PADEP Adopts Voluntary GHG Emission and Offset Registries
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ("PADEP") announced in a notice published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on October 25, 2008, that it has chosen an official voluntary greenhouse gas ("GHG") emission registry and three official GHG offset registries as required by Section 6 of the Pennsylvania Climate Change Act ("Act 70"). The Climate Registry, a non-profit organization comprised of a number of North American states (including Pennsylvania), tribes and provinces, was chosen as the official GHG emission registry, and the Climate Action Reserve, the Voluntary Carbon Standard and the Gold Standard were chosen as the official offset registries.
The emission and offset registries were recommended by the Climate Change Advisory Committee ("CCAC"), a twenty-one-member advisory panel established by Act 70. The Climate Registry has established detailed protocols and procedures that participating corporations, states and other organizations use to calculate, verify and publicly report their GHG emissions. Similarly, the three offset registries provide rules for measuring, verifying and recording GHG offsets (i.e., GHG emission reductions, avoidances or sequestrations) that can then be sold or purchased via the voluntary carbon offset market. PADEP stated that it accepted the CCAC's recommendation to designate three offset registries so as to provide businesses and other offset market participants in the Commonwealth sufficient flexibility with respect to offset protocols for various offset generating activities such as digestion from livestock manure, landfill gas-to-energy projects, forest management practices, and renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.