In this edition of the Weekly Compliance Digest, we cover a bill on annual reporting of emissions of criteria air pollutants and toxic air contaminants in California.
AB-617 Nonvehicular air pollution: criteria air pollutants and toxic air contaminants
What is it?
On July 17, 2017, both the California Assembly and Senate passed AB-617. The bill requires the state board to develop a uniform statewide system of annual reporting of emissions of criteria air pollutants and toxic air contaminants for use by certain categories of stationary sources. The bill requires those stationary sources to report their annual emissions of criteria air pollutants and toxic air contaminants.
AB-617 was passed at the same time as AB-398, which extends California’s cap-and-trade program by 10 years to 2030.
AB-617 includes a number of requirements affecting the California Air Resources Board (“state board”) and the 35 “air districts”, i.e. 23 Air Pollution Control Districts (APCD) and 12 Air Quality Management Districts (AQMD) that cover all 58 counties of the state, but this post focuses only on the impacts on industry.
Who is affected?
The requirements from AB-617 affect stationary sources that meet any of the following conditions:
- A facility that is required to report to the state board greenhouse gas emissions pursuant to Section 38530.
- A facility that is authorized by a permit issued by a California air district to emit 250 or more tons per year of any nonattainment pollutant or its precursors.
- A facility that receives an elevated prioritization score based on cancer or non-cancer health impacts pursuant to Section 44360.
What are the requirements?
Stationary sources will be required to:
- Implement best available retrofit control technology (BARCT) no later than December 31, 2023. This requirement affects large industrial emitters, such as oil refineries.
- Report to the state board their annual emissions of criteria pollutants and toxic air contaminants using the uniform statewide system of annual reporting that will be developed.
- If required by the state board, provide relevant facility-level emissions data.
- If required by the state board, verify or certify the accuracy of annual emissions reports by a third-party verifier or certifier accredited by the state board.
- If required by an air district, deploy a fence-line monitoring system or other specified real-time, on-site monitoring.
What is next?
The California Assembly and Senate passed AB-617 on July 17, 2017. Governor Jerry Brown is expected to sign the legislation into law. The Governor is also expected to sign AB-398 that includes a 10-year extension of California’s cap-and-trade scheme and other provisions.
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To learn more about EHS, Sustainability and Risk trends, we encourage you to read the NAEM 2016 Trends Report: Planning for a Sustainable Future, which presents the ideas and issues that will shape EHS and Sustainability Management.