Since the adoption of the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32), we have been working with the California Air Resources Board (ARB) and the Environmental Defense Fund to develop a voluntary program for qualifying rice growers to generate air quality credits known as greenhouse gas (GHG) offsets. These are units of GHG emission reductions that can be made available for purchase by other industries more directly affected by the state’s GHG regulations and, therefore, need these offsets for regulatory compliance needs.
In California, this voluntary rice GHG protocol includes two practices:
- Dry seeding — A seeding technique that delays the on-set of continuous flooding at the beginning of the growing season.
- Early Drainage — A technique of draining water from rice fields at the end of the growing season earlier than traditional rice cultivation practices.
The ARB today adopted this new voluntary rice protocol, their first agricultural protocol. This new voluntary program allows some credit for “early action” by growers who implemented one or both of the practices anytime from 2006 to 2014, provided their past activities were recorded by an accredited GHG registry by the end of 2014. However, even growers who are interested in these practices moving forward can consider the benefits of participating.
More detailed information related to ARB’s recent action can be found at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/newsrel/newsrelease.php?id=736