The Boston Air Pollution Control Commission has formally adopted its “Building Emissions Reduction and Disclosure Ordinance Phase 1 Regulations.” The Phase 1 regulations are really all about the “disclosure” side of BERDO. The “reduction” side will be addressed by the Phase 2 regulations, which at this point are scheduled to be completed by the winter of 2023.
The final Phase 1 regulations largely track the draft released late last year. The City rejected requests for extensions of the new reporting deadlines. As a result, the first reporting under the new regulations will be June 15, 2022. Owners of buildings subject to BERDO may request a single six-month extension of the deadline.
The rubber will really hit the road in Phase 2. Based on the City’s handling of the Phase 1 regulations, I’d expect that the City will hold tight to its deadlines. I do expect that Boston will listen carefully to comments it gets on the regulations. It has, for example, acknowledged that its draft emission factors contained in Appendix B of the original draft of the Phase 1 regulations were flawed. The City will apparently move Appendix B from the regulations into guidance, allowing it to correct/adjust the emission factors more easily.
However, I do not expect the City to show significant flexibility as it rolls out the Phase 2 regulations. Without being pejorative, and with full acknowledgement to the Blues Brothers, the City is definitely on a mission from God; it not going to be swayed from its appointed task of aggressively going after building GHG emissions.