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ICAC Spotlight: Looking West - California’s Unique Market Opportunities

Posted By Haley Armstrong, Thursday, February 1, 2018

ICAC Spotlight: Looking West - California’s Unique Market Opportunities

As the largest manufacturing state in the country and the 6th largest economy in the world, California has long been an economic leader. The state is now a policy leader setting the standard in implementing clean air policies and serves as a template for other state and regional initiatives. The dynamic combination of a large manufacturing sector, leading economy and assertive clean air policies, presents market opportunities for ICAC and its member companies in California.


In ICAC’s recent webinar, “California’s Market Opportunities,” we explored California’s unique regulatory structure and two main policy initiatives: The Interagency Refinery Task Force (IRTF) and AB 617.


CARB: A Unique Regulatory Approach


In most states, the EPA sets the nationwide air quality and emissions standards and oversees enforcement. State environmental agencies then implement emissions control actions needed to fulfill federal requirements. In California, the Air Resources Board (CARB) is an independently appointed board that operates the nation’s most extensive air monitoring network and often sets more stringent standards than existing federal standards for a range of emissions sources. The board oversees 35 local air pollution control districts that directly regulate emissions from businesses and stationary facilities.


“Due in part to its size and complexity of air challenges, California has had to be a pioneer in air policy,” says Chris Hessler, partner at AJW, Inc. and a co-presenter at the ICAC webinar. “California has forged approaches that have been used elsewhere to address air quality problems.”


Interagency Refinery Task Force


In 2013, as the result of a refinery fire, California set up the Interagency Refinery Task Force (IRTF), charged with evaluating opportunities for reducing risks associated with refinery safety. IRTF issued the first Refinery Emergency Air Monitoring Assessment Report to inventory air monitoring capabilities, and expanded on this report in 2017.


The latest report recommends monitoring as a routine requirement for enhanced fence line and community monitoring within the area of major stationary sources of emissions. New emission requirements and a focus on reducing emission risks for surrounding communities are now also part of the IRTF’s recommendations.
New monitoring equipment, such as hand-held monitors, process-unit monitors, fence line monitors and an assortment of community monitors, will have to be purchased by refineries, air districts, local response agencies and the state. Existing equipment may need to be upgraded and additional equipment deployed. All this equipment will need to be maintained and operated within the ever-expanding networks.


“As time goes on, additional emission control requirements may be required,” says Clare Schulzki, ICAC Executive, “and this presents a significant opportunity for ICAC members.”


A Policy Push for Cleaner Air - AB 617


Last year, as part of a broader effort to extend California’s cap-and-trade program, California implemented a new community air protection program, known as AB 617. The law seeks to increase community-level monitoring of air pollution in areas identified as most at risk for exposure.


AB 617 requires CARB to establish both a statewide community emissions monitoring and reporting plan as well as a statewide strategy for emissions reductions. In turn, the state’s 35 local air districts will be responsible for requiring emissions monitoring and data collection and for developing plans for implementing emissions reductions. The new law also tasks CARB with creating a clearinghouse for both air monitoring and emission control technologies.


“There clearly is an opportunity for ICAC members due to increased air measuring, monitoring and data analysis as well as increased demand for new and updated control technologies” says Schulzki.


What Can ICAC Do?


As the trusted voice of the clean air technology industry, ICAC is in position to help CARB and the local air districts in California by providing technical expertise.

• Review existing air measuring and monitoring technologies
• Develop key considerations to ensure appropriate collection and analysis of data
• Help develop protocols for new technology or existing technology in new applications
• Assist as strategies and measures for reducing emissions are developed
• Help Identify the best available retrofit control technologies

For more information about AB 617 and opportunities in California, please check out the ICAC December webinar titled, “Expanding Markets: California’s Market Opportunities” on the ICAC website under the Resource Library. Click here to access now.

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