The California Assembly is considering a bill (AB-378) that would integrate air quality performance into the state’s greenhouse-gas (GHG) cap-and- trade program. Assembly Bill 378 was proposed by by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, who heads the Assembly’s Committee on Natural Resources. CNR passed the proposal on Monday.
This bill creates a framework for grading industrial facilities’ air quality performance and creating a uniform air pollution standard that facilities must meet to receive allocation of free allowances from the California Air Resources Board (ARB) beginning in 2021.
In addition, AB-378 extends the Air Resources Board’s (ARB) cap-and-trade authority to 2030; prohibits a facility from increasing its annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to the 2014-2016 average; and authorizes ARB to adopt “no-trade zones” or facility-specific declining GHG limits, as specified.
The bill requires ARB to evaluate the air pollutant emissions of each industrial facility, based on the following factors:
Permitted and actual emissions of criteria air pollutants and toxic air contaminants;
Date of the most recent new source review conducted pursuant to the federal Clean Air Act for each emission unit;
Emissions control measures for each criteria air pollutant and toxic air contaminant, including, but not limited to, emissions control technology for each emission unit;
Whether each emission unit meets “best available control technology” or “best available retrofit control technology,” as applicable;
The performance of similar industrial facilities; and,
District records of complaints, enforcement actions, and penalties.
The bill also prohibits ARB, after 2020, from allocating allowances pursuant to cap-and-trade industrial facility that does not meet the air pollutant emissions standards.