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Air Resources Board approves first cap-and-trade forestry compliance offset project in California
Project developed on 8,000 acres of Yurok Indian tribal land
SACRAMENTO - The Air Resources Board today announced approval of the first California forest carbon offset project under the state’s cap-and-trade forestry offset protocol.
“This project will offer California companies additional opportunities to find cost-effective ways of complying with the cap-and-trade program,” said Air Resources Board Chairman Mary D. Nichols. “It offers additional carbon reductions from a sector not covered by the cap-and-trade regulation, while providing financial resources to help the Yurok tribe restore its native lands and protect its watershed and habitat.”
The Yurok Tribe/Forest Carbon Partners CKGG Improved Forest Management Project covers about 8,000 acres of tribal land in Humboldt County. It was issued 836,619 offset credits under the Air Resources Board’s Forestry Offset Protocol. Each credit represents 1 metric ton of carbon dioxide sequestered by the trees in the project. Only carbon offset credits issued by the Air Resources Board can be used for compliance under California's cap-and-trade program. The issuance of the carbon offset credits by the Air Resources Board follows an extensive evaluation process including independent, third-party verifications that the ARB-approved offset protocol was strictly followed.
Covered facilities may use carbon offsets to cover up to 8 percent of their compliance obligation. Carbon offsets also act as a cost-control measure for covered facilities because offsets generally cost less than allowances, which are issued by the state.
In addition, carbon offsets come from projects that provide significant additional environmental benefits beyond the reduction of greenhouse gases. These include, for example, protection of the ozone layer, or supporting improved forest management which upgrades water quality and habitat.
For carbon offset projects to be considered for Air Resources Board offset credits, they must first be registered with an Air Resources Board-approved carbon registry. Each project developer must then provide a complete history of the project. That documentation and the project site itself must be evaluated by Air Resources Board trained, independent, third-party verifiers. Air Resources Board staff then review each project as well. This process provides the most rigorous and stringent verification methodology in the world.
Air Resources Board compliance offset credits will be issued within the Compliance Instrument Tracking System Service (CITSS), the same system in which state-issued allowances reside. Once the determination to issue credits is made by ARB, it can take up to 15 days for the credits to be placed in the holder's account in CITSS. Compliance offset credits for this project were issued April 8, 2014.
For more details on this project, click here.
For details on California’s carbon offset protocols, click here.
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.