1-877-534-3371

LEHDER News

Policy Summary on Cumulative Effects Assessment in Air Approvals

     Posted by LEHDER News on

In November 2017, the MOECC proposed an air approvals policy with the intent to more effectively consider cumulative impacts from multiple air pollution sources. The final policy decision notice was published on the Environmental Registry of Ontario (formerly EBR) on April 26, 2017. The policy will take effect on October 1, 2018.

Impacted Facilities

The policy applies to ECA applications for new or expanding facilities located in Sarnia/Corunna that emit benzene, and those in Hamilton/Burlington that emit benzene or Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP). Key definitions are shown below.

New Facility: no construction of any part of the facility has occurred before the date that the ECA application was received by the Ministry, and no ECA has been issued in respect of any part of the facility before the date that the ECA application was received by the Ministry.

Expanding Facility: the application involves a modification at the facility that will result in an increase in production rate; or a net increase in the POI concentrations for benzene or benzo[a]pyrene compared to the ESDM report that was submitted in respect of the facility’s current approval; or an increase in emissions of benzene or benzo[a]pyrene.

The MOECC has conducted multi-source modelling to identify areas of elevated contaminant concentrations within these cities and has classified specific areas according to the level of cancer risk (Level 1/2/3). Sarnia/Corunna is classified as a Level 1 area, and Hamilton/Burlington has a mix of levels 1, 2 and 3.

Required Actions

Areas with higher cancer risk will be required to undertake more detailed assessments to support ECA applications, and may be required to install specific equipment in accordance with Technology Benchmarking studies. The Action Levels and required actions are detailed in the table below. 

Action Level Cumulative Concentration/ Lifetime Incremental Combined Cancer Risk Management Actions
N/A <1 in a million Does not trigger further action
1 1 to 10 in a million No further action for industry.
Triggers periodic evaluation (by ministry) to determine if the Action Level changes
2 > 10 to 100 in a million ECA Applications for new or expanding facilities may be required to:
1. include a technology benchmarking report with some exceptions
2. include best available pollution control methods
3 > 100 in a million ECA Applications for new or expanding facilities may be required to:
1. include a technology benchmarking report with some exceptions
2. include pollution control methods to achieve the lowest possible emission rates as compared to an  existing pollution source of the same kind globally

Impacted facilities located in Action Level 2 or 3 areas will be required to participate in pre-consultation with Approvals Branch at least 9 months prior to submission of the ECA application. The meeting will provide the MOECC an understanding of dominant sources and assist in determining the scope of the Technology Benchmarking Report (TBR).

Facilities located in Sarnia/Corunna will not be required to complete any additional actions for their ECA applications under this policy since the entire area is classified as a Level 1 at present. However, it should be anticipated that additional scrutiny and detailed review of calculations, modelling and documentation related to benzene is a potential.

Resources

Following are the link to the ERO posting on this policy decision and related policy documentation.

EBR Posting

https://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/displaynoticecontent.do?noticeId=MTMzODAx&statusId=MjA1MDU4&language=en

ERO Posting

https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/013-1680
Note: You may receive a 404 error message if you have not created an account to the beta ERO system

Policy Document

Cumulative Effects Assessment (CEA) in Air Approvals Cumulative Effects Assessment (CEA) in Air Approvals (118 KB)

For more information on the CEA, please contact Marnie Freer.