Calpine is contesting a preliminary California Air Resources Board decision to invalidate carbon offsets for complying with the state\u2019s cap-and-trade program because they were produced at a facility that allegedly violated federal hazardous waste rules. The Air Board proposed to invalidate 231,154 tons of carbon offset credits earlier this month (Current, Oct. 10, 2014). In a letter to the Air Board Oct. 17, Calpine\u2019s alternate account representative Jason Armenta claimed that the facility came into compliance with the hazardous waste rules a little less than four hours before creating the carbon credits in 2012 by incinerating used refrigerants that are warming agents when released to the atmosphere. Clean Harbors spokesperson Phil Retallick said that due to the two-day time it took to process the brine for shipment, none of the liquid produced by burning the refrigerants actually was sold. Moreover, he noted that the brine results from the use of a wet scrubber on the incinerator to control emissions of hydrofluoric acid to the air. Clean Harbors legally sold the brine to oil drillers in Texas and Louisiana for 30 years as a vertical well completion fluid, never as a well fracking fluid. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found in inspections that selling the brine constituted a violation of the federal Resource Conservation & Recovery Act and required corrective action. It fined the incineration firm, Clean Harbors of Arkansas, almost $600,000 for the violation. However, according to Retallick, EPA never issued a formal notice of violation of the Act, but rather entered a voluntary consent agreement with Clean Harbors under which the company stopped shipping the brine. Clean Harbors never was charged with a violation and never admitted any violation in signing the agreement, he said. Under California rules, the Air Board requires that facilities that generate offsets comply with all applicable environmental, health, and safety rules or face invalidation. In this case, according to Retallick, there was no harm to health or the environment, nor was there any technical violation so Clean Harbors agrees with Calpine that the Air Board should restore the offsets. If the Air Board does not do so, he said, Clean Harbors\u2014which destroys the majority of old refrigerants\u2014is seriously considering dropping out of California\u2019s carbon offset supply program. Calpine apparently holds some of the offsets that the Air Board plans to invalidate, although the details are redacted in its letter to the agency. The Air Board did not return numerous calls and e-mails for comment on the matter. A final Air Board decision on the credits could come at any time. * * * * * Power plant operators and other large greenhouse gas emitters face a Nov. 3 deadline for surrendering carbon emissions allowances under the state\u2019s cap-and-trade program. They must surrender 30 percent of the allowances needed to cover their 2013 emissions, under California Air Resources Board rules. Going into 2015, electric utilities also face a haircut in their annual allocation of emissions allowances. For instance, the allocation for Pacific Gas & Electric will drop from this year\u2019s level of 24,786,927 tons to 23,993,415 tons in 2015\u2014a reduction of 3.3 percent. Los Angeles Department of Water & Power\u2019s allocation falls from 13,349,971 tons to 12,919,678 tons, a cut of 3.3 percent too. * * * * * The federal Environmental Protection Agency is seeking additional public comment on three aspects of its proposed Clean Power Plan. The proposal seeks to cut emissions from major power plants by 30 percent between 2020 and 2030 under plans to be developed by each state. In an Oct. 28 notice, the agency asked for additional comment by Dec. 1 on the interim goals for carbon emissions reductions in state compliance plans. The notice outlined recurring themes that emerged from public comments filed on the proposal issued last spring. The agency\u2019s taking comments on the pace of the likely shift under the rules from coal power plants to lower emitting natural gas-fired or renewable generating facilities. Some states and power industry companies complained in comments on the draft plan that they could not shift generation in a cost-effective way as quickly as the plan envisions. Consequently, the agency raised the prospect of adjusting the pace of clean up under the plan based on the taking into account the book value of existing power plants rather than assuming an across the board 40-year useful life for plants. In a separate action, the agency proposed specific carbon emission reduction targets under the Clean Power Plan for power industry operations on Indian lands and in U.S. territories. Targets for those areas had yet to be developed when the agency announced the initial Clean Power Plan proposal.