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Airzone Summer 2013 News Bulletin

Air Quality aspects of re-zoning and land use planning

 

Fundamental to good land use planning is that incompatible land uses should not be placed within close proximity.? In Ontario the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) has had guidelines in place for some time to assess compatibility of nearby land uses in terms of air/noise impacts.? These guidelines provide a procedure to assess the likelihood of adverse impacts of either existing ?facilities? (as defined in the guidelines) on proposed sensitive land uses (e.g., residential) and/or proposed facilities (e.g., industrial) near existing sensitive land uses, as identified in guideline D?1.? It is important to understand that the definition of ?facility? is fairly wide?ranging and can include transportation and agriculture. ?Over ten plus years of reviewing compatibility assessments and conducting assessments, Airzone has gained extensive experience in these assessments.? In light of our experience we note the following that may be of interest:

Concerns for existing industry ? existing industry must be aware of local re-zoning applications where land use changes to sensitive land use types are being proposed.? There are obvious cases such as proposals for residential developments where noise/odour impacts may become problematic for an operating facility.? However, responsible persons should also be aware of less obvious cases such as where a high-rise residential development may be proposed on land formerly zoned for low-rise development; this may introduce new (elevated) ?receptors? where there were formerly none.

Concerns for planners and Municipal Planning departments ? unless the Planning department has specialized in-house expertise any D-series assessments received should be fully peer-reviewed; we?ve noted numerous assessments that have been poorly conducted and yet accepted by Municipalities.? Further, planners should be careful about restricting the scope of the assessment to, say, just impacts from stationary industrial facilities; a proper D-series assessment must also address impacts from other proposed or existing sources (e.g., transportation).

In general, poorly assessed or scoped compatibility studies can lead to obvious negative consequences ? e.g., disruption to economic activity or frequent nuisance complaints (odour, noise).

There are updates on the D-series guidelines expected soon from the MOE; they will likely be presented in draft form for comment.? Airzone will offer seminars, in the Fall, where we will provide greater detail.

If you require assistance contact Franco DiGiovanni at 905-890-6957 ext. 102 (fdi-giovanni[at]airzoneone.com).

PROVINCIAL NEWS

 

Pulp and Paper Industry Proposes Technical Standards to Replace Air Quality Assessment

The Pulp and Paper (P&P) sector in Ontario has proposed to replace the present requirement, of site-specific (modelled) assessments of air quality compliance, with a more generic set of technology-based specifications to control air emissions for Provincial permitting purposes.? These site-specific assessments are normally required to prove compliance as part of an application for permission to emit contaminants under s.9 of the EPA, generally known as an Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA).? Each facility will have unique characteristics with respect to air dispersion and certain P&P facilities have, in the past, faced challenges complying with air standards for certain contaminants.

The MOE allows two or more facilities in an industrial sector to propose that they comply with ?technical? standards rather than air-quality based standards.? These technical standards specify emissions control technologies or techniques that are usually meant to represent the best available control technologies, or BACT.? The proposal from the P&P sector to use technical standards covers many air contaminants with particular focus on certain key substances (e.g., total reduced sulphur compounds).? A facility meeting such a proposed technical standard may, at the same time, not meet air quality standards; a situation allowable using this compliance approach.

The MOE posted this proposal this year on the 12th of February; public comments closed after April 13th.

Provincial Toxics Reduction Act (TRA) Requirements

Following on from the last (Winter 2013) bulletin, this is a note to remind you that Phase II TRA plans are due by the end of this year.? Phase II plans require consideration of usage and emission reductions for the balance of the NPRI substances not dealt with during Phase I.? Therefore, facilities that have developed plans for Phase I substances, but also report to NPRI for other substances, will be required to develop further plans by the end of this year.? Likewise, facilities that report to NPRI but have not developed plans under Phase I will also be required to develop plans under Phase II.

Lessons Learned from Phase I TRA Plan Submissions

1.? Have your NPRI calculations double-checked; many errors were found in third party calculations we reviewed.

2.? Start the planning process early to avoid the end-of-year rush as many more facilities will require Phase II plans than was the case for Phase I.

If you require assistance contact Margaret Matusik at 905 890 6957 ext. 101 (mmatusik[at]airzoneone.com) or Roy Sabino at 905-890-6957 ext. 107 (rsabino[at]airzoneone.com).

Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR) Regulations

 

EASRs provide EPA s.9 approvals for certain activities without the need to conduct a formal impact assessment (as is required for ECAs).? However, they are only allowed for certain activities; since 2011 automotive spray booths, emergency generators and comfort heating systems have been EASR-eligible.? In April 2013, the Ministry of the Environment has proposed that landfill gas power generating facilities be allowed to comply with s.9 of the EPA by EASR registration, rather than via ECA application.? Recently the MOE has approved EASR registration for the three activities reported in a previous newsletter (small ground-mounted solar units, lithographic, screen and digital printing and non-hazardous waste transportation systems).

The proposal for the landfill generator was posted 16 April and the public comment period closed 31 May.

For more detailed information you can contact: Lucas Neil at 905 890 6957 ext. 111 (lneil[at]airzoneone.com) or Roy Sabino at ext 107 (rsabino[at]airzoneone.com).

Airzone One News

 

Within Ontario, Airzone staff have been retained to review air impacts conducted as part of an EA for a proposed garbage dump.? Staff have also been retained to review air impacts from a proposed aggregate pit operation as part of an OMB hearing.? Internationally, we have also been retained to conduct the air impacts portion of an EIA for a proposed garbage incinerator to be located in the Caribbean. We are continuing work on Ontario D-series land use assessments for clients proposing residential or mixed-use developments to be located close to industrial, commercial and transportation uses.

Airzone has also won a contract to conduct real-time monitoring of construction-related dust and air emissions.? This will involve use of our established techniques to provide real-time dust and air quality exceedance warnings to construction site-managers to assist mitigating construction-related emissions.? Additionally, we have been retained to audit dust monitoring for a mining operation in Ontario.

Airzone will be deploying Hi-volume samplers, and offering training services to operate the instrumentation for TSP analysis.? Airzone has also won a multi-year remediation contract to analyze soil samples for PCB and TPH contamination.? This is on behalf of the Department of National Defence, the site is located in Attiwapiskat in Northern Ontario.

New to Airzone

 

We would like to take this opportunity to introduce a recent Airzone One hire, Dr. Alexander Vlasenko.? Dr. Vlasenko brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that pertains directly to physical and analytical chemistry.? Prior to working at Airzone Alexander completed a NSERC visiting fellowship with Environment Canada, where he was specialized in real-time VOC measurements using time-of flight mass spectrometry.? Airzone has been using his talents to further enhance our laboratory methods, specifically for VOC analysis, in which Airzone has become a leader.

To inquire about lab analysis contact Phil Fellin at 905 890 6957 ext. 105 (pfellin[at]airzoneone.com)