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Ontario Proposes Amendments to Emissions Performance Standards (EPS) Regulations

Published on
December 17, 2020

Please be advised that the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Park (MECP) posted proposed amendments to regulations related to the Ontario Emissions Performance Standards (EPS) on the Environmental Registry website, here. Comments and feedback will be accepted until January 15, 2021. The ministry also plans to host virtual consultation sessions for stakeholders.

The proposed amendments include changes to the following regulations and incorporated documents:

  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions Performance Standards regulation (O. Reg. 241/19 or the EPS Regulation) and the incorporated GHG Emissions Performance Standards and Methodology for the Determination of the Total Annual Emissions Limit (the Methodology); and
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Quantification, Reporting and Verification regulation (O. Reg. 390/18 or the Reporting Regulation) and the incorporated Guideline for Quantification, Reporting and Verification of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (the Guideline).

By way of background, the Ontario EPS is the federally-approved alternative to the federal output-based pricing system (OBPS). The EPS is intended to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from large industrial facilities in the province, by setting the standards for lowering emissions that facilities are required to meet and considering specific industry and facility conditions while allowing for economic growth.

The MECP is awaiting a decision from the federal government on a start date for compliance obligations under the EPS program; at this time, it is still undecided if this will begin in 2021, or 2022.

In the interim, the MECP is consulting on the proposed amendments now to ensure a smooth transition for industry from the federal OBPS to the Ontario EPS program.
Ontario’s proposed amendments include:

1. Proposed start date of January 1, 2021 for application of all provisions of the EPS program (will be amended if a 2022 start date is chosen)

2. Amending provisions related to the start date of compliance obligations

3. Aligning scope of the EPS to match the federal OBPS by proposing additional sectors that can voluntarily opt-in to the EPS:

NAICS Code Description
31142 Fruit and vegetable canning, pickling and drying
311611 Animal (except poultry) slaughtering
32222 Paper bag and coated and treated paper manufacturing
32614 Polystyrene foam product manufacturing
32621 Tire manufacturing
33211 Forging and stamping
33635 Motor vehicle transmission and power train parts manufacturing

4. Amendments to support the ability for registered facilities to maintain their exemption from the federal fuel charge

5. Other administrative and clarifying amendments

The posting also indicated that MECP intends to propose additional amendments to the EPS Regulation and the Reporting Regulation and related incorporated documents in late winter 2021. These amendments would address any other issues that may arise from ongoing transition discussions with the federal government. At that time, we may also propose amendments to enhance and improve enforcement and administration of the program.

Please let our team know if you have any questions, or if we can provide assistance with your submission.

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