On March 20, 2018, the Ministry of Environment, Parks and Conservation (MECP) posted their decision to update the air standards for sulphur dioxide (SO2) and clarify regulatory requirements to help to reduce risks to communities near industrial facilities. Included in this decision were:
- the updating of the 1 hour average and annual average SO2 air standards within Ontario Regulation 419/05 and the Air Contaminants Benchmarks List, which come into force on January 1, 2023;
- implementation of the 1/2 hour and 1 hour Upper Risk Threshold values to be phased in on January 1, 2019; and
- amendment to Section 10 of O. Reg. 419/05 for facility modelling of transitional operating conditions (TOCs).
The update to O. Reg. 419/05 was promulgated on July 1, 2018. For additional background information, please refer to full Environmental Registry of Ontario (ERO Registry Number 013-0903) post.
Proposed Regulation for Petroleum Facilities
On November 15, 2018, the MECP posted the New regulation to help reduce SO2 emissions from Ontario petroleum facilities proposal to the ERO for comments (ERO Number 013-4126). The comment period is open until December 15, 2018.
The intent of this new regulation is to increase accountability by petroleum facilities in order to reduce emissions of SO2 and provide immediate actions to that would improve management of flaring events and greater accountability through reporting, enhanced monitoring and the introduction of environmental penalties.
Under the proposed regulation, petroleum facilities in Ontario would now be required to:
- calculate SO2 emissions from flaring incidents and, within two to four years, install continuous in-stack monitoring equipment
- report SO2 flaring incidents
- submit reports to the ministry that analyze the root cause of flaring incidents and set out corrective and preventive actions to be taken
- submit plans to the ministry for reducing emissions of SO2 and flaring incidents at the facility within one year
- engage the local community about SO2 emissions and plans to address the emissions
For additional background on the proposed regulation, please refer to the ERO post.
Comments can only be submitted online through the ERO website or by mail until December 15, 2018.
To submit comments online, you must have a valid ERO account and submit them directly through the link in the post. However, comments can be submitted anonymously here.
Comments can be submitted by mail to:
Local Air Quality Permits
40 St. Clair Avenue West
Toronto ON M4V 1M2
If you have any additional questions, please contact Penny McInnis.