Air Quality News Bulletin Winter 2006
Special Issue on Changes to Air Emissions Permitting Regulations
On December 1st, 2005, Regulation 419 replaced Regulation 346 as the new air emissions permit regulation applicable to air pollutant sources in Ontario. Most sources of air pollution are required, under Section 9 of the EPA, to apply for a permit, or Certificate of Approval (CofA). Changes to the protocols for new or amended CofA applications are described below.
Significant new requirements depend on whether companies are classified, according to company activities, as Schedule 4 or Schedule 5. Schedule 4 companies must re-do their impact assessment with the new models, and show compliance with new air quality standards by 2010 (see below). Schedule 5 companies have until 2013 to apply the new models, but must show compliance with the new standards by 2010. Other companies must meet new standards by 2010 and use new models by 2020.
New facilities for Schedule 4 or 5 companies are subject to new models and standards immediately if construction began after Nov. 30, 2005, otherwise they must adhere to new standards by 2010 and use new models by 2020.
Proposed Action: The new models or standards may show that a company is now out of compliance. We recommend identifying that situation as soon as possible to allow implementation of a plan to achieve compliance by the due date.
Updated Regulation and Guidance
The revised regulation includes specifications on whether adjacent industrial properties should be treated as one, and clarification of the concept of points-of-impingement (POIs); that is, locations at or beyond the property boundary where air standards apply. The new regulations also allow exclusion of negligible sources, or contaminants, using concepts described in the new guidance on Emission Summary and Dispersion Modelling (ESDM) Reports. More realistic consideration of plant operating conditions that lead to maximal air quality impacts are also allowed; actual rather than worst-case operating conditions can now be utilized. There are also changes to the quality classifications of emission estimates.
After the implementation dates of the new models, annually-updated ESDMs must be kept on site. Moreover, there is no longer a requirement to include dust emissions from roads and storage piles unless the dust contains significant quantities of metals; industry groups where this may be expected are listed in the guidance. For other sectors, either a best management plan, or no action, is required.
Proposed Action: We recommend review of the effect of the above changes on your company s compliance status as soon as possible. Should your company fall out of compliance then measures can be implemented, including applying for alternative standards (see below), to achieve compliance by the due date.
As part of the changes, new impact assessment models are adopted as the regulatory models for Ontario. These must be implemented according to the timetable indicated earlier.
The US EPA SCREEN3 model is a screening level model, similar to the Reg 346 model. This will soon be replaced by the AERSCREEN model. If it is not be possible to demonstrate compliance with this model, then more sophisticated models can be used; the MOE has designated the US EPA ISC3-PRIME and AERMOD models for this Tier 2 analysis. The models require much more input information and are more resource intensive.
These models may predict higher impacts than the Reg 346 model causing some companies to fall out of compliance. Also of note, non-compliance can be charged against a company based on modelling results alone.
Proposed Action: Because of the differences in results with the newer models, we recommend review of the effect of the above changes on your company s compliance status soon.
As part of the changes, new air quality standards will be adopted. The timetable was indicated earlier. Not surprisingly, all revised standards will be lower, again potentially causing companies presently in compliance to fall out. Of particular note are the updated standards for Schedule 7 contaminants; requests for alternatives standards (see below) will only be allowed between Feb 1, 2007 “ Oct 31, 2008.
Proposed Action: Companies should identify if they emit Schedule 7 substances and re-evaluate their compliance status as soon as possible.
Temporary Standards where Compliance is Difficult
If implantation of the new models or standards causes a company to fall out of compliance, or if achieving compliance is demonstrated to be onerous, temporary interim standards can be applied providing some relief. However, a number of conditions, including a deadline, must be met for this alternative process.
The alternative process requires that companies demonstrate that they are doing their best to reduce emissions, the public are given an opportunity for input and the company must develop an action plan subject to continual review to ensure improvement.
For example, Schedule 4 and 5 companies can apply for this new process between Feb 2007 “ Oct 2008 and Feb 2010 “ Oct 2011 respectively.
Proposed Action: We recommend that the effect of the above changes on your company s compliance status be reviewed as soon as possible so that this alternative standards process can be considered.