Several recent updates to the Ontario Environmental Registry have been posted, including proposals with active comment periods and some major decisions.
The proposals recently posted regarding Greenhouse Gas (GHG) include the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-Carbon Economy Act, 2016 and Cap and Trade Regulatory Proposal and Revised Guideline for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting. The MOECC has also posted the final policy decision notice for the Delineation of ON Air Zones on March 9, 2016.
Proposals and final policy decisions for O. Reg. 419/05 Technical Standards for various industrial sectors were also posted on March 9, 2016, including:
Overviews of all recent postings, including applicable links, are outlined below.
Climate Change Mitigation and Low-Carbon Economy Act, 2016
Ontario is proposing to implement the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-Carbon Economy Act, 2016 (Bill). The purpose of this Act is to:
(a) to reduce greenhouse gas in order to respond to climate change, to
protect the environment and to assist Ontarians to transition to a
low-carbon economy; and
(b) to enable Ontario to collaborate and coordinate its actions with similar actions in other jurisdictions in order to ensure the efficacy of its regulatory scheme in the context of a broader international effort to respond to climate change.
The Bill outlines provisions under two main areas:
1. Emissions reduction targets and action plans, and
2. The cap and trade program and use of proceeds.
The proposed Bill was posted to the EBR on February 24, 2016 and the comment period is open until March 25, 2016. The full EBR post, including comment submission information, can be viewed below. Also provided is a link to the draft Bill.
Cap and Trade Regulatory Proposal and Revised Guideline for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting
Ontario is proposing to implement a greenhouse gas cap and trade program. A cap and trade program effectively reduces the amount of greenhouse gas pollution going into our atmosphere by setting a limit on emissions, rewarding innovative companies, providing certainty for industries, and creating more opportunities for investment.
The Ministry is now posting:
1. A regulatory proposal for a cap and trade regulation, which includes an appendix presenting detailed technical information for the distribution of allowances to eligible capped emitters for the first compliance period, details related to early reduction credits, and an overview of complementary amendments for the reporting regulation and incorporated guideline to support implementation of the cap and trade program. Following the 45 day consultation period, comments received will be considered and the content of this document, including the grey shaded boxes in the draft regulation, will be revised accordingly and integrated into the final cap and trade regulation.
2. A revised Guideline for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting.
The proposal has been posted for a 45 day public review and comment period starting February 25, 2016, with comments due by April 10, 2016. Please find links to the EBR posting and applicable documents below.
Draft Cap and Trade Regulation (PDF download)
Revised Guideline for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting (PDF download)
Delineation of ON Air Zones
Ontario is implementing the Air Quality Management System (the System) a flexible cross-Canada framework developed through the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment. The System is a comprehensive approach consisting of an interconnected set of drivers and mechanisms to achieve continuous improvements to overall air quality using an all sources approach.
Under the System, provinces and territories may delineate and manage air zones in a manner best suited to the environmental conditions and regional/local circumstances.
Ontario has finalized its decision to delineate its air zones consistent with the policy proposal posted for public consultation in June 2015.
Air Zone 1 - Areas with limited pollution from either point or non-point sources or transboundary influence; where air quality management activities are focused on maintaining good air quality.
Air Zone 2 - Areas under pressure from multiple sources including some or all of the following: non-point sources, smaller point sources, individual large industrial point sources, transboundary influences; where air quality management activities are focused on multiple broad-based initiatives targeting many sources.
Air Zone 3 - Areas with a concentration of large industrial sources; where air quality management activities are focused on the abatement of local industrial emissions as well as non-industrial sources.
The EBR policy decision was posted on March 9, 2016. Links to the post as well as information pertaining to this decision follow.
Description and Map of Air Zones (PDF download)
O. Reg. 419/05 Technical Standards
Several proposals and policy decisions regarding several industry specific under the Local Air Quality Regulation, O. Reg. 419/05 were posted to the EBR on March 9, 2016.
The primary objectives of a technical standard, under Ontario’s Local Air Quality Regulation, is to include requirements for the implementation of best available air pollution control. This will lead to modernization of operations and minimizing air pollution. In practical terms, a technical standard provides a prescriptive set of air pollution control requirements that focus on key contributors to off-site concentrations of priority air toxics. Details on the proposals and policy decisions posted on March 9, 2016, follow.
This proposal is to develop a Technical Standard under the local air quality regulation for the petroleum refining industry. A full summary of the proposed requirements can be viewed in the EBR post; links to additional information are also included below. A 90 day comment period is open until June 7, 2016, on this proposal.
Draft Rationale Report for Petroleum Refining Sector (PDF download)
Draft Petroleum Refining - Industry Standard (PDF download)
This proposal is to develop a Technical Standard under the local air quality regulation for the petrochemical industry sector. A full summary of the proposed requirements can be viewed in the EBR post; links to additional information are also included below. A 90 day comment period is open until June 7, 2016, on this proposal.
Draft Rationale Report for Petrochemical Sector (PDF download)
Draft Petrochemical - Industry Standard (PDF download)
The MOECC has amended the existing Foundