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Airzone Summer 2016 Newsletter

Further News on Updates to Guidance Supporting Local Air Quality Regulation (O. Reg. 419/05)

The Air and Waste Management Association and Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change held a meeting in Spring 2016 to further discuss the proposed updates reported in the last News Bulletin (Winter 2016).

The comment period for these proposals ended 16 February 2016 with the intention to pass decisions before 1 July 2016; however, final decisions have yet to be passed on these proposals (at the time of writing).

New technical guidance bulletins were issued on: Combined Air Monitoring/Modelling (CAMM), Managing Open Industrial Fugitive Dust, Assessment Values for Annual Standards, Modelling Contaminants with 10-minute Standards, Opacity, Modelling Flares, AERMOD Model Version Updates and Meteorological Data.

Attention was drawn to air emission sources within 1 km of the shoreline of (primarily) the Great Lakes; alternative models to the AERMOD model may be required in some of those cases.

For more information on consequences of these updates on your compliance status please contact Franco DiGiovanni at ext. 102, or fdi-giovanni[at]airzoneone.com.

Does Compliance with your Air-ECA Local Air Quality Regulation (O. Reg. 419/05) Ensure Due Diligence for Air Pollution Legal Claims?

O. Reg. 419/05 is largely aimed at providing guidance on the reporting required to demonstrate air emissions compliance by a facility or source subject to s.9 of the Environmental Protection Act (requirements for an Environmental Compliance Approval). The basis for compliance is that air quality levels induced by the facility, at any point at or beyond its property boundaries1 , must not exceed the air quality standards provided in the regulation, or accompanying guidelines or increase to a sufficient level to cause a concern (for those rarer substances that do have listed standards or guidelines).

However, the regulation itself, nor accompanying guidance documents, does not address such factors as existing baseline air quality levels (to which a facility’s emission will add) or specific contaminants such as PM2.5 (a known health concern).

As such the assessment required for an ECA application is, quite often, incomplete in terms of assessing actual air quality impacts on the surrounding community. Consequently, a facility may be causing an adverse effect on its surrounding while remaining in compliance with its ECA. This commonly manifests with the nuisance contaminants (odour and dust) but may also be occurring with non-nuisance (unsensed) air contaminants. Airzone staff (Shantz and DiGiovanni) wrote an article, published in the Ontario Planning Journal, describing consequences of these regulatory gaps and consequences for land use planning in Ontario.

Potentially, these regulatory gaps may leave a facility liable for adverse effects in the surrounding community despite being compliant under O. Reg. 419/05. How, then, may a facility protect itself against claims of pollution liability? The most obvious way would be to go beyond compliance and address those regulatory gaps on a voluntary basis. That is, facilities could, for example, assess for cumulative air quality impacts and include assessments for PM2.5 emissions. These extra items need not be submitted to the MOECC but could be documented internally in case pollution claims are made; this documentation would serve as a more complete defence of due diligence.

For more information on completing your due diligence against claims of air pollution please contact Franco DiGiovanni at ext. 102, or fdi-giovanni[at]airzoneone.com.

1In certain cases, on-site receptors may need to be considered if they are considered sensitive, e.g., residential, health-care, etc.

Metal Finishers Industry Standard Completed

An Industry Standard is an alternate form of compliance with s.9 permitting requirements in the EPA for air emissions, and obviates the need for quality impact assessments. Instead, industries must operate in a highly specified manner to reduce air emissions.

In March 2016 a new industry standard was completed for metal finishers (defined as NAICS code 332810 Coating, Engraving, Heat Treating and Allied Activities). The Standard specifically only applies to hexavalent chromium and nickel and nickel compounds that are largely associated with electroplating. Note that this can also apply to facilities that have plating as a minor component of their operations.

This standard was developed largely in response to new air quality standards for hexavalent chromium and nickel that will come into force 1 July 2016; facilities must either demonstrate compliance with the new standards by that date or register for the technical standard (a third compliance option is also available).

Requirements of the Standard

The requirements include technology, operating, monitoring and reporting. The technology specifications for both hexa-chrome and nickel are similar but vary for existing facilities (generally matching current Environment Canada hexa-chrome regulations); conversely new or modified facilities will require more stringent air pollution control devices.

