Owner/Client:      California Air Resources Board

The Cap-and-Trade Program and Compliance Offset Regulation is the strategic heart of California’s efforts to reduce GHG emissions through implementation of AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. The Cap-and-Trade Program established the framework for

  • setting GHG emissions limits for the covered entities
  • allocating allowances for emitting GHGs within the limits
  • trading allowances for covered entities that need to acquire them to comply with their limit or who may sell them if their emissions are below the regulated limit

The Compliance Offset Program established consistent protocols for calculating and managing GHG credits from four carbon offset programs: Forests, Urban Forests, Livestock Manure Digesters, and Ozone Depleting Substances. Ascent assisted the California Air Resources Board (ARB) with the preparation of a functional equivalent document (FED) under ARB’s CEQA certified regulatory program. The FED was prepared as an equivalent to an EIR. It addressed the environmental impacts resulting from reasonably foreseeable compliance approaches by covered entities and offset projects intended to provide GHG credits pursuant to the regulation. The FED examined the potential environmental impacts related to changes in criteria pollutant emissions, construction of facility enhancements, or combustion fuel shifts. The FED also included a detailed evaluation of potential for the Forests Offset Protocol to result in adverse effects, such as reduced wildlife habitat quality, to forest resources within and outside California.