On December 1, 2009 Ontario filed its final Greenhouse Gas
Emissions Reporting Regulation (O. Reg. 452/09) under the
Environmental Protection Act. The regulation will ensure
that an estimated 200 to 300 large emitters of prescribed
greenhouse gases (GHGs) will provide regulators detailed GHG
emissions data to support a multi-jurisdictional cap-and-trade
system. The new regulation comes into force on January 1, 2010.
The final regulation closely resembles the draft posted for
public comment on October 7, 2009. View W+SEL's
September/October Newsletter. There have been some minor revisions
relating to third party verification, the protection of
confidential business information and various technical
clarifications. These changes are summarized below.
The regulation applies to refineries, pulp and paper companies,
energy generation facilities, chemical producers and metallurgical
companies, as classified in 26 sectors. All prescribed facilities
will be required to quantify their annual GHG emissions using
standardized methods set out in the new Guideline for GHG Emissions
Reporting. For the 2010 reporting year, facilities will be
permitted to use alternative methods as described in the Guideline
or approved by the Ministry of the Environment. The standardized
quantification methods, which have been tailored for each of the 26
sectors, are based on procedures developed by the Western Climate
Initiative (WCI) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
All prescribed facilities must collect emissions data but only
those that emit 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e)
or more per year are subject to the annual reporting requirements.
The first emissions report, covering the 2010 calendar year, is due
by June 1, 2011. Beginning with the 2011 reporting year, the
emissions data must be verified by an accredited third party and a
verification report submitted by September 1 of the calendar year
following the reporting period. All documentation and data must be
retained for at least seven years. The Director can require any
prescribed facility that does not file an annual emission report to
submit proof that its emissions did not exceed the 25,000 tonne
threshold during the relevant reporting period.
In response to a number of comments on the costs and
administrative burden associated with third party verification of
emissions data, the Ministry says it will continue to look for ways
to "streamline" the verification requirements, in
accordance with its other cap-and-trade partners. It will also work
with accreditation agencies and verification service providers to
ensure sufficient capacity is in place when the verification
provisions take effect in the 2011 reporting period. 2 A number of
concerns were also raised about the protection of confidential
business information. The Ministry has removed from the final
regulation data submission requirements that are "not
essential for the design of a future cap-and-trade program or for a
high level quality assessment of the reported emissions." In
addition, much of the sensitive information doesn't have to be
submitted, but can be kept on site by the company for audit by the
The Ministry has also made the following technical changes to
the regulation and the reporting Guideline
Continuous emissions monitoring is only required when there is
already a requirement for such monitors by federal or other
The definition of facility has been harmonized with the federal
The frequency of fuel sampling and analysis has been reduced to
match the U.S. EPA's mandatory reporting regulation (the
Ministry will also explore the possibility of providing
province-wide fuel data that could be used by all regulated
A company can postpone the calibration of flow meters until its
next scheduled shutdown
The biomass definition has been harmonized with the Green
Energy Act, 2009 and the reporting requirements modified to
allow for the use of emission factors
The deadlines have been extended for confirming a facility is
below the reporting threshold or submitting a revised report
A number of modifications were made to the cement and lime
sector requirements to address technical errors and improve
harmonization with U.S. requirements.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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