Geologic carbon storage is the permanent storage of carbon dioxide in deep underground geologic formations.

Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) involves many activities that capture, transport, use and store (sequester) carbon dioxide. Geologic carbon storage is one part of CCUS activities.

We plan to take a phased approach to create a framework to regulate geologic carbon storage in Ontario. This framework would play an important role in:

  • supporting industry
  • encouraging sector innovation
  • reducing emissions

Benefits of enabling geologic carbon storage

  • Supports emissions reduction and production of low-carbon hydrogen.
  • Supports the transition to a low-carbon economy.
  • Lets businesses take advantage of provincial and federal initiatives for carbon storage.
  • Attracts investment and encourages innovation.

Roadmap towards regulating geologic carbon storage

We plan to enable geologic carbon storage through a phased approach that would provide clarity for businesses to plan and invest in Ontario, while ensuring safe and responsible development.

To build a framework that works for Ontario, we plan to work together with stakeholders, Indigenous communities and the public.

We would start by taking immediate action towards removing barriers to carbon storage in Ontario.

Next, we plan to propose legislative and regulatory changes to allow testing and demonstration projects. This would mean businesses could start exploring carbon storage while a proposal for a regulatory framework for commercial-scale projects is developed.

Roadmap timeline

Discussion paper

January to March 2022

  • Received feedback through postings on the regulatory and environmental registries of Ontario.
Clarify intent

Beginning fall 2022

  • Propose changes to the Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Act to remove the prohibition on geologic carbon storage.
Design framework

Anticipated start: summer or fall 2023

  • Design a framework to regulate commercial-scale geologic carbon storage projects on Crown and private land.
Refine and adapt

Anticipated start: 2025 and beyond

  • Refine and adapt the framework for new activities and emerging technologies.