Register October 2002 No. 562
Chapter NR 437
VOLUNTARY EMISSION REDUCTION REGISTRY
Quantifying and registering voluntary emission reductions and quantifying baselines.
This chapter applies to any person who wants to register emission reductions or avoided emissions of greenhouse gases or air contaminants, or carbon sequestration, if the emission reduction, emission avoidance or carbon sequestration occurs before it is required by law or results in emissions which are lower than those allowed by law.
This chapter is adopted under ss. 227.11 (2) (a)
, Stats., to establish a system under which the department registers emission reductions or avoided emissions of greenhouse gases or air contaminants or carbon sequestration, if the emission reduction, avoided emissions or carbon sequestration occurs before it is required by law or results in emissions which are lower than those allowed by law.
NR 437.01 Note
Emission reductions may be used to comply with existing regulations if they meet the provisions specified in the applicable regulation. Examples of existing regulations are the emission offset requirements of s. NR 408.06
and the internal offsets compliance option in s. NR 425.05
. Registrants should be aware that registration under this chapter does not guarantee that the emission reductions meet the requirements of the applicable regulation. Once used to meet a regulatory requirement, the emission reductions are no longer eligible for registration under this chapter.
The purpose of the registry is to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, that efforts undertaken voluntarily by persons in Wisconsin to reduce or avoid emissions of greenhouse gases or air contaminants or to sequester carbon are publicly recognized and that these reductions are considered under future mandatory federal or state emission reduction programs.
The department shall consider the information recorded in the registry under this chapter when determining baselines and reduction requirements under future emission reduction programs implemented under state authority, to the extent allowed under state law.
NR 437.01 History
History: CR 02-012: cr. Register October 2002 No. 562, eff. 11-1-02. NR 437.02
The definitions contained in ch. NR 400
apply to the terms used in this chapter. In addition, the following definitions apply to the terms used in this chapter:
“Baseline" means the average annual amount or rate of a greenhouse gas or air contaminant emitted before an emission reduction or avoidance action is taken, or the amount of carbon stored before a carbon sequestration project is undertaken.
“Carbon dioxide equivalent" means the amount of CO2
that would have the same global warming potential as a given amount of another greenhouse gas. The CO2
equivalent amount of any greenhouse gas is calculated by multiplying the mass of the greenhouse gas by the global warming potential for that gas.
“Carbon reserve" means any system that takes in and stores more carbon from the atmosphere than it releases to the atmosphere.
“Carbon sequestration" means the establishment or enhancement of a carbon reserve.
“Fine particulate matter" means solid or liquid particles with a diameter less than or equal to 2.5 micrometers or emissions that are precursors to solid or liquid particles with a diameter less than or equal to 2.5 micrometers.
“Global warming potential" means the potential over a 100 year time period for a greenhouse gas to cause warming of the earth's surface compared to the global warming potential of carbon dioxide over the same time period.
NR 437.02 Note
Note: The global warming potentials for most of the greenhouse gases covered in this chapter are contained in IPCC Third Assessment Report, Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2001.
“Greenhouse gas" means carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride or any other gas that traps heat in the atmosphere.
“Law" means any federal or state statute, rule, order, mandatory emission limiting condition in an air permit or other legal requirement.
“Mandatory emission limiting condition in an air permit" means a condition in an air pollution control permit that restricts emissions in order to comply with a federal or state statute, rule, order or other legal requirement or in order to avoid application of a federal or state statute, rule, order or other legal requirement. “Mandatory emission limiting condition in an air permit" does not include a permit condition that reflects a lower emission level that is the result of a voluntary action or a contractual agreement with the department, such as an agreement under the Environmental Cooperative Agreement program (s. 299.80
, Stats.), or a federal voluntary program.
“Ozone precursor" means nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds.
“Quantification protocol" means a replicable and workable method or set of methods for quantifying emissions, emission rates, or the amount of carbon sequestered.
“Renewable energy project" means a project or facility that produces energy from a renewable resource.
“Renewable resource" means any of the following: direct radiation from the sun, geothermal energy, wind, tidal or wave action, flowing water, biomass, human waste, or animal waste.
“Voluntary emission reduction" or “VER" means any emission reduction, avoided emission or carbon sequestration that occurs before it is required by law or that results in emissions that are lower than those allowed by law.
NR 437.02 History
History: CR 02-012: cr. Register October 2002 No. 562, eff. 11-1-02. NR 437.03
Any person may register VERs under this chapter. VERs may be registered if they meet all of the following requirements, as applicable:
The VERs are not required by or go beyond the requirements of law. The following are examples of VERs that are eligible for registration:
VERs that result from actions taken to comply with a law that result in reductions of greenhouse gas or air contaminant emissions that are not required by or go beyond those required by law.
VERs that are made after an applicable law is in effect but before the reduction is required by law.
VERs that are made and are reflected in an air pollution control permit, as long as the level of reduction is beyond what is required by law.
NR 437.03 Note
Note: A VER may be reflected in an air pollution control permit when, for example, the permit contains a requirement to use air pollution control equipment which reduces emissions beyond what is required by law. VERs that are later used to meet netting or offset requirements or to qualify as a synthetic minor source under air permitting requirements are no longer eligible for registration under this chapter.
VERs that are part of a contractual agreement with the department, as defined within the contractual agreement.
The VER is the result of one or more actions taken. Examples of actions include:
Installation and operation or modification of emission control equipment.
Implementation of energy efficiency measures by the energy producer or user.
Changes to, replacement of, or retirement of a manufacturing or combustion process.
Projects to collect, store and dispose of mercury-containing products in a manner that will prevent or minimize future releases of mercury into the environment.
The action and VER occur within the state of Wisconsin.
The VER has not been registered by any other person under this chapter.
The amount of VERs to be registered is equal to or exceeds the corresponding threshold level in Table 1, except as provided in pars. (c)
If emissions of more than one greenhouse gas have been reduced, the CO2
equivalents of each of the gases shall be totaled to determine whether the threshold level is met or exceeded.
For actions which reduce emissions of multiple air contaminants or greenhouse gases, if the VER of at least one of the air contaminants or greenhouse gases equals or exceeds the registration threshold for that greenhouse gas or air contaminant, then all of the VERs may be registered, even if VERs for one or more greenhouse gases or air contaminants are below the corresponding thresholds.
The mass of mercury collected through a mercury collection and disposal project may be registered if it is equal to or exceeds 10 pounds.
The reduction or avoidance of emissions of greenhouse gases or the sequestration of carbon occurred after December 31, 1990.
The reduction or avoidance of emissions of air contaminants other than greenhouse gases occurred after December 31, 1993.
NR 437.03 History
History: CR 02-012: cr. Register October 2002 No. 562, eff. 11-1-02. NR 437.04
Quantification protocols. NR 437.04(1)
The emission or carbon reserve baseline and the resulting VER shall be quantified using quantification protocols that are listed in sub. (2) (a)
or that have been submitted to the department under sub. (2) (b)
The following protocols may be used to quantify baselines and VERs: