California Air Resources Board Finalizes State Cap-and-Trade Regulations

October 20, 2011

On October 20, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) voted unanimously to adopt a set of regulations that will initiate a state-wide cap-and-trade program. The cap-and-trade program is the centerpiece of the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32), California's historic climate change law that mandates a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) to 1990 levels by 2020.  The first quarterly auction is set for August 2012, and compliance requirements will begin in January 2013.

In passing the regulations, ARB considered the related environmental analysis  and written responses to comments on the analysis.  ARB also approved an adaptive management plan, which allows for adjustments to the program if certain air quality or forest issues arise, and committed to work with stakeholders to address outstanding concerns. 

ARB had been temporarily prevented from moving forward with its cap-and-trade program earlier this year when the San Francisco Superior Court in Association of Irritated Residents, et al. v. California Air Resources Board issued a preliminary injunction that halted implementation. (No. CPF-09-509562). A California Appellate Court later stayed the injunction, allowing ARB to move forward while awaiting the outcome of the litigation. (No. A132165). 

For more details on the Association of Irritated Residents matter, click here