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The Climate Action Reserve delivered the first round of proposed offset protocols to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change last month, which includes a draft protocol for landfill-gas destruction.

The OWMA has expressed concerns with this draft protocol since it is unlikely to incentivize additional greenhouse gas reductions through the development or improvement of landfill-gas-capture systems.

Because Ontario already requires landfills with more than 1.5 million cubic metres of capacity to have systems in place to collect, flare or use landfill gas, the protocol does not provide crediting options for the destruction of methane emissions at any of these sites.

This restriction severely limits the applicability of the new protocol, which is soon expected to be posted on the Environmental Registry for a 30-day public consultation period.

For smaller landfills sites, a number of additional requirements within the protocol will make it difficult to move forward with new systems to capture and destroy methane emissions.

The OWMA will continue discussions with the government about alternative ways to incentivize improvements to landfill-gas-capture systems, which were highlighted in a report compiled for the association by GHD. 

In the meantime, the Climate Action Reserve is moving forward with the adaptation of the remaining offset protocols, which include one for “Organic Waste Management” and another for “Organic Waste Digestion.” The Reserve, which was retained by the provincial government to take existing offset protocols and adapt them for use in Ontario, has stated that all of the offset protocols will be completed by the end of this year.

The OWMA plans to play an active role on the adaptation of the remaining offset protocols related to the waste management sector. We have also communicated the association’s priorities on offsets to the government in response to an Offset Credits Regulatory Proposal that was posted on the Environmental Registry in November 2016.

Our association has called on the government to minimize the red tape associated with offset registration and compliance; maintain a level-playing field between Ontario companies offering offset credits and businesses in other jurisdictions with fewer compliance and regulatory costs; and align offset and energy policies for waste management companies, such as Anaerobic Digestion facilities, which require access to renewable energy markets.