Sec. 95975 - Listing of Offset Projects Using ARB Compliance Offset Protocols

§ 95975. Listing of Offset Projects Using ARB Compliance Offset Protocols

(a) General Requirements for Offset Project Operators or Authorized Project Designees Who Are Submitting an Offset Project for Listing. Before an offset project can be listed by ARB or an Offset Project Registry the Offset Project Operator and its Authorized Project Designee, if applicable, must:

(1) Register with ARB pursuant to section 95830; and

(2) Not be subject to any Holding Account restrictions imposed pursuant to section 96011.

(b) If the offset project is not listed by ARB, it must be listed by an Offset Project Registry approved pursuant to section 95986.

(c) General Requirements for Offset Project Listing. For offset projects being listed by ARB or an Offset Project Registry in an initial or renewed crediting period, the Offset Project Operator and any Authorized Project Designees approved pursuant to section 95974 must:

(1) Attest, in writing, to ARB as follows:

"I certify under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California the GHG reductions and/or GHG removal enhancements for [project] from [date] to [date] will be measured in accordance with the [appropriate ARB Compliance Offset Protocol] and all information required to be submitted to ARB is true, accurate, and complete.";

(2) Attest, in writing, to ARB as follows:

"I understand I am voluntarily participating in the California Greenhouse Gas Cap-and-Trade Program under title 17, article 5, and by doing so, I am now subject to all regulatory requirements and enforcement mechanisms of this program and subject myself to the jurisdiction of California as the exclusive venue to resolve any and all disputes arising from the enforcement of provisions in this article.";

(3) Attest in writing to ARB as follows:

"I understand that the offset project activity and implementation of the offset project must be in accordance with all applicable local, regional, and national environmental and health and safety laws and regulations that apply to the offset project location. I understand that offset projects are not eligible to receive ARB or registry offset credits for GHG reductions and GHG removal enhancements that are not in compliance with the requirements of the Cap-and-Trade Program.";

(4) Provide all documentation required pursuant to section 95975(e) to ARB or an Offset Project Registry; and

(5) Disclose GHG reductions and GHG removal enhancements issued credit by any voluntary or mandatory programs for the same offset project being listed or any GHG reductions and GHG removal enhancements used for any GHG mitigation requirement.

(d) The attestations in section 95975(c)(1), 95975(c)(2), and 95975(c)(3) must be provided to an Offset Project Registry with the listing information, if being listed with an Offset Project Registry, or to ARB if being listed with ARB.

(e) Offset Project Listing Information Requirements. Before an offset project is publicly listed for an initial or renewed crediting period the Offset Project Operator or Authorized Project Designee must provide the listing information in the most recent version of a Compliance Offset Protocol for that offset project type as set forth in and incorporated by reference:

(1) Compliance Offset Protocol Ozone Depleting Substances Projects, November 14, 2014;

(2) Compliance Offset Protocol Livestock Projects, November 14, 2014;

(3) Compliance Offset Protocol Urban Forest Projects, October 20, 2011;

(4) Compliance Offset Protocol U.S. Forest Projects, June 25, 2015;

(5) Compliance Offset Protocol Mine Methane Capture Projects, April 25, 2014; and

(6) Compliance Offset Protocol Rice Cultivation Projects, June 25, 2015.

(f) Review of Offset Project Listing Information. ARB and/or the Offset Project Registry will review the offset project listing information submitted pursuant to section 95975(e) for completeness.

(g) Notice of Completeness for Offset Project Listing Information. The Offset Project Operator or Authorized Project Designee will be notified after review by ARB or the Offset Project Registry, within 30 calendar days of receiving the complete and accurate listing information, that the offset project may be listed. If ARB or the Offset Project Registry determine that the information submitted pursuant to section 95975(e) is incomplete or that a denial of the listing information is required, ARB or the Offset Project Registry will notify the Offset Project Operator or Authorized Project Designee of this determination within 30 calendar days of receiving the listing information from the Offset Project Operator or Authorized Project Designee.

(h) Timing for Offset Project Listing in an Initial Crediting Period. The Offset Project Operator or Authorized Project Designee must submit the information in section 95975(e) to ARB or an Offset Project Registry no later than the date at which the Offset Project Operator or Authorized Project Designee submits its required Offset Project Data Report for its first Reporting Period under a Compliance Offset Protocol to ARB or an Offset Project Registry pursuant to section 95976. The Offset Project Operator or Authorized Project Designee must submit the listing information in section 95975(e) to ARB or an Offset Project Registry no later than one year after Offset Project Commencement, or no later than one year after meeting the requirements of section 95975 (l), whichever is later. If the Offset Project Operator or Authorized Project Designee does not submit the listing information in section 95975(e) for the offset project to ARB or an Offset Project Registry within one year of Offset Project Commencement, or within one year of meeting the requirements of section 95975 (l), whichever is later, it will be ineligible to be listed under a Compliance Offset Protocol and will not be issued registry offset credits and ARB offset credits pursuant to sections 95980 and 95981.

(i) Listing Status of Offset Projects in an Initial Crediting Period. After the Offset Project Operator or Authorized Project Designee submits the offset project for listing in an initial crediting period and the required documentation pursuant to section 95975(e), and ARB or the Offset Project Registry has reviewed the offset project listing information for completeness, the offset project listing status will be "Proposed Project." If the offset project is not accepted for listing by an Offset Project Registry, the Offset Project Operator or Authorized Project Designee may request ARB to make a final determination if the offset project meets the requirements in section 95975 to be listed for an initial crediting period by the Offset Project Registry. In making this determination, ARB may consult with the Offset Project Registry before making the final determination.

(j) Timing for Offset Project Listing in a Renewed Crediting Period. The Offset Project Operator or Authorized Project Designee must submit the information in section 95975(e) for a renewed crediting period to ARB or an Offset Project Registry no earlier than 18 months and no later than 9 months before conclusion of the initial crediting period or a previous renewed crediting period.

(k) Listing Status of Offset Projects in a Renewed Crediting Period. After the Offset Project Operator or Authorized Project Designee submits the offset project for listing in a renewed crediting period and the required documentation pursuant to section 95975(e), and ARB or the Offset Project Registry has reviewed the offset project listing information for completeness, the offset project listing status will be "Proposed Renewal." The verification body must assess that the offset project meets the additionality requirements in section 95973(a)(2)(A) and 95973(a)(2)(C) as of the date of the commencement of the renewed crediting period when conducting offset verification services for the first Reporting Period of a renewed crediting period. If the offset project is not accepted for listing by an Offset Project Registry, the Offset Project Operator or Authorized Project Designee may request ARB to make a final determination if the project meets the requirements in section 95975 to be listed for a renewed crediting period by the Offset Project Registry. In making this determination, ARB may consult with the Offset Project Registry before making the final determination.

(l) Additional Offset Project Listing Requirements for Tribes. In addition to meeting the listing requirements in sections 95975(c)(1) through (5), Tribes must meet the following requirements before offset projects located on the categories of land specified in section 95973(d) can be listed with ARB or an Offset Project Registry pursuant to this section. The requirements of this article apply regardless of the category of land on which the offset project is located.

(1) The governing body of the Tribe must enter into a limited waiver of sovereign immunity with ARB related to its participation in the requirements of the Cap-and-Trade Program for the duration required by the applicable Compliance Offset Protocol(s). This waiver must include a consent to suit by the State of California, Air Resources Board, in the courts of the State of California, with respect to any action in law or equity commenced by the State of California, Air Resources Board to enforce the obligations of the Tribe with respect to its participation in the Cap-and-Trade Program, irrespective of the form of relief sought, whether monetary or otherwise, except for purposes of relief under this limited waiver, Tribes shall be treated in the same manner as a California public entity under California Government Code sections 818 and 818.8.

(2) The Tribe must provide ARB with documentation demonstrating that the limited waiver of sovereign immunity entered into pursuant to section 95975 (l)(1) has been properly adopted in accordance with the Tribe's Constitution or other organic law, by-laws and ordinances, and applicable federal laws.

(3) For offset projects located on Indian lands, as defined in 25 U.S.C. § 81(a)(1), the Tribe must also provide ARB with proof of federal approval of the Tribe's participation in the requirements of the Cap-and-Trade Program, or documentation from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs that federal approval is not required.

(m) Once ARB or an Offset Project Registry approves an offset project for listing, the listing information is considered final, and may not be changed unless the Offset Project Operator changes during the crediting period.

(1) If the Offset Project Operator changes during the crediting period the new Offset Project Operator or Authorized Project Designee must submit updated listing information for the information that pertains to the Offset Project Operator and Authorized Project Designee, if applicable, to ARB or OPR within 30 calendar days of the change.

(2) If the Offset Project Operator changes during the crediting period the new Offset Project Operator or Authorized Project Designee must submit the information required pursuant to section 95975(c) to ARB OPR within 30 calendar days of the change.

(n) Limitations for Crediting Period Renewals. A crediting period may be renewed if the offset project meets the requirements for additionality pursuant to section 95973(a)(2) and in the applicable Compliance Offset Protocol.

(1) The crediting period for non-sequestration offset projects may be renewed twice for the length of time identified by the Compliance Offset Protocol.

(2) Sequestration offset projects are not subject to any renewal limits.

(o) Transferring an Offset Project. If the Offset Project Operator or Authorized Project Designee transfers an offset project listed with ARB or an Offset Project Registry to ARB or another Offset Project Registry:

(1) ARB or the Offset Project Registry that originally listed the offset project must change the offset project listing status on its registry system to "Transferred ARB Project."

(A) If the only action taken by the Offset Project Operator or the Authorized Project Designee was to have the listing documentation for the offset project approved by ARB or the original Offset Project Registry, ARB or the original Offset Project Registry must retain the information related to the offset project on its website for the duration of one year before it is removed from the registry system. If the listing documentation was only submitted by the Offset Project Operator or Authorized Project Designee, but not approved by ARB or the original Offset Project Registry, ARB or the original Offset Project Registry does not need to retain the submitted listing documentation.

(B) If a verification body submitted an Offset Verification Statement, ARB or the original Offset Project Registry must retain the information related to the offset project on its website for the duration of the offset project life.

(C) ARB or the new Offset Project Registry must retain the listing date and all listing information as approved by ARB or the original Offset Project Registry. If the offset project has not undergone initial verification, the Offset Project Commencement date may change as a result of verification activities only.

(2) The Offset Project Operator or Authorized Project Designee must submit the original listing documentation reviewed and accepted by ARB or the original Offset Project Registry pursuant to this section to the new Offset Project Registry. The Offset Project Operator or Authorized Project Designee may only make changes to the listing documentation pursuant to section 95975(m).

(3) The Offset Project Operator or Authorized Project Designee may not transfer an offset project to ARB or another Offset Project Registry once a Notice of Offset Verification Services has been submitted for a Reporting Period(s) pursuant to section 95977.1(b)(1) or during the course of offset verification services for a Reporting Period(s). Once a Notice of Offset Verification Services has been submitted, the offset verification services must be completed for the applicable Reporting Period(s) before the Offset Project Operator or Authorized Project Designee may transfer the offset project to ARB or another Offset Project Registry. Once the offset verification services are completed for the applicable Reporting Period(s), the Offset Project Operator or Authorized Project Designee may transfer the offset project to ARB or another Offset Project Registry.

(p) Limitations for Listing Forest Offset Projects. Once a forest offset project has been issued registry offset credits pursuant to sections 95980 and 95980.1 or ARB offset credits pursuant to sections 95981 and 95981.1, no other offset project may be listed with a Project Area including any land within the previously listed geographic boundary of the previous offset project unless the previous offset project was terminated due to an unintentional reversal or unless otherwise specified in a Compliance Offset Protocol.

(1. New section filed 12-13-2011; operative 1-1-2012 pursuant to Government Code section 11343.4 (Register 2011, No. 50). 2. Change without regulatory effect amending subsections (c)(3) and (e) filed 2-15-2012 pursuant to section 100, title 1, California Code of Regulations (Register 2012, No. 7). 3. Amendment filed 6-26-2014; operative 7-1-2014 pursuant to Government Code section 11343.4(b)(3) (Register 2014, No. 26). 4. Amendment of subsections (e)-(e)(2) and (e)(4) filed 12-31-2014; operative 1-1-2015 pursuant to Government Code section 11343.4(b)(3) (Register 2015, No. 1). 5. Amendment of subsections (e)(4)-(5) and new subsection (e)(6) filed 10-20-2015; operative 11-1-2015 pursuant to Government Code section 11343.4(b)(3) (Register 2015, No. 43). 6. Amendment of subsections (c)(3), (h) and (o)-(o)(3) and new subsection (p) filed 9-18-2017; operative 10-1-2017 pursuant to Government Code section 11343.4(b)(3) (Register 2017, No. 38).)

Note: Authority cited: Sections 38510, 38560, 38562, 38570, 38571, 38580, 39600 and 39601, Health and Safety Code. Reference: Sections 38530, 38560.5, 38564, 38565, 38570 and 39600, Health and Safety Code.

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