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The Ontario government sent out a notice on Monday for a practice cap-and-trade auction that it intends to hold on Jan. 17.

The practice auction will give companies included in the province’s cap-and-trade system the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the trading process before the program officially launches in March.

Participating companies will have the opportunity to place practice bids on emission allowances at current market prices.

Offsets protocols to be released soon

The government has stated that it will release the first round of offset protocols in “early 2017.” These will include protocols for the destruction of ozone-depleting substances, capturing methane emissions through landfill-gas systems and the destruction of methane emissions from mines and manure facilities.

The OWMA has communicated the association’s priorities on offsets to the government in response to a regulatory proposal that was posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry late last year by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.

We have 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.

The OWMA is also a part of the Ontario government’s Organics Working Group, which will soon begin working on designing offset protocols for organics facilities.

The Environment Ministry has committed to releasing additional offset protocols later this year.