MOECC Posts Proposal for a New SO2 Standard and Associated Transitional Operating Conditions Requirements for Ontario

     Posted by LEHDER News on

On October 27, 2017, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) posted the proposal to amend Ontario Regulation 419/05: Air Pollution - Local Air Quality (O. Reg. 419/05) to the Environmental Registry for sulphur dioxide (SO2). The proposed amendments would introduce updated air standards for SO2 and clarify the requirements for assessing operating conditions in O. Reg. 419/05. The phase-in period for the updated SO2 air standard is proposed to be five years.  A comment period of 45 days has been initiated and responses are required by December 11, 2017. The EBR Registry Number 013-0903 full post is available here.

The MOECC is proposing the following updates to the SO2 air emissions for O. Reg. 419.  Two documents have been prepared in order to support this proposed air standard: the Rationale for the development of Ontario Air Standards for Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)and the Science Discussion Document on the Development of Air Standards for Sulphur Dioxide (SO2).

The SO2 air standards are proposed as:

  • One hour (1-hr) standard of 100 μg/m3
  • Annual (year) standard of 10 μg/m3

The annual and 1 hour standards are proposed to be incorporated into Schedule 3 of O. Reg. 419/05.

This proposal also includes amendments to Schedule 6 for Upper Risk Thresholds (URTs) for SO2 and is proposed to be set at the level of the current SO2 air standards, namely:

  • 1-hour URT of 690 μg/m3 (section 20)
  • ½ hour URT of 830 μg/m3 (section 19)

Generally, URTs under O. Reg. 419/05 are not phased-in. Hence, there is no phase-in period proposed for the proposed SO2 URTs.

Transitional Operating Conditions

The proposed amendments also address section 10 of the Regulation and related guidance in Guideline A10: Procedure for Preparing an Emission Summary and Dispersion Modelling (ESDM) Report to clarify inconsistent interpretations, which includes that all facilities will need to consider scenarios that include start-up and shut-down and when the facility is operating at its maximum design capacity. All other scenarios, when a facility is operating normally, will also need to be considered.

Considerations for Consequential Amendments

As a result of the proposed amendments to the SO2 air standards, the MOECC is also reviewing the need for consequential amendments to Ontario Regulation 350: Lambton Industrial Meteorological Alerts (LIMA). LIMA (O. Reg. 350) was introduced in 1981 to address the impacts of multiple industrial sources of sulphur dioxide in the Sarnia area. More information on these considerations is available here.

For more information, please contact Marnie Freer.