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arbcombo -- May 2 New Webpages to Support the Potential New Compliance Offset Protocols Rice Cultivation Projects and Mine Methane Capture Projects

Posted: 02 May 2013 10:09:48
ARB will provide information on the public process for
consideration of adopting the potential new Compliance Offset
Protocols Rice Cultivation Projects and Mine Methane Capture
Projects via newly created webpages linked from the main ARB
Cap-and-Trade Compliance Offset Program Webpage.   Information
presented on these webpages will include reference materials,
workgroup presentations, draft protocols, and information on how
to contact key ARB staff and join technical workgroups.  

Webpages Links
Main Cap-and-Trade Webpage: 
Compliance Offset Program Webpage:
Potential New Compliance Offset Protocol Rice Cultivation:
Potential New Compliance Offset Protocol Mine Methane Capture:

The California Cap on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Market-Based
Compliance Mechanisms Regulation went into effect on January 1,
2012. The Cap-and-Trade Regulation contains provisions for the
use of a limited number of ARB offset credits generated under
approved Compliance Offset Protocols to meet an entity’s
compliance obligation.  Currently the Regulation recognizes four
Compliance Offset Protocols: Ozone Depleting Substances Projects,
Livestock Projects, Urban Forest Projects, and U.S. Forest
Projects.  ARB announced at the June 2012 Board Meeting their
intent to evaluate additional protocols to help meet the demand
for ARB offset credits in the program.  ARB has identified two
new protocols, Rice Cultivation Projects and Mine Methane Capture
Projects, as potentially meeting the requirements specified in
the Regulation for approval as Compliance Offset Protocols.  

The protocol for Mine Methane Capture Projects quantifies
reductions in methane emissions from mining operations. 
Underground and surface mining can release methane to the
atmosphere before, during and after the mining process.  There
are two key sources of methane from active mining: ventilation
and degasification.  During ventilation dilute methane is vented
through mine ventilation shafts.  For degasification vertical or
horizontal wells remove methane from the underground mine before,
during, or after mining.  To reduce methane emissions, methane
can be captured and used for energy production or flared.  The
protocol would include methodologies to identify eligible project
types, and to identify and quantify of eligible methane sources. 

The protocol for Rice Cultivation Projects quantifies reductions
in methane emissions from flooded rice fields.  Flooding results
in anaerobic decomposition of organic matter.  The organic matter
can originate from soil amendments, plant residues or root
exudates. The amount of methane produced is affected by the
duration of flooding, the rice variety and the availability of
crop residues and organic matter. 

The protocol would use the DeNitrification-DeComposition (DNDC)
biogeochemical process model to quantify soil carbon dynamics,
nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) emissions.  Projects would
be limited to the major rice growing regions in California and
the Mid-South (Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana, and
Texas) for which the DNDC model has been calibrated with
empirical data.  ARB is considering three eligible practices for
California: 1) replacing wet seeding with dry seeding, 2) early
drainage at the end of growing season, and 3) rice straw removal
after harvest; and four eligible practices for the Mid-South: 1)
early drainage at the end of growing season, 2) rice straw
removal after harvest, 3) intermittent flooding, and 4) staggered
winter flooding.

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