Ontario Emissions Reporting for Small Emitters

The Ontario Cap and Trade regime is finally here, with its (complex) allocations, offsets and auction mechanisms.  Ontario large emitters (25,000+ CO2e tonnes per year) will have already immersed themselves in Cap and Trade, perhaps in conjunction with the linked Quebec or California schemes, or the international programs.  (A “practice” auction was held for large emitters earlier this year).


Who Are Small Regulated Emitters?

But what about the relatively small emitters (circa 10-25,000 CO2e tonnes annually)?

First, you should check Table 2 of the GHG reporting regulation to make sure your activities are caught – merely having a Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change Environmental Compliance Approval for air emissions doesn’t guarantee you’re a reporting entity (though your inclusion is now trending).

Second, you quantify your 2016 calendar year emissions using the Regulation methodology to determine if you hit the 10,000 CO2e tonnes threshold- if so, you become a regulated reporter in Ontario.


What Happens if You Don’t Emit 10,000 CO2e Tonnes in Future Years?

If you report emissions of 10,000 CO2e tonnes in any year, you become annually obligated thereafter until you can report 3 additional successive sub-10,000 CO2e tonnes emissions years.  If you do – you’re released from future reporting unless and until you hit the 10,000-threshold again (which, in the interim, likely means quantification without disclosure).


Who Verifies and What’s the Deadline?

Reportable emissions for each calendar year must be certified by an accredited emissions verification body and the emitter’s representative is obligated to make the certification to the MOECC.

The 2016 reporting deadline is June 1, 2017. 

Jonathan D. Cocker heads the Firm’s Environmental Practice Group in Canada and is an active member of firm Global Consumer Goods & Retail and Energy, Mining and Infrastructure groups. Mr. Cocker provides advice and representation to multinational companies on a variety of environment, health and safety matters, including product content, dangerous goods transportation, GHS, regulated wastes, consumer product and food safety, extended producer responsibilities and contaminated lands matters. He appears before both EHS tribunals and civil courts across Canada. Mr. Cocker is a frequent speaker and writer on EHS matters, an active participant on EHS issues in a number of national and international industry associations and the recent author of the first edition of The Environment and Climate Change Law Review (Canada chapter) and the upcoming Encyclopedia of Environmental Law (Chemicals chapter).