(1)Types of offset projects include, but are not limited to: energy efficiency, including demand-side management measures for electricity and natural gas; electricity generation from renewable energy; fuel switching; carbon dioxide sequestration through afforestation, reforestation, forest management and forest conservation; flue gas carbon dioxide sequestration; methane capture and destruction from landfill and biogas methane (animal waste and waste water) or from fugitive methane emissions from existing or abandoned coal mines; nitrogen fertilizer management in agricultural applications; and vehicle carbon dioxide emissions reductions.
(2)In order to approve an offset project, the Council must find that:
(a)The offset project is likely to result in an avoidance, reduction or displacement of actual greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels or the sequestration of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from specific and identifiable actions;
(b)The Council can quantify the amount of greenhouse gas offsets, taking into consideration any proposed measurement, monitoring, evaluation and verification of offset project measure performance;
(c)The offsets are not susceptible to double-counting. For offsets from demand-side management measures reducing use of utility-provided electricity or natural gas, it may suffice that the certificate holder or its agent notify the utility that the certificate holder claims ownership of the greenhouse gas reductions;
(d)The applicant will own all greenhouse gas offsets that it proposes to provide;
(e)The applicant has provided a form of the instrument, satisfactory to the Council, through which the applicant will transfer all offsets from a project that an applicant will own to the Council for the Council to hold in trust;
(f)The applicant has the financial and institutional capability to deliver the project for its duration; and
(g)The applicant has provided an adequate monitoring and evaluation plan and an adequate plan for independent verification of the offsets. The monitoring and evaluation plan and the verification plan shall detail the record-keeping, data collection, data storage, data management program, and reporting guidelines and procedures.
(3)If the applicant proposes to implement a project in partnership with other parties or through contracts with other parties, the Council must find that:
(a)The other parties have the financial and institutional capability to deliver the project; and
(b)The applicant has a firm commitment from the other parties to participate in the project.
(4)If the applicant is proposing an offset project in another country, the Council must find that the host country has approved the transfer of the ownership of the greenhouse gas offsets to the applicant for the Council to hold in trust.
(5)The Council shall adjust its estimates of offsets to account for leakage, which is the extent to which events occurring outside the offset project boundary affect an offset project’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
(6)The Council shall not approve any offsets related to nuclear power.
(7)The Council may reject an offset project based on undesirable long-term environmental impacts from the implementation of the offset project that the Council considers to be significant and reasonably likely to occur.
(8)The applicant may propose offset projects that provide offsets for up to 30 years after beginning commercial operation of a facility, or if an applicant proposes to provide offsets for more than 30 years after the beginning of commercial operation of a facility, the Council must find that:
(a)There will be a viable organization that will continue to manage an offset project for a longer period than the duration of the site certificate;
(b)The Council can maintain oversight of the project and hold the responsible organization to the requirements of the site certificate; and
(c)The responsible organization will transfer offsets to the Council after the certificate holder retires the energy facility.
(9)The certificate holder shall begin implementation of projects approved in the site certificate before beginning construction of its facility, and:
(a)The certificate holder shall provide the Council copies of executed contracts or binding agreements with offset providers, including steam hosts for cogeneration if proposed, before beginning construction of its facility, and
(b)The certificate holder shall ensure that offset project implementation begins immediately upon execution of a contract or binding agreement with an offset provider and that the measures are fully implemented within five years, unless the Council approves a longer implementation period through a site certificate condition.
(10)The certificate holder shall not sell or trade its offsets or allow any other entity to report or use the offsets.
(11)The Council shall hold the offsets in trust for the benefit of the State of Oregon.
(12)If the Council approves, a certificate holder may use offsets in a future national regulatory regimen if the Council determines that such use does not undermine the integrity of the Council’s carbon dioxide standard. Such approval shall not require an amendment of the site certificate.
(13)The site certificate holder shall report to the Council annually on the performance of offset projects, pursuant to the monitoring and evaluation plan and to the verification plan, and shall explain changes from the offset benefits projected in the Council’s analysis of the offset projects.
(14)The certificate holder shall provide copies of all monitoring and evaluation reports and any verification reports from the independent entity to the Department of Energy.
(15)The certificate holder shall provide any raw data upon the request of the Department.
(16)The site certificate holder shall make its offset project financial records available for the life of the facility for auditing by the Council or by a party that the Council designates.
Rule 345-024-0680 — Offset Projects,