Operation and maintenance requirements are to be indicated by suppliers and manufacturers of emissions control equipment and must be monitored closely with records kept; deviations from normal operating parameters must be recorded. Deviations from inspection frequency are also to be recorded.

Industrial ventilation requirements include (i) negative pressure differential required in tank areas, (ii) one person shall be designated a ventilation coordinator, (iii) detailed design and monitoring of pressures required. If the facility is located in multi-tenant buildings there are additional requirements (a) provide air make-up filters for all other units, at least once every six months, or, (b) use fume suppressant and an air pollution control device in series.

In terms of administrative requirements annual reports are required (before 31 March each year) summarizing activities relating to the Industry Standard and describing any deviations. Application packages are not significantly simpler than packages developed for ECA applicants and require provision of a significant amount of technical information.

Is the Industry Standard for Everybody

Not necessarily because (i) it may be relatively easy to show compliance using the traditional air emissions modelling approach (we’ve been particularly successful at designing economical mitigation of air emissions) (ii) technical requirements of the standard may be overly burdensome for a particular plating operation, and, (iii) the MOECC may themselves deem a particular facility not to be a good candidate for the Industry Standard and reject the application.

For more information on the possible implications of the Industry Standard and your air compliance status contact Franco DiGiovanni at ext. 102, or fdi-giovanni[at]airzoneone.com.

Focus on the Waste Management Industry

Airzone continues to provide significant service to the Ontario waste management industry. Recently, Airzone has become a member of the Ontario Waste Management Association, with Dr. Lucas Neil as the official point of contact for the association. Airzone has experience and expertise in a broad range of waste management facilities. This includes experience with energy from waste facilities, such as source test auditing (Region of Durham) and environmental assessments. Airzone has also provided ECA application support for major waste handlers (e.g. soil remediation, industrial waste water and municipal leachate facilities). Airzone has recently conducted an odour assessment compliance review for a public waste water treatment plant. We have also assisted clients in ECA applications for mobile waste treatment equipment. Airzone has also provided emissions reporting services (e.g. NPRI, TRA, GHG, Chemtrac) to many of these facilities.

For more information on air compliance at waste management facilities contact Lucas Neil at ext. 111, or lneil[at]airzoneone.com.

Focus on the Hot Mix Ashphalt Industry

Airzone continues to provide significant service to the Ontario asphalt producers industry. Airzone staff member, Roy Sabino, is an associate member of the Ontario Hot Mix Producers Association (OHMPA). Through that membership Mr. Sabino aims to share on the scientifically correct approaches to environmental compliance approvals, regarding many aspects of the industry sector but especially the Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) and Benzene air quality standards that came into force July 1st, 2016. For those new standards facilities must either demonstrate compliance with the new standards by that date, or, register for the sector driven technical standard.

Airzone has also provided emissions reporting services (e.g. NPRI, TRA, GHG, Chemtrac) to many of these facilities.

For more information on air compliance at waste management facilities contact Roy Sabino at ext. 107, or rsabino[at]airzoneone.com.

Recent Airzone News and New Projects

Airzone has assisted a number of facilities with ECAs (Air and noise). These have included a newspaper printing facility, emergency generators for major national banks, as well as transit control centres, and an educational institute where the subject of on-site receptors was addressed as part of the assessment.

Airzone continues to assist facilities for emissions reporting. In particular we assisted a brick manufacturer for NPRI reporting, where it was revealed that manganese was reportable despite the substance being locked within the crystalline structure of relatively stable and natural minerals (thus having a low probability of being environmentally bioavailable).

Airzone were retained to identify the origin of community odour complaints surrounding a car part manufacturer. Rather than the traditional whole odour method, which lacks specificity for odour sources, we utilized a qualitative receptor modelling approach using detailed VOC monitoring at plant boundary and beyond. Distinct VOC species marked emissions signatures that were used to assess plant contribution to odour complaints. If you require assistance with similar projects, or have questions, contact

Franco DiGiovanni at ext. 102, or fdi-giovanni[at]airzoneone.com.