California Governor Signs S.B. 827 into Law; South Coast Air Quality Management District Now Permitted to Continue Emissions Trading Program

In 2008, a superior court judge placed a moratorium on certain aspects of the emissions trading program administered by the South Coast Air Quality Management District ("District"), instructing the District to complete an environmental impact report regarding its 2007 amendments to District Rule 1315 and District Rule 1309.1. See Natural Resources Defense Council v. South Coast Air Quality Management District, Case No. BS110792 (C.D. Cal., Nov. 3, 2008). Rule 1315 sets forth procedures for tracking emissions credits, while Rule 1309.1 establishes a priority reserve to more easily provide credits to certain preferred sources. Perhaps unexpectedly, the decision with respect to Rule 1309.1 had a large impact on small businesses and public services which have not been permitted to expand because the District has been unable to issue any emissions credits to these entities.

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