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Standards & Compliance Briefing: Calif. Offsets, CDM Approval for Seeds, EPA SmartWay

SCS Global Services has earned accreditation from the California Air Resources Board to provide verification services for carbon offset projects under the state’s new cap-and-trade Program. SCS has already contracted to conduct several compliance-grade forest offset project verifications in 2013 and is now ready to commence the verification process on these projects. Offset projects can be designed to enhance removals of GHG on agricultural lands and forestlands or reduce GHG emissions through capture of methane from livestock operations and through destruction of ozone-depleting substances, SCS said.

The Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism of the UNFCCC has approved Arcadia Biosciences’s methodology to allow farmers to earn carbon credits from reduced fertilizer use in conjunction with Nitrogen Use Efficient (NUE) seed. Arcadia says its NUE technology enables crops to maintain high yields while requiring significantly reduced levels of nitrogen fertilizer. The approved methodology is applicable to all crops planted with NUE seed, and the recognition links carbon credits to crop genetic improvement for the first time, Arcadia said.

Georgia Gulf Corporation’s Compound division has received environmental certification from the SmartWay Transport Partnership. SmartWay is the EPA program for improving fuel efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution in the transportation supply chain. The Compound division’s use of SmartWay-approved carriers has contributed to the lowering of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate-matter emissions, and increased fuel efficiency –saving as much as 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year, the company said.

The Council for Responsible Sport has awarded Silver Certification to Maine’s TD Beach to Beacon 10K for diverting 67 percent of its waste from landfill. It is the first sporting event in Maine to have its socially and environmentally responsible production practices validated by the council. Event organizers earned 45 of 51 possible certification credits applied for by calculating the carbon footprints of race operations and participant travel, and eliminating all pre-race printed marketing materials, among other initiatives, the council said.

The International Code Council Board of Directors approved final recommendations for expanding participation in building code development. The recommendations include online collaboration for stakeholders in the development of Code Change and Public Comment submittals, and processes for online voting, ICC said.

The Chicago Center for Green Technology has added to its LEED certifications with a new LEED Platinum certification for operation and maintenance of existing buildings. The facility previously was the first municipally-owned building in the nation to receive a Platinum certification for New Construction. Mayor Rahm Emanuel set a goal to double the number of LEED-certified buildings owned and operated by the city by 2015, and since then 11 municipally-owned facilities have earned the credential and 30 additional facilities are registered, the City of Chicago news office said.

The City Hall in Bloomington, Ind., has achieved LEED certification to become the first building in the city to achieve the distinction. The building was constructed more than 100 years ago as a furniture factory, and the city spent $160,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment funds on the building upgrades. The facility’s electric bill now is 46 percent lower than in 2006, The Herald Times writes.

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