New State Regulations for High-Global Warming Potential Gases Become Effective in 2011

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) is working on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from multiple sectors of Californiaís economy, as part of the implementation of AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act. Several of ARBís regulations take effect in 2011 and will affect businesses in Ventura County. ARBís regulations effective this year will apply to operators of larger industrial and commercial refrigeration systems and semiconductor manufacturers. To assist those affected by ARBís regulations, the APCD has prepared several Compliance Assistance Advisories.

On January 1, 2011, a new ARB regulation to minimize leaks of refrigerants from non-residential refrigeration units took effect. The regulation, known as the Refrigerant Management Program, applies to larger industrial and commercial systems that use high global warming potential refrigerants Ė those typically used in supermarkets, cold storage warehouses, food processing plants and process cooling operations. The program builds on long established federal rules on refrigeration systems. Leaking refrigeration systems are Californiaís single largest source of high-Global Warming Potential Gases. Fixing refrigerant leaks is one of the most cost-effective ways for businesses to save money on costly refrigerants. Beginning January 1, 2011, affected businesses must begin fixing systems and keeping records of all leak repair work. Registration with the ARB will be required for these refrigeration systems with a phased-in schedule beginning January 1, 2012. The APCD has written a Compliance Assistance Advisory to assist operators affected by the regulation. This regulation is currently being implemented by the ARB.

Semiconductor manufacturing facilities are now subject to ARBís Regulation to Reduce GHG Emissions from Semiconductor Operations and by March 1, 2011, must submit an ďinitial emissions reportĒ to the Ventura County APCD to quantify annual emissions of fluorinated gases from semiconductor operations. Annual emissions reports are required by March 1st of each calendar year. Beginning January 1, 2012, new emission standards will apply; if equipment installation or modification is required to meet the emissions standards, an Authority to Construct application must be submitted to the APCD as soon as possible. This new regulation will be implemented by the APCD. A Compliance Assistance Advisory has been written to assist semiconductor manufacturers affected by the regulation.

For more information on ARBís work on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as part of the implementation of AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, visit ARBís Climate Change Program website.