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    BRCAC Proposes Possible Emissions Credit Plan to Allow Industrial Growth in Baton Rouge Despite Federal Ozone Standards

    Development in South Louisiana is booming, but many projects may come to a hault in light of the new, federal ozone standards.  The new standard could classify the Baton Rouge area as “non-attainment.”  However, Mike McDaniel, Baton Rouge Clean Air Coalition Leader, has created a solution to reduce air pollutants and allow industrial business to grow. 

    The ozone standard would mean that any new development must be accompanied by a reduction in overall emissions of pollutants. In the past, this would be done by purchasing emission reduction credits form the emissions “bank” provided by the state Department of Environmental Quality.  Organizations earn the credits when they voluntarily reduce pollutants below current levels.

    McDaniel proposed that more flexibility is needed with the “emissions bank.”  Companies could be allowed to pay for projects outside of their facilities, but the projects also reduce the ozone-causing pollution in the area.  Since the company invested in the outside projects, the organization would get “credits” to expand or build facilities that would release some pollutants, although less than the reductions they will provide in the project.   

    For example, a company that wants to build a facility that would release 100 tons of volatile organic compounds would need to purchase and prove reductions of 110 tons of volatile organic compounds.  Possibilities could include a company purchasing natural gas buses for school districts or providing electrical hookups at truck stops to stop truck idling during required, and lengthy, mandatory rest periods.

    Currently, there are not enough credits to go around in Baton Rouge to complete all of the intended industrial projects.  This new proposal by McDaniel would create a way to get credits provided, and in the long-run reduce enough emissions in total to meet federal ozone requirements.  Other plans are being discussed of “trading” credits from one region to another; as is being done in Texas between Houston and Dallas.  

    On a different viewpoint, McDaniel’s proposal seems to be an “excuse” not to reduce pollutants onsite by creating ways to reduce offsite.  Onsite ozone offset initiatives should still remain to be an important issue at hand. 

    McDaniel’s proposal will be further discussed by the Department of Environmental Quality and if it decided to be a route of action, it will be submitted to the EPA for approval. 

    Louisiana Clean Fuels is a member of the Baton Rouge Clean Air Coalition.  For more information, please visit: http://www.brcleanair.com

    Article via The Advocate

    To Read More on This Topic:

    Avery, C. (2014, August 30). Business, industry leaders worry EPA ozone emission changes will cost state billions in stifled economic growth. Retrieved September 2, 2014, from http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/08/business_industry_leaders_worr.html#incart_river.

    Ulkins, G. (2014, July 19). It's electric! Local truck stop goes green with IdleAir. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from http://www.wafb.com/story/26061161/its-electric-local-truck-stop-goes-green.

    Wold, A. (2014, July 18). No need to idle rigs with truck utility ports. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from http://theadvocate.com/home/9660087-125/no-need-to-idle-rigs.

    Wold, A. (2014, July 20). Inside Report: EPA: Ozone standards not enough. Retrieved September 2, 2014, from http://theadvocate.com/columnists/9662513-55/epa-ozone-standards-not-enough.

    Wold, A. (2014, August 2). Lowering ozone standard could cost Louisiana jobs, economic activity, industry group predicts. Retrieved September 2, 2014, from http://theadvocate.com/news/9869572-123/lowering-ozone-standard-could-cost.

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