Amendments to O. Reg. 79/15 to Further Streamline the Use of Alternative Low-Carbon Fuels
O. Reg. 79/15 - Alternative Low-Carbon Fuels
Bill or Act:
Environmental Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E. 19.
Summary of Decision:
Ontario is committed to addressing climate change by supporting the efforts of Ontario industry to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by reducing and phasing out their use of coal.
As part of our commitment to lower greenhouse gas emissions, we are amending O. Reg. 79/15: Alternative Low-Carbon Fuels under the Environmental Protection Act. These changes to the regulation simplify the approvals process for manufacturers of cement, lime, iron and steel, to substitute the use of coal and petroleum coke with fuels derived from materials that would otherwise be disposed in landfills.
We made amendments to the regulation that will:
• allow businesses to use technical data (e.g. data from sources like published literature) to estimate the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from a low-carbon fuel source
• allow a virtual and in-person option for public meeting requirements to increase accessibility and provide flexibility for businesses in how they meet the consultation requirements:
o businesses would be required to facilitate an in-person meeting, if requested
o where there is a declared emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act., R.S.O. 1990, c. E.9, businesses are not required to accommodate in-person public meetings
• simplify upfront consultation for applications to amend the low-carbon fuel component of an environmental compliance approval (ECA) while preserving the requirement to consult on amendments to the ECA pursuant to the Environmental Bill of Rights
• increase the limit of alternative low carbon fuels for demonstration projects from 100 tonnes per day to 200 tonnes per day so businesses can identify and test the performance of fuels (and different blends) to determine performance feasibility.
• remove onerous quarterly reporting requirements for sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, which would provide flexibility for signing directors to impose site-spec
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
It is up to businesses to use low-carbon fuels and the simplified approvals process under the regulation. We anticipate two facilities would apply for the use of low-carbon fuels by 2025. It is expected that the value of total benefits resulting from the proposed changes for the use of low-carbon fuels is approximately $77,513 during 2022-2031, or $7,751 annually.
The cost savings for each business is dependent on the project e.g., the number of fuel types proposed to be used or if a facility is already approved to use low-carbon fuels. It is estimated that a business could save at least $429,100 and prevent project delays of 1.5-2 years for every amendment application that is avoided, as a result of the proposed changes.
August 3, 2021
Summary of Proposal:
The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (ministry) is committed to addressing climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to diverting waste that would otherwise end up in landfills.
The ministry is proposing to amend O. Reg. 79/15: Alternative Low-Carbon Fuels (O. Reg. 79/15 or the Regulation) made under the Environmental Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E. 19.
These changes to the regulation would make it easier for manufacturers of cement, lime, iron and steel, to substitute the use of fossil fuels with fuels derived from materials that would otherwise be disposed in landfills.
The proposed amendments would:
1. modernize the process for ECA amendments and provide proponents with the option to rely on secondary or tertiary sources to estimate CO2 emission intensity
2. increase the limit of alternative low-carbon fuels in demonstration projects from 100 tonnes per day to 200 tonnes per day
3. remove out-dated quarterly reporting requirements for SO2 and NOx
4. remove dead animals or dead animal parts from the list of restricted low-carbon fuels to allow materials such as bone meal and animal fat to be used as a fuel source
The increased use of low carbon fuels would help recover resources from waste and enable these industries to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and decrease their carbon footprint.
O. Reg. 79/15: Alternative Low-Carbon Fuels was originally put in place to streamline the approvals process for manufacturers of cement, lime, iron, and steel, so they are able to switch from fossil fuels to alternative fuels derived from materials that would otherwise be disposed of as waste and landfilled.
There has been very little use of O. Reg. 79/15 in the five years since its introduction - only two Environmental Compliance Approvals have been issued under the Regulation. In response to some of the challenges identified by multiple stakeholders, the ministry is proposing regulatory changes to further streamline the use of alternative low-carbon fuel.
Supporting the use of alternative low-carbon fuels aligns with Ontario's commitment to investigate options for recovering resources from waste and to set and overall target for lowering greenhouse gas emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. The government has also committed to finishing the phase out of coal by supporting efforts of Ontario industry to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions through reduction and phase out of their coal usage.
Removing barriers to recover end-of-life materials (that cannot be reused or recycled) would enable these energy-intensive sectors to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, divert waste from landfills and help the province achieve its sustainable development goals and targets.
January 1, 2022