The Bay Area Air Quality Management District may take a significant step next week toward adopting a fee on greenhouse gases emitted by businesses under its jurisdiction. It proposes charging all District-permitted businesses a fee of 4.2 cents per metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per year. Depending on the facility\u2019s size and emissions, the fee could range from $10 to $100,000 per year, according to BAAQMD spokeswoman Karen Schkolnick. \u201cAs far as we know, we are the first in the state and possibly the first in the country,\u201d Schkolnick said. The agency hopes their move \u201cinspires others,\u201d she added. The District has slated a February 25 public workshop to discuss the proposed amendments to its fee regulation. The Air District\u2019s jurisdiction includes all of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Napa counties and southwestern Solano and southern Sonoma counties. The Air District stands to receive about $1 million annually in revenue from collecting the fees, Schkolnick said. In order to calculate the greenhouse gas fee applicable to each business, emissions would be based on data reported to the Air District for the most recent 12-month period prior to permit renewals. The funds would go toward a number of projects, including: -Developing and maintaining a regional inventory of greenhouse gas emissions; -Region-wide studies to identify and evaluate potential greenhouse gas emission control options for application at stationary sources in the Bay Area; -Considering greenhouse gas emissions for proposed projects under the California Environmental Quality Act; -Miscellaneous activities, such as updating and improving database systems; and -Coordinating with the California Air Resources Board on activities associated with implementing the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32). Under California law, the Air District has the authority to assess fees to recover the direct and indirect costs associated with implementing and enforcing programs related to stationary sources of air pollution within its jurisdiction. Although there\u2019s been talk of the California Air Resources Board wanting to privatize enforcement of AB 32, many local and regional air quality agencies, including the BAAQMD, say they would prefer handling it themselves. \u201cOur district is very committed to taking on the issue of climate protection,\u201d Schkolnick said regarding the question of whether AB 32 enforcement should be privatized. \u201cThere is a strong role our air district can play. We feel we are best equipped to meet the challenges.\u201d The proposed greenhouse gas fee is just the latest of numerous anti-global warming measures the Air District has taken in the past few years, Schkolnick said. Among the others is a one-time program involving $3 million in climate protection grants awarded in December 2007 to Bay Area governments and non-profits for greenhouse gas emissions reduction projects. Also, the BAAQMD itself became carbon-neutral last June, according to the agency. Earlier in June 2005, the Air District\u2019s board adopted a climate protection program that acknowledged the link between climate protection and established programs to reduce Bay Area air pollution.