Our compliance experts work hard to identify and research new regulations and opportunities to keep you up to date with the ever-changing rules that guide our industry. Recently our compliance experts identified a new regulation that we wanted to introduce to you, the first draft of Oregon’s verification rules.
On Friday, September 6, Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) released three draft rules. Two of the draft rules are updates and modifications to Oregon’s existing Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (Division 215) and Clean Fuels Program (Division 253). The third draft rule was the addition of Division 272, Third Party Verification. We would like to call your attention mainly to the Third Party Verification Rule at this time, which will add a verification program to both the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program and the Clean Fuels Program.
We had all been expecting Oregon to follow suite with California and release a verification program, we just didn’t expect it this soon. Oregon released a draft of the new verification rule a week and a half ago and has already held an initial workshop to discuss and give an overview of the rule as well as collect initial comments from stakeholders. There is a second workshop planned to take place on October 9, and the official draft regulation is expected to be released for public comment this November with a planned implementation in January of 2020. The rule currently lays out the first verification statement to be due on August 31, 2021, which would cover the 2020 compliance year.
Much of the rule is a mirror of the California Low Carbon Fuels Standard (LCFS) verification requirements. The firm rotation requirement, conflicts of interest, materiality, verification statements and opinions and many other structural items as they relate to the Clean Fuels Standard part of the program are the same as California’s LCFS program. There are some key differences that we have noted to date such as the high conflict of interest exemptions that CARB has granted for the first three years were not included in the rule. The accreditation rules are slightly different, but do include accreditation in CARB’s programs as an avenue for DEQ accreditation. DEQ will require their own accreditation training and testing programs, so simply being accredited under California’s programs will not be enough to verify for Oregon. There is not a required validation for pathway approvals, however if you opt to complete a validation with a third party verifier it will “prioritize” your application. Also, DEQ has written in a “less intensive verification” that would only require site visits once every 3 years and reduce sampling requirements given you meet certain requirements noted in the rule.
There is still opportunity for this rule to change through the next workshop and release of the public draft and comment period in November. Please feel free to reach out to Kari Buttenhoff for further details or with any questions you may have and keep an eye out for further communications as we work through Oregon’s implementation process.
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