Protecting Public Health and the Environment.
Idaho's Rules for the Control of Air Pollution (IDAPA 58.01.01.460 and 461) allow facilities that generate air pollution to earn emission reduction credits (ERCs) and establishes procedures for facilities to bank the ERCs they earn with DEQ.
ERCs are credits, expressed in tons per year, which are earned by companies when they reduce emissions of certain air pollutants beyond what is required by permits and rules. ERCs are intended to provide an incentive for reducing emissions below required levels, and to establish a framework to promote a market-based approach to air pollution control.
Facilities can reduce emissions to earn ERCs by a variety of methods, including:
ERCs have a market value. Facilities creating ERCs can bank them for use at their own facilities or trade or sell them to other facilities for their use. Siting of new industries may be limited in certain areas, classified as nonattainment areas, where air pollution exceeds federal and state standards. Companies that wish to open a facility or add equipment in these areas can redeem ERCs to "offset" the emissions above a certain threshold. Offset requirements include a tradeoff ratio to ensure a net air quality benefit.
Within one year after facilities take steps to reduce emissions, they may apply to DEQ for an air quality permit to bank an emission reduction credit. If all requirements have been met, DEQ may issue the permit and a "Certificate of Ownership" for an emission reduction credit. The certificate identifies the owner of the credits, quantifies the credited emission reduction, and describes the characteristics of the emissions which were reduced and emissions units which emitted them.
DEQ is required by state air pollution control rules to maintain a public registry of all banked ERCs, indicating the current holder of each certificate of ownership and the amount and type of credited emissions.
The following certificates of ownership have been issued in Idaho:
Stationary Source Program ManagerMichael SimonDEQ State OfficeAir Quality Division1410 N. HiltonBoise, ID 83706(208) firstname.lastname@example.org
Air Quality PermittingAttainment v. Nonattainment