In 2014, the Baton Rouge Clean Air Coalition (BRCAC) proposed a new strategy for the generation of emission reduction credits to further local emission reductions and provide a new means of obtaining much-needed emission reduction credits for local projects development. This strategy essentially involved opening up eligibility for emission reduction credits to mobile sources. This proposal was well received by all stakeholders and work began on further defining particulars of the strategy. The initial rulemaking was proposed in September, 2016 and re-proposed with substantive revisions in March of 2017. The rule, AQ365S, became final on May 20, 2017.
Implementing this new ERC strategy is expected to help mitigate air quality and economic development constraints of the current “point source only” banking system and provide a number of valuable benefits for the Baton Rouge area such as:
· Allow for continued economic and transportation development (increased availability and lower costs for ERCs, which are now scarce and costly)
·New ERC projects can start reducing emissions and improving air quality in a relatively short period of time (which is a goal of EPA’s Advance Program in which we participate)
·Provide for overall ratcheting down of emissions in the nonattainment area through the emission offsets required for permits for new sources of pollutants
·Reduce emissions from important ozone precursor sources not easily regulated by DEQ (e.g. on-road and off-road mobiles sources)
·Facilitate overall emissions reductions in pursuit of attainment and maintenance of ozone and PM2.5 NAAQS
·Provide funding opportunities for those with emission reduction projects they would like to pursue, but have no funding
·Substantially further interest in clean diesel
As a principle stakeholder in BRCAC, Capital Region Planning Commission (CRPC) supported the development of the new ERC strategy by establishing an Information Resources Center website to provide information and resources to facilitate implementation of the new strategy.
Implementation of AQ365S is seen by all BRCAC stakeholders as a valuable tool in helping the Baton Rouge area achieve and maintain attainment of national air quality standards.