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newsrel -- ARB adopts new protocols for climate change program

Posted: 25 Sep 2008 11:59:48
New protocols offer guidance to local governments. 

Release 08-83
September 25, 2008
Leo Kay
916)322-2990 office
916)849-9843 cell

ARB adopts new protocols for climate change program

Board provides guidance on local government, urban forestry,
manure management projects

DIAMOND BAR, Calif. - The Air Resources Board today adopted
three separate greenhouse gas emission accounting protocols to
quantify emissions from local government operations, and urban
forest and manure digester projects.

"Today's board adoption marks yet another important step forward
in California's goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent
by 2020," said ARB acting chairman Barbara Riordan. "These
protocols will give municipalities, as well as farmers and
others, the guidance they need in moving ahead in their
voluntary efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

The local government operations protocol provides a consistent
methodology to develop greenhouse gas emission inventories for
California's local governments, including cities and towns. The
protocol lays out specific guidelines in how local governments
can assess emissions from buildings and facilities; streetlights
and traffic signals; water delivery and wastewater treatment
facilities; ports and airports; vehicle and transit fleets;
power generation facilities; solid waste facilities; and other
process and fugitive emissions. ICLEI-Local Governments for
Sustainability and several other stakeholders assisted in
developing the protocol.

The urban forest protocol provide cities, counties, agencies,
utilities and educational campuses specific guidance on how
their tree planting and maintenance efforts, if properly
conducted, can maximize carbon storage. The protocol offers
guidance on evaluating location, numbers and types of trees
planted, and how to account for tree maintenance-related
emissions generated by trucks, chainsaws and clippers. Cal Fire,
the USDA-Forest Service, and experts from academia, government,
utilities and non-governmental organizations also helped in
crafting the protocol.

The manure digester project protocol provides standardized
accounting methodology for projects that reduce greenhouse gases
such as methane and carbon dioxide through optimal waste
management practices, from storage, disposal and transport. By
using data on a facility's animals, manure handling processes,
environmental conditions, carbon dioxide combustion, and
digester-related equipment and biogas, the protocol calculates
the amount of methane that would have been otherwise released if
the digester had not been capturing and destroying the gas.

ARB worked with the California Climate Action Registry and a
number of other stakeholder groups in developing the protocols
to quantify greenhouse gas emissions and emissions reduction
projects throughout the state for use in voluntary actions,
while specifics of the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32) are
still being developed. ARB staff is working to determine how
emission reductions from early voluntary actions, including any
from using the protocols adopted today, could eventually be used
officially for compliance purposes as part of the state's
implementation of AB32.

Governor Schwarzenegger signed the Global Warming Solutions Act
two years ago this week. Since then, ARB staff have laid out the
strategy to meet the program's goals in the form of the draft
scoping plan, and have developed numerous specific regulations
targeted at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from a variety of
sources throughout the state.

For copies of the protocols adopted today, go to www.arb.ca.gov

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California
Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and
protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through
effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and
considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air
pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain
health based air quality standards.


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