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New California GHG Rules Affect Large Emitters, Supply Chains

The California Air Resources Board has passed mandatory reporting regulations that require annual reporting from the largest facilities in the state, accounting for 94 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from industrial and commercial sources in California. The standards and approaches to reporting were developed with the California Climate Action Registry, as required by the law.

About 800 facilities are affected by the new reporting rules including electricity generating facilities, electricity retail providers and power marketers, oil refineries, hydrogen plants, cement plants, cogeneration facilities, and industrial sources that emit over 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year from on-site stationary source combustions such as large furnaces. This last category includes a diverse range of facilities such as food processing, glass container manufacturers, oil and gas production and mineral processing. Backup generators, schools and hospitals are excluded from the requirements.

Facilities will begin tracking their emissions in 2008, to be reported beginning in 2009 with a phase-in process to allow facilities to develop reporting systems and train personnel in data collection. Emissions for 2008 may be based on best available emission data. Beginning in 2010, however, emissions reports will be subject to third-party verification.

In addition, California regulators have passed a law that will require trucks operating at major ports and rail yards to reduce emissions, AP reports. Under the regulation, trucks with a 1994 engine or older must replace it with a newer model by the end of 2009. Trucks with a newer engine need to replace or retrofit it to cut emissions by 85 percent by the same deadline.

In November, the Los Angeles Harbor Commissioners adopted a proposed measure that will implement a progressive ban of older trucks from operation at the port of Los Angeles beginning in October 2008

The new port and rail yard rule comes a day after the state Air Resources Board passed another port-related measure forcing operators of cargo ships and other large vessels to plug into land-based electric power while docked.

Some companies have already made this move. Last January, Princess Cruises signed an agreement committing to turning off the engines of its vessels when they dock at the Port of Los Angeles and plugging in to electrical power.

In October, the California Air Resources Board approved six measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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