Air ERC Registry
Federal Emission Reduction Credit (ERC) & Offset Program
Why does Clark County have a Federal ERC Program?
Each Air Quality Area (airshed region) within Clark County is designated, by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as a Nonattainment Area or an Attainment/Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Area for a specific Criteria Air Pollutant. When an airshed is designated as a Nonattainment Area, that means that the airshed has exceeded the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) established by EPA. In order to achieve Attainment status, Clark County must take action to reduce emissions of the Criteria Air Pollutant or its precursors. ERCs and federal offset requirements are tools that enable us to achieve Attainment status. While these requirements relate, they are not one in the same, as will be explained.
What is a Federal ERC?
An ERC is a credit that is earned by a stationary source when it reduces emissions for a particular air pollutant beyond mandates contained in the Authority to Construct Permit, Rules, Regulations, Consent Degrees, Court Settlements, Statutes, etc. As a general concept, it’s any credit that is earned that is in excess of the federally enforceable limit. An ERC is an asset that can be used by an owner to satisfy a federal emission offset requirement or it can be sold to another party to meet its federal emission offset requirement—ERCs are commodities traded in the open market by private parties.
What is a Federal Emissions Offset?
An offset exists when a company must compensate for an emission increase by decreasing emissions at a specified ratio. Offset requirements may vary by air pollutant, depending on the location of the major stationary source, i.e., a Nonattainment area. The Clean Air Act and associated Amendments are the underlying authority for federal offset requirements. Federal offset requirements for Clark County are contained in Clark County Air Quality Regulations (AQR), Section 12.3, §12.3.6 Emissions Offset. This regulation is used to establish offset requirements contained in the Authority to Construct Permit, which makes them federally enforceable.
What are the source documents?
- AQR Section 0 – Definitions
- AQR Section 12.3 – Permit Requirements for Major Sources in Nonattainment Areas
- AQR Section 12.7 – Emission Reduction Credits Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS), §445B.508, Reduction or mitigation of increases in emissions; air pollution credits.
- Improving Air Quality with Economic Incentive Programs, EPA-452/R-01-001, January 2001, Environmental Protection Agency.
- Clean Air Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 7401, et seq.
- Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40, Part 51, Appendix S
How can I get more information on federal ERCs?
More information and assistance can be obtained through the Department of Air Quality, 4701 W. Russell Road, Suite 200, Las Vegas, Nevada, 89118-2231, (702) 455-5942.
You can also review the following documents: