This paper, part of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (“PICS”) study called Solid Carbon, provides a comprehensive analysis of legal issues associated with deploying an offshore DAC system, powered by offshore wind turbines, in Canadian waters and storing the captured carbon dioxide in sub-seabed rock formations. Initial research suggests that the Cascadia Basin is well suited for carbon
storage because the sub-seabed is comprised of basalt, a type of rock that has been shown to react with carbon dioxide to form carbonate minerals. The paper draws on discussions with representatives of the Canadian Energy Regulatory (“CER”), Environment and Climate Change Canada (“ECCC”), Natural
Resources Canada (“NRCan”), and Transport Canada. It finds that while Canada does not currently have a dedicated legal framework for offshore carbon capture and storage, there are a number of Canadian laws that could apply to the various components of an offshore carbon capture and storage project (i.e., the renewable energy facility, DAC facility, carbon dioxide pipeline, and carbon dioxide injection operation). When and how those laws apply will depend on the specifics of each project, including precisely where it occurs. This paper discusses the key laws that could apply to projects off the west coast of British Columbia in the Canadian territorial sea or Exclusive Economic Zone.