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Air Quality in Indiana

Air Quality in Indiana > Permits > Air Permit Applications > Indiana Emission Credit Registry > ERC: General Information ERC: General Information

What Is the Indiana Emission Credit Registry?

The Emission Credit Registry was created in 2004 to assist sources looking for emission offsets for nonattainment New Source Review (NSR) permitting. Sources that voluntarily reduce emissions may apply to IDEM to register the emission reductions as possible emission credits for future use. The nonattainment NSR permitting requirements are intended to help the Indiana nonattainment areas achieve compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and preserve good air quality in areas that meet the state and federal health standards.

The purpose of the Emission Credit Registry is to provide a central, publicly available location where information about possible emission credits can be stored and viewed. When sources that emit air pollutants cease operating or reduce emissions beyond what the law requires, they create emission credits, which may be used by sources in the same geographic area that are seeking to increase emissions. This information will be particularly useful to sources wanting to locate or expand in areas designated as nonattainment under the NAAQS.

What Is an Emission Credit?

An emission credit represents a permanent, quantifiable, federally enforceable, and surplus reduction in air pollutant emissions equal to one ton of pollutant per year (1 tpy) that exceeds the amount of reduction required under state or federal law, regulation, order (i.e., consent decrees, agreed orders, etc.), or other enforceable mechanism.

What Reductions Are Eligible for Registration?

The following conditions must be met in order for the emission reductions to be eligible for registration:

  • The reductions must be "permanent". The reductions must be assured for the life of the corresponding emissions unit through an enforceable mechanism such as a permit condition.
  • The reductions must be "quantifiable". The amount, rate and characteristics of the reductions must be measured or calculated through a reliable method and approved by IDEM and the U.S. EPA.
  • The reductions must be "enforceable". A mechanism must exist by which IDEM can enforce requirements that the reduction be sustained so that it continues to meet these criteria. Reductions are commonly made enforceable through conditions contained in construction and operating permits.

What Is "Surplus"?

Emission reductions are considered surplus if they are not required by any local, state, or federal law, regulation, order, or requirement and in excess of reduction used by the department in issuing any other permit or to demonstrate attainment of federal ambient air quality standards or reasonable further progress towards achieving attainment of federal ambient air quality standards. For the purpose of determining the amount of surplus emission reduction, any seasonal emission limitation or standard will be assumed to apply throughout the year. Emission reductions that have previously been used to avoid New Source Review through a netting demonstration are not considered surplus. IDEM does not determine if emission reductions are surplus prior to registering the emission credit.

Who May Use the Emission Credit Registry?

Any permitted source may apply to register emission credits of any regulated pollutant, and any source seeking a permit for a new or modified source obtain credits from sources listed in the Emission Credit Registry. Although this registry encompasses the entire state, the data will be most useful for sources located in an area that is not meeting current National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) - i.e., nonattainment areas.

Why Must Sources Obtain Emission Credits For Use As Offsets?

Sources undergoing nonattainment NSR permitting requirements must offset the increase in emissions from the proposed new construction and provide a net air quality benefit. The purpose of offsetting these emissions is to allow an area to move toward attainment of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) while still allowing industrial growth.

What Information Will the Emission Credit Registry Contain?

The Emission Credit Registry will include the following information with respect to each registered emission credit:

  1. Identification of the regulated air pollutant reduced.
  2. Identification and location, including the county, of the source of the emission reduction.
  3. The amount of the emission credit.
  4. The date the emission reduction occurred.
  5. The estimated date when the emission credit is expected to become unusable.
  6. Identification and location of the source that has purchased and/or used any portion of the emission credits registered.
  7. The amount of emission credits withdrawn from the Emission Credit Registry.
  8. The date of each withdrawal from the Emission Credit Registry.

Note: Only a portion of this data will be posted to this website. Anyone wishing to see all of the data submitted for the Registry will need to view the applications in the IDEM Public File Room located 100 North Senate Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46204 in the Indiana Government Center North Building, Room 1201.

What Fees Are Associated With The Emission Credit Registry?

There are no fees for registering emission reductions or updating the Emission Credit Registry. There are, however, permitting fees associated with the actions that result in generation of emissions reductions and the use of registered emission credits.

What Happens To the Data In the Registry Once It Is Submitted?

Public Records

Once verified, a summary of the information submitted to IDEM will be available to the public through posting the information to this website. Interested parties may also contact IDEM with any other inquiries or to request a printed copy of the information.

Use of Emission Reductions

Sources should refer to 326 IAC 2-3, Emission Offset Rules, to determine if the emission credits are usable for the new construction or modification that is being proposed. The use of emission reductions as emission offsets will be evaluated during the permit review process.

Potential Issues

IDEM has identified the following issues that may effectively reduce the actual quantity of emission credits available:

  1. Evidence of noncompliance with permit conditions imposed to make the emission reductions permanent and enforceable.
  2. Failure to achieve in practice the emission reductions on which the emission credits are based.
  3. Misrepresentations made in:
    1. the application submitted;
    2. any other application on which the emission credit is based; or
    3. data that support an application referred to in clause (A) or (B).
  4. The State of Indiana or U.S. EPA issues new regulations further limiting the emissions of a regulated pollutant. (E.g., If any state or federal statute, rule, or regulation decreases an allowable emission rate or otherwise requires a reduction in any criteria pollutant, registered emission credits may need to be reduced to reflect the new, more stringent allowable emission limit or required reduction.
  5. Emission reductions were not surplus at the time the credits were to be used.
  6. Emission reductions were not used within five (5) years, plus time for construction