,260,000 (43.6%)$11.34
August 2014201422,473,043 / 22,473,043 (100%)$11.50
20176,470,000 / 9,260,000 (69.9 %)$11.34

 

The November 2014 Auction will feature the following allowances:

VintageNumber of Allowances OfferedReserve Price (US Dollars)
2014 (Current)23,070,987$11.34
2017 (Advance)10,787,000$11.34

 

The following list identifies important upcoming activities associated with the August 2014 Auction:

  • November 7, 2014 – Bid guarantees due to Financial Services Administrator
  • November 9, 2014 – ARB issues final approval and notification of auction participants
  • November 19, 2014 – GHG allowance auction held
  • November 26, 2014 – Public notice of auction results released
  • December 5, 2014 – Financial settlement due to Financial Services Administrator
  • December 19, 2014 – Transfer of allowances into CITSS accounts

This will be the last Cap-and-Trade auction in 2014 before the second Cap-and-Trade compliance period begins on January 1, 2015. After this date, transportation fuels sectors will enter the market and the program cap will increase accordingly. The auction notice document, which describes all pre-auction requirements and instructions in more detail, is available here.

ARB’s Amendments to Cap-and-Trade Regulations and Offset Protocols

Saturday, October 25, 2014

California Air Resources Board’s (ARB) Cap-and-Trade Regulation limits greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the emission sources that are responsible for approximately 85 percent of California’s total GHG emissions. It also reduces GHG emissions with time by applying a declining cap on GHG emissions, and implements a compliance program that is flexible through the use of tradable compliance instruments (allowances and offset credits). It became effective in the beginning of 2012 and has been amended few times since then.

At the September 18, 2014 public hearing, ARB approved the proposed amendments to various sections of the Cap-and-Trade regulations as well as updates to three of its compliance offset protocols. These amendments include, but are not limited to:

  • Removing the exemption of imported carbon dioxide from the Cap-and-Trade Regulation;
  • Changes in product data definitions;
  • Clarification on reporting offset credit prices during transfers;
  • Increase in flexibility and clarifications to the requirements for corporate disclosures, including indirect and direct corporate associations; and
  • Updates to quantification methodologies within the U.S. Forest Projects, Ozone Depleting Substances, and Livestock Projects Compliance Offset Protocols.

The modified regulatory language was made available for 15 days public comment on October 2, 2014 through October 17, 2014. A detailed list of the proposed modification and the details regarding the rule making processes can be found here. The amended version of the regulations and offset protocols prepared for this comment period can be found here.

CalARP Regulation Amendments Effective Starting January 1, 2015

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services proposed various amendments to the California Accidental Release Prevention (CalARP) regulation on August 8, 2013. After a public written comment period and a public hearing process, the proposed CalARP regulation amendments have recently been approved by the Office of Administrative Law on October 8, 2014 and will take effect on January 1, 2015.

The following are the three key categories of the CalARP program amendments that were originally proposed in 2013:

  • Update toxic endpoints for all of Table 3 in Appendix A: The endpoint data has been available for the 77 chemicals on Table 1 (Federal Table), but not for 276 chemicals on Table 3 (California Specific Table).
  • Add petition provision in the CalARP program: A section was reserved in the original CalARP regulations, but was never added previously.
  • Clean up errors and inconsistency and clarify where appropriate.

On October 8, 2014, all of the proposed amendments were approved and adopted by the Office of Administrative Law, except for the proposed petition provision addition, which will remain as a reserved section. The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services believes that the adopted amendments will result in increased worker safety at industrial plants handling hazardous materials as its overall objective is to ensure the protection of public health, public safety, and the environment.

In general, subject facilities with California specific toxic substance(s) may need to perform offsite consequence analysis using the specified endpoint(s) in Table 3 and update relevant sections of the Risk Management Plan consistent with the amendments when the next five year update is submitted to Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA), effective on January 1, 2015. The newly adopted amendments of the CalARP regulation are available here.

Imperial County Released Draft 2013 SIP for PM2.5

Saturday, October 25, 2014

In 2006, the EPA reduced the 24-hour National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 µm or less (PM2.5). As a result, Imperial County was designated as a non-attainment area for the 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS and was required to submit a State Implementation Plan (SIP) to the EPA by December 2012. Due to a court ruling, the final due date for the SIP submittal was pushed back until December 2014.

In order to comply with the non-attainment area designation requirements, Imperial County Air Pollution Control District (ICAPCD) has developed a draft 24-hour PM2.5 SIP. ICAPCD held a preliminary workshop on October 1, 2014 to introduce the SIP and begin receiving public comments. As discussed at the workshop, the SIP has been developed to include the following requirements:

  • Analysis of PM2.5 and PM2.5 precursor concentrations;
  • Best available emission inventory;
  • Emission control strategies to achieve attainment such as “Reasonably Available Control Measures” (RACM) and “Reasonably Available Control Technology” (RACT);
  • Transportation conformity; and
  • Border strategic concepts.

Several existing rules were evaluated, including, but not limited to, architectural coatings, agriculture, asphalt manufacturing, aerospace, solvents and combustion equipment. For more information, please review the Draft 24-hour PM2.5 SIP posted as of October 1, 2014. ICAPCD plans to hold a Public Hearing on November 25, 2014. Please check the ICAPCD website for more information about this event. After the Public Hearing, ICAPCD will consider all final comments before submitting the draft SIP in December 2014.