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CO2 Emissions Offset Projects

CO2 Offset Allowances

A CO2 offset allowance represents one ton of demonstrated CO2-equivalent project-based greenhouse gas reduction or avoidance under the NYS CO2 Budget Trading Program, 6 NYCRR Part 242 (Program). Projects producing quantifiable reductions or avoidance of greenhouse gases can offset greenhouse gas emissions occurring elsewhere. CO2 offset allowances provide compliance flexibility to electric power generators by recognizing certain types of reductions of greenhouse gases from projects outside of the capped sector (the electric sector). Offsets also encourage projects outside the regulated sector that can help achieve the CO2 emission reduction goals of the Program and of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

A generator may use up to 3.3 percent of CO2 offset allowances to satisfy the power plant's total compliance obligation during any three-year control period. Detailed information on approved offset project categories, eligibility, and prescriptive application requirements can be found in 6 NYCRR Subpart 242-10 (leaves DEC website).

Offset Project Category

NY's CO2 Budget Trading Program specifies an offset project category and establishes prescriptive standards. These requirements seek to ensure that awarded CO2 offset allowances represent real, additional, verifiable, enforceable, and permanent CO2 equivalent emission reductions. At this time, one project category for CO2 offset allowance is eligible under the Program:

Offset Application and Verification Processes

Applying for an award of CO2 offset allowances requires a project sponsor to:

  1. open a general account in the RGGI CO2 Allowance Tracking System (COATS) (leaves DEC website) and obtain an offsets project ID;
  2. submit a Consistency Application to DEC; and
  3. submit a periodic Monitoring and Verification Report to DEC.

The project category web page contains DEC's application and submittal materials for project sponsors, along with detailed instructions on how to fill out the required forms. Each form is available in PDF and MS Word.

To ensure the integrity of offset projects, each project must be verified by an independent third party. Third party verifiers must be accredited by DEC. Note that both the Consistency Application and the Monitoring and Verification Report submitted by the project sponsor must include a signed verification statement and report from a Department-accredited independent verifier.

Applying to become accredited by DEC requires an independent verifier to:

  1. submit an accreditation application to DEC; and
  2. submit a pre-engagement Conflict of Interest disclosure to DEC.

The verification process web page contains links to the necessary materials for an independent verifier to become accredited by DEC. Each form is available in PDF and MS Word.

More about CO2 Emissions Offset Projects:

  • Agricultural Manure Management Operations - Instructions and application forms for RGGI CO2 offset allowances under the category of agricultural manure management operations
  • Verification Process - To ensure the integrity of the RGGI CO2 offset projects, independent third parties are required to verify the offset projects
  • Accredited Verifiers - Accredited Verifiers for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Eligible Offsets
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