Emission Reduction Credits (ERCs) are granted to permitted sources for voluntary emissions reductions when facilities control emissions to levels beyond current or future regulatory requirements, and are only granted after a thorough review by the District has confirmed compliance with a number of criteria defined by District Rules 2201 and 2301, which are rules vetted and approved by both CARB and federal EPA. In addition, every ERC and ERC evaluation are provided to CARB, EPA, and the public for their review and comment prior to the ERCs being issued. ERCs approved by the District are then available for use to offset a subsequent permitted emissions increase by surrendering the ERC, whether used at the same location of the emissions decrease, or at another location, generally after the sale of the ERC to a third party.
ERCs cannot be used in lieu of meeting other air pollution control requirements, such as through market-based systems that other agencies may have in place. Instead, ERCs are required in addition to, and only after, establishing that the new emissions are controlled with the best available control technology (BACT) and will not cause a health risk to surrounding communities. The San Joaquin Valley’s NSR permitting program, including the accompanying ERC program, ensures that new emissions are controlled with the best technologies, prevents the permitting of any operation that will cause a significant health impact, and demonstrates that attainment is not endangered.