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What Is The North Carolina ERCs Registry?
The Emission Reduction Credits Registry was created in 2005 to assist facilities looking for emission offsets for nonattainment New Source Review (NSR) permitting. Facilities that voluntarily reduce emissions may apply to the North Carolina Department of Environment And Natural Resources, Division of Air Quality to register the emission reductions as Emission Reduction Credits (ERCs) for future use. The nonattainment NSR permitting requirements are intended to help the North Carolina nonattainment areas achieve compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and preserve good air quality in areas that meet the state and federal health standards.
The purpose of the Emission Reduction Credits Registry is to provide a central, publicly available location where information about emission credits can be stored and viewed. When sources that emit air pollutants cease operating or reduce emissions beyond what the law requires, they create emission credits, which may be used by facilities in the same geographic area that are seeking to increase emissions. This information will be particularly useful to sources wanting to locate or expand in areas designated as nonattainment under the NAAQS.
Boundary Designations for 8-hour Ozone Standards for North Carolina.
An Emission Reduction Credit (ERC) represents a real, permanent, enforceable, quantifiable, and surplus reduction in air pollutant emissions equal to one ton of pollutant per year (1 tpy) that exceeds the amount of reduction required under state or federal law, regulation, order (i.e., consent decrees, agreed orders, etc.), or other enforceable mechanism. Emission reductions are considered real if they represent the reduction in actual emissions emitted into the air. Emission reductions are considered permanent if they are assured for the life of the corresponding emission reduction credit through an enforceable mechanism such as a permit condition or revocation. Emission reductions are considered quantifiable if the amount, rate and characteristics of the emission credit can be estimated through a reliable, reproducible method approved by the Division. Emission reductions are considered surplus if they are not required by any local, state, or federal law, regulation, order, or requirement and in excess of reduction used by the Division in issuing any air permit, in excess of any conditions in an air permit to avoid an otherwise applicable requirement, or to demonstrate attainment of ambient air quality standards in 15A NCAC 2D .0400 or reasonable further progress towards achieving attainment of ambient air quality standards. For the purpose of determining the amount of surplus emission reduction, any seasonal emission limitation or standard will be assumed to apply throughout the year. The following are not considered surplus:
Any facility that have the potential to emit NOx, VOC, SO2, or PM2.5 in amounts greater than 25 tons per year and are located in federally designated ozone or PM2.5 nonattainment areas in North Carolina shall be eligible to create and bank NOx, VOC, SO2, or PM2.5 emission reduction credits.
Facilities undergoing nonattainment NSR permitting requirements must offset the increase in emissions from the proposed new construction and provide a net air quality benefit. The purpose of offsetting these emissions is to allow an area to move toward attainment of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) while still allowing industrial growth.
The Emission Reduction Credit Registry will include the following information with respect to each registered emission credit:
NOTE: Only a portion of this data will be posted to this website. The DAQ will maintain records of all deposit applications, deposits, withdrawals, and transactions. Anyone wishing to see all of the data submitted for the Registry will need to view the applications in the Public File Room of the appropriate regional office or Raleigh central office.
There are no fees for registering emission reductions or updating the ERCs Registry. There are, however, permit application fees associated with the actions that result in generation of emissions reductions.
Once verified, a summary of the information submitted to the DAQ will be available to the public through posting the information to this website. Interested parties may also contact the DAQ with any other inquiries or to request a printed copy of the information.
Certified ERCs are permanent until withdrawn by the owner or until withdrawn by the Director of the DAQ. The Director may withdraw ERCs if the emissions reduction credits:
DAQ also has identified the following that may effectively reduce the actual quantity of emission credits available: