Major changes are underway in the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) with the planned sunset of the Regional Clean Air Incentives Market (RECLAIM). RECLAIM is a cap-and-trade program established in 1993 to reduce NOx and SOx emissions in the South Coast Air Basin.
SCAQMD is in the process of transitioning NOx generating equipment out of RECLAIM and back into what is commonly called command-and-control regulations (the same transition is expected later for SOx). Essentially, SCAQMD is transitioning from a market driven cap-and-trade framework to a rule based framework as the means to reduce NOx emissions.
SCAQMD is busily writing and amending rules that will take over when the RECLAIM program sunsets. Such landing rules will regulate various NOx generating equipment and require Best Available Retrofit Control Technology (BARCT). NOx landing rules that have already been adopted include Rules 1146, 1146.1, and 1146.2 for boilers, steam generators, process heaters, and water heaters.
SCAQMD is also working to resolve several technical issues tied to RECLAIM’s sunset. One of the tougher challenges is crafting a path forward within the New Source Review (NSR) air permitting program, which requires an accounting of air emissions from permitted equipment. SCAQMD is engaging with stakeholders and EPA on this topic as well as several others.