Agricultural Methane

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 by estimating the potential methane emissions in tons of CO2e that would have been emitted under a site-specific baseline scenario of uncontrolled anaerobic waste storage practices. Estimated emissions reductions may not exceed measured emissions reductions, as represented by the annual volume of methane produced by the anaerobic digester and then collected and destroyed.

If the project is a regional-type digester, CO2 emissions due to transportation of manure and organic food waste from the originating site to the anaerobic digester must be taken into account.

To qualify for the award of CO2 offset allowances, agricultural methane offset projects must:

  • Destroy methane generated by an anaerobic digester that, in the absence of the offset project, would have been released to the atmosphere through uncontrolled anaerobic storage of manure or organic food waste
  • Operate anaerobic digester systems that use 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. Only the organic food waste that would have been stored in anaerobic conditions in the baseline scenario is eligible for crediting.

Certain general additionality requirements do not apply to agricultural methane offset projects if:

  • The offset project is located in a state that has a market penetration rate for anaerobic digester projects of five (5) 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 of 1,400 lbs per cow, 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 of 1,400 lbs per cow.*

For more information, please consult state regulations.

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

Application Process and Model Materials

For more details on the application process, including relevant state offset project application instructions and materials, please see the Application Process page.

For additional context, draft model template application materials are provided below. These served as the basis for developing materially consistent state-specific offset project application and submittal materials. They are provided for informational purposes only and should not be submitted to RGGI states.


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