Pipe Bursting In A Low Carbon World

13th In A Series
By David O'Sullivan, President, PW Trenchless Construction Inc. | May 2012, Vol. 67 No. 5

In British Columbia, a tax on carbon emissions was implemented in 2010. It is about 10 cents per gallon but the revenue from that tax is available to any local government that wants to make their “day-to-day operations” carbon neutral. The Provincial government itself was mandated to be carbon neutral by 2010 which it says it achieved, and the cities would be carbon neutral in their “day to day” operations starting in January 2012. It was in the legislation that they would have to buy carbon credits from the Pacific Carbon Trust, a semi-government body. That requirement is now relaxed but they are still trying to achieve neutrality by changing how they operate.

The guidelines for what is a day-to-day operation is defined in http://www.toolkit.bc.ca/carbon-neutral-government, a document produced by the BC government to assist cities in complying with this new and very innovative policy.

Construction (capitol works) are outside the requirements of carbon neutrality and the confines of the “day-to-day “work load. This means that any carbon reductions resulting from different ways of doing capitol works can be transferred into carbon offsets and used against the “day-to-day” operations.

It is now accepted that trenchless technology can reduce carbon emissions by up to 90 percent (NASTT-BC) or 79 percent E-Calc when compared with traditional open-cut operations and these reductions can then be transferred into credits or offsets and traded within a city. The problem is to measure these known savings in a way that complies with standards that will allow us to use the savings as offsets. PW Trenchless Construction Inc. has, with Habitat Carbon assets, developed a Trenchless Carbon protocol to define a way to transfer these known carbon reductions into useful credits/offsets.

A protocol is a legal document that provides the details on how to generate a carbon credit/offset. It is a document that is created by an expert like Habitat Carbon Assets and approved by an accredited approver (like KPMG) to guide a user in creating a carbon credit/offset. There are very strict rules on how one creates a carbon credit, like the rules from ISO 14064, or the rules put out by the Pacific Carbon Trust, a BC government body charged with collecting credits for BC government bodies.

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