Animal Effluent Management

Closed 12 Apr 2019

Opened 15 Mar 2019

Published Responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.

Overview

The climate change function transferred to our department from the Department of the Environment and Energy on 1 February 2020.

The Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee (ERAC) have released the draft Animal Effluent Management method for public consultation from 15 March 2019 to 12 April 2019. The public consultation is to assist ERAC to provide advice to the Minister for the Environment on whether the draft method meets the Offsets Integrity Standards.

About this method

The draft method, if made, will provide an opportunity for landholders and businesses to earn Australian Carbon Credit Units by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the management of organic effluent at piggery or dairy facilities.

The draft method credits greenhouse gas abatement that results from changing effluent treatment from storing effluent in anaerobic ponds to capturing and combusting methane (emissions destruction activities) and reducing the amount of methane produced (emissions avoidance activities):

  • Emissions destruction activities remove methane by capturing and combusting biogas containing methane that is generated from the anaerobic digestion of effluent. This activity provides opportunities to generate electricity and heat that can be used on-farm. Excess electricity potentially could be supplied to the grid.
  • Emissions avoidance activities reduce methane emissions by separating solids from the effluent stream and treating them in a way that creates fewer emissions compared to if the effluent continued to be treated in an anaerobic pond. Under the method, solids are stored in aerobic stockpiles or as compost in order that less methane is produced. There is no opportunity to generate electricity from this process.

The draft method sets out instructions for undertaking projects and estimating the resulting abatement. The draft method is designed to improve on existing animal manure management methods by broadening the scope of eligible activities to include emissions avoidance activities (only emissions destruction activities are currently eligible). The draft method aims to reduce costs and complexity for proponents by simplifying the estimates of net abatement amount and removing the need for calculating the baseline threshold using complex tools.

If the draft method is made, it is intended that the three existing ERF animal manure management methods will be revoked. Projects registered under these three methods can elect to either remain on their current method or transfer to the new method. ERAC welcomes comments on the revocation of these three methods through submissions.

 

Audiences

  • Emissions Reduction Fund

Interests

  • Climate Change
  • Emissions Reduction Fund