B.C. announces greenhouse gas reporting regulation

December 9, 2009

On November 25, 2009, the Minister of Environment announced the approval of the Reporting Regulation under British Columbia's Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Cap and Trade) Act. The new regulation, which becomes effective on January 1, 2010, requires the operators of facilities that emit more than 10,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (C02e) annually to report those emissions to the Ministry of Environment. The regulation requires the reporting of all six main types of greenhouse gases (GHG) and prescribes the types of facilities for which reports are required. Commencing with the report for 2010, annual emission reports are required to be filed by March 31 of the following year. In the case of facilities that emitted more than 20,000 tonnes of C02e in any year between 2006 and 2009, the report submitted for 2010 must also include the emissions in any year in the 2006-to-2009 period in which the 20,000-tonne threshold was exceeded. The quantification methods established by the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) are required to be used by facility operators for reporting purposes. Where WCI quantification methods do not exist, the methods to be used will be those specified by the Ministry of Environment. For the purposes of the reporting requirements, emissions from wood biomass or wood-biomass components of mixed fuels are excluded in determining the reporting thresholds.

The regulation also requires that verification statements be filed in respect of any facility that has emissions in excess of 25,000 tonnes of C02e in any year. Verification statements are to be completed by an independent third-party verification body that has been accredited by either the Standards Council of Canada or the American National Standards Institute pursuant to ISO 14065. For verifications completed before December 31, 2012, the verification body may also be one accredited by the California Air Resources Board. For 2010 and 2011, verification statements must be submitted to the Ministry of Environment by September 1 of the following year. For any year after 2011, the verification statement must be submitted by April 1 of the following year. The regulation requires that a verification body must ensure that it is free of any conflict of interest in relation to any verification statement prepared by it. A verification statement must include an opinion from the verification body that an emissions report submitted by a facility operator is materially correct. For that purpose, the regulation prescribes a five-percent materiality threshold.

The reporting requirements are detailed in the Reporting Regulation and are a key step in the development of a market-based cap-and-trade system to reduce GHGs in the province.

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