MOECC Proposal on Accounting for Cumulative Air Quality Levels in Air Emissions Permits

As reported in previous news bulletins, the MOECC does not (on a predictable and regular basis) require that baseline air quality (AQ) be accounted for in assessments required for permitting applications.

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) is now proposing to formally account for cumulative air quality levels in air approvals. It proposes to begin with the contaminants benzene and benzo[a]pyrene in the Hamilton/Burlington area and benzene in the Sarnia/Corunna area. The ministry’s modelling has preliminarily identified “stressed airsheds” exceeding the ministrys ambient air quality criteria (AAQCs) for these contaminants.

The ministry proposes to impose additional requirements for new or expanding facilities, which are located within these stressed airsheds, emitting these substances. Depending on the level of general exceedance in the areas (not attributed to a specific facility) there are increasing requirements proposed for all facilities emitting those contaminants in the area, ranging from simple continual monitoring by the MOECC to emissions control technology benchmarking to implementation of Best Available Control Technologies (BACT) compared to other facilities in North America.

The MOECC is also looking to expand these considerations to other contaminants and other areas. Comments on this proposal are due February 7, 2018.

Contact Airzone for assistance – For more information on the possible consequences of these proposals on your compliance status please contact:

Farida Dehghan Ph.D., P.Eng.

Senior Air Quality Modeller

fdehghan[at] 905-890-6957 ext. 110