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newsrel -- Air Resources Board adds Google Earth maps to show major sources of greenhouse gases

Posted: 07 Aug 2012 12:27:13
Californians can now locate major emitters in their communities.

Sacramento-Californians can now locate the major sources of
greenhouse gases and easily examine the emissions of each
facility with a new mapping tool introduced today by the Air
Resources Board.

“Knowing the exact quantity of greenhouse gas every major source
pumps into the atmosphere is the foundation of an effective
cap-and-trade program,” said Mary D. Nichols, ARB Chairman.
“Thanks to our rigorous reporting program we know the amount of
greenhouse gases each source emits down to the ton. This new
application provides an easy way to pinpoint those sources on a
map, and allows everyone to see at a glance how it compares to
other facilities in the same county, or throughout the state.”

The new application links ARB’s database of the state’s largest
sources of greenhouse gases with Google’s mapping technology,
including satellite photography that shows details of each
facility. The Google Earth module features a graphic
representation of the relative size of each facility’s annual
greenhouse gas emissions in relation to others throughout the

The application allows viewers to choose which sources they wish
to see by sector (such as only choosing cement manufacturers,
refineries, or power stations) and also displays specific
counties, air basins and air districts. The application also
shows six out-of-state facilities that provide some of the
electricity imported into California. 

The United States Environmental Protection Agency recently
released a national mapping tool to display major greenhouse gas
emitters, however, that application does not yet feature the
Google Earth capabilities. 

For the past three years, some 625 facilities in California with
emissions exceeding 25,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions a
year have been reporting their annual emissions to ARB. The
results are independently verified by greenhouse gas emissions
verifiers, trained and accredited by ARB.  (California’s is the
only system in the nation to require third-party verification of
greenhouse gas reporting.) 

This accurate and verified mandatory emissions reporting is the
foundation of California’s cap-and-trade greenhouse gas emissions
reduction program. The total number of tons of greenhouse gas
emissions each company reports is equivalent to the number of
permits (known as allowances) it must provide to ARB. In the
beginning of the program, starting in 2013, the majority of those
allowances are provided by ARB free of charge. The remainder
needed to cover a company’s annual emissions can be bought at an
auction held four times each year by ARB, or on the open market
where companies that have made reductions offer surplus
allowances for sale. 

Over time, the total number of allowances ARB issues drops about
two or three percent from one year to the next. This effectively
limits and then lowers year over year the amount of greenhouse
gases that all the major sources in the state can emit. Accurate
and verified reporting demonstrates precisely how companies
statewide are meeting the lowered cap on emissions. 

To see ARB’s new application for reported greenhouse gas
emissions, please visit:

For a brief tutorial on how to use the mapping application click
here: http://www.arb.ca.gov/videos/ghg_google.htm

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