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What Are the Main Characteristics of Alternative Jet Fuels? 23 emissions have historically been a significant concern for airports located in non-attainment areas (i.e., subject to SIPs). Alternative jet fuels may help airports in NAAs meet the goals specified in SIPs because of their potential to have lower emissions levels of criteria pollutants, such as SOx, NOx, and PM, as com- pared to conventional jet fuel. This may allow airports to save time and cost in the approval process for development projects. It may also allow airports to grow their operations without violating existing SIPs. 2.6.2 Emission Reduction Credits The Clean Air Act of 1990 created an opportunity for industry to buy and sell emission reduc- tion credits (ERCs) tied to atmospheric pollutants (EPA 1990). Airports or airlines operating within an NAA could theoretically generate and sell ERCs if they could demonstrate they are removing criteria pollutants through the supply or use of cleaner aviation alternative jet fuel. As discussed previously, alternative aviation jet fuels can potentially produce less SO2 and PM than conventional jet fuel, and thus they could potentially generate ERCs. However, while creating a market for ERCs, the Clean Air Act also created restrictions based on New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) in which any entity operating a site subject to NSPS regulations must reduce emissions of criteria pollutants and cannot claim ERCs. Airports interested in claiming ERCs through the introduction of alternative jet fuels should investigate this in more detail. 2.6.3 Domestic and International Policies Related to Greenhouse Gas Reductions Emissions trading mechanisms have been successfully used in the United States for limiting pollutants and emissions. Examples of successful cap-and-trade programs are the nationwide Acid Rain Program (EPA 2010a) and the regional NOx Budget Trading Program (EPA 2010d) in the Northeast. In terms of GHG, however, it appears unlikely that the U.S. Congress will introduce a carbon or GHG market system in the near future, even as some states and munici- palities have passed rules or legislation that addresses the issues within their jurisdiction. The most notable example is California's Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, also known as Assembly Bill 32 (AB32), which requires the state to develop regulations to reduce GHG (CAEPA 2009). It is important to note that AB32 does not apply to jet fuel. Nevertheless, there are developments in other parts of the world that may have an impact on U.S. airports and airlines. For example, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is currently analyzing a CO2 standard for new aircraft. In Europe, EU legislation requires that all air- lines landing at EU airports participate in the European Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading Scheme (ETS), a cap-and-trade mechanism that puts a ceiling (cap) on the maximum amount of GHG that airlines can emit (EC 2010). The rules governing the EU's ETS have not been finalized, and its potential economic impact on airlines remains unknown. Several U.S. airlines have taken legal action against this proposed regulation, and as of this date there has been no resolution. Even though there is still uncertainty with respect to aircraft GHG emissions regulations, the airline industry has been proactive by adopting a common position of a commitment to carbon- neutral growth starting in 2020 (IATA 2009). The industry realizes that alternative jet fuels with a life-cycle GHG footprint smaller than conventional jet fuel can help airlines meet their carbon- neutral growth goals. Furthermore, in the event that GHG emissions targets under the EU's ETS or other potential cap-and-trade mechanisms become mandatory, alternative jet fuels may also help airlines meet their cap and reduce the need to purchase emissions credits. Airports that offer alternative jet fuels could therefore provide benefits to airlines.