On the new Google Earth map are 625 facilities that each produce more than 25,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases annually. The map breaks down facilities by industry, air district, zip code and by types of emissions.
Stanley Young with CARB says the information is the foundation of the state's Cap and Trade program, "The reason why the accuracy and stringency of the reporting is important is because that helps us establish their compliance obligation -that is, we know down to the ton how many allowances they will need to cover their annual emission."
But, Young says state-to-state comparisons aren't yet available, "The U.S. EPA does not at this point include the Google Earth application, so you can't compare one facility to another."
The map also gives no information about the facilities besides the type of pollution they create. Obadiah Bartholomy with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District hopes that changes, "Our Cosumnes Power Plant, which is one of the largest emitters, also happens to be one of the top-ten cleanest, most efficient natural gas-burning facilities in the country."