Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

an initiative of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States of the U.S.

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Manure Management

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Avoided Methane Emissions from Agricultural Manure Management offset projects capture and destroy methane from animal manure and organic food waste using anaerobic digesters. Emissions reductions are determined based on the potential emissions (in tons of CO2-equivalent) of the methane that would have been produced and emitted in the absence of the offset project under a baseline scenario that represents site-specific uncontrolled anaerobic storage conditions. Emissions reductions may not exceed the potential emissions of the anaerobic digester, as represented by the annual volume ofmethane produced by the anaerobic digester and collected and thermally destroyed through combustion.

If the project is a regional-type digester, CO2 emissions due to transportation of manure and organic food waste from the site where the manure and organic food waste was generated to the anaerobic digester are subtracted from the emissions reduction.

To qualify for the award of CO2 offset allowances, Agricultural Manure Management offset projects must:

  • Consist of the destruction of that portion of methane generated by an anaerobic digester that would have been generated in the absence of the offset project through the uncontrolled anaerobic storage of manure or organic food waste
  • Employ only manure-based anaerobic digester systems using livestock manure as the majority of digester feedstock, defined as more than 50 percent of the mass input into the digester on an annual basis. Organic food waste used by an anaerobic digester may only be that which would have been stored in anaerobic conditions in the absence of the offset project.

Certain general additionality requirements do not apply to Agricultural Manure Management offset projects if:

  • The offset project is located in a state that has a market penetration rate for anaerobic digester projects of five percent or less.*
  • The offset project is located at a farm with 4,000 or less head of dairy cows, or a farm with  equivalent animal units, assuming an average live weight for dairy cows (lbs/cow) of 1,400 lbs., or, if the project is a regional-type digester, total annual manure input to the digester is designed to be less than the average annual manure produced by a farm with 4,000 or less head of dairy cows, or a farm with equivalent animal units, assuming an average live weight  for dairy cows (lbs/cow) of 1,400 lbs.*

For more information, please consult state regulations.

Parties evaluating potential offset projects in multiple RGGI States should also consult the Model Rule, which was the basis for the development of individual state regulations.  Note that the Model Rule is provided for informational purposes only, and state regulations apply.

For relevant state offset project application instructions and materials, please see Application Process.

 

*Project sponsors should consult state regulations for more information on these exemptions.