Greenhouse Gas Emissions Services
Certain gases in Earth’s atmosphere, classified as greenhouse gases, play a critical role in determining the earth’s surface temperature. Emissions of greenhouse gases are regulated in California because of their contribution to global climate change.
ECORP provides Greenhouse Gas Emissions Services as part of our air quality modeling and analysis services by combining state-of-the-art technology with a comprehensive working knowledge of the regulatory environment. This range of greenhouse gas services ensures that developers and facility operators produce legally defensible CEQA and NEPA documents, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and better understand the sources of energy consumption leading to the emission of these gases.
Greenhouse Gas Assessment — Emissions Modeling and Predictions
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) states that greenhouse gases created during construction or facility operations must be estimated to determine if they would interfere with already existing plans to reduce these emissions. ECORP primarily uses CalEEMod, a statewide land-use emissions modeling software, to analyze and model future greenhouse gas emissions during construction and operations.
Greenhouse Gas Assessment Process
To ensure that these conditions are met, a greenhouse gas assessment is required. At ECORP, this process is done in three phases:
- The total emissions of greenhouse gases during construction and operation are predicted
- Greenhouse gas emissions from construction and operation are compared to regulatory thresholds
- If emissions are more than the regulatory thresholds, mitigation is developed
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Mitigation Quantification and Design
If greenhouse gas emissions are predicted to exceed thresholds set by lead agencies, ECORP develops mitigation strategies to reduce the emissions to be less than thresholds established by regulatory agencies. This allows ECORP to design greenhouse gas mitigation solutions on a project-by-project basis.
Some of these solutions may include installing on-site sources of renewable energy production, replacing equipment with more energy-efficient models, or limiting the total time certain equipment is used. Mitigation solutions will vary depending on the nature of the project and the levels of emissions.
Carbon Offsets For Additional Greenhouse Gas Emissions Mitigation
When emissions levels cannot be mitigated using other measures, builders and facility operators can buy carbon offsets. Carbon offsets, also called “carbon credits,” are instruments that can be bought, sold, and traded.
Like a stock or equity that represents a unit of ownership in a company, a carbon offset represents a unit of greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Each offset is essentially a certification that a certain quantity of greenhouse gas emissions has been avoided, prevented, or sequestered.
Carbon Offset Oversight
Carbon offsets are bundled for purchase by carbon credit registries, adhering to established standards that are necessary to ensure that offsets are environmentally sound, namely, that offsets be real, permanent, quantifiable, verifiable, enforceable, and additional.
In California, carbon offsets are overseen by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as part of its Compliance Offsets Program. While ECORP does not provide the carbon offsets directly, we are familiar with CARB-approved carbon offset registries and can lead clients to credits approved by CARB.
Energy Consumption Calculations
ECORP offers energy consumption monitoring and calculation services, as required by CEQA. By looking at the sources of greenhouse gas emissions, ECORP identifies the sources of emissions and their total energy consumption. Typically, greenhouse gas emissions are larger when energy consumption increases. Understanding which sources of equipment are consuming the most energy allows ECORP to better identify and design mitigation strategies.
Contact ECORP to Learn More about Our Greenhouse Gas Emissions Services
In addition to greenhouse gas services, ECORP offers a wide variety of other environmental services including general air quality analysis and modeling, noise analysis and monitoring, and much more. To learn more about ECORP can help you complete your EIRs and get your project approved for construction and operations, contact ECORP today.