Ontario’s Proposal to Address Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Industrial Emission Performance Standards

  • March 30, 2019
  • John Georgakopoulos, Joanna Vince, and Madiha Vallani

On February 12, 2019, the Government of Ontario posted its proposal for the Emissions Performance Standards (EPS).[1] The EPS proposal is Ontario’s replacement for the Cap and Trade Program that was revoked on July 3, 2018, and provides an alternative to the Federal output based pricing system (OBPS) under Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act. The EPS proposal is posted on the Environmental Registry. Comments will be accepted until March 29, 2019.[2]

The proposed EPS are not an absolute cap on GHG emissions for Ontario. Instead, they are industry or facility-level GHG performance standards.[3]

The EPS proposal would apply to those facilities that are both on the list of regulated facilities and that exceed an annual emissions threshold. Under the EPS proposal, the emissions threshold will be set at either 25,000 or 50,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). The Ontario Government has yet to determine which value will be used for the threshold. The EPS proposal also proposes an opt-in provision for smaller facilities below the threshold but emitting more than 10,000 tonnes of CO2e.[4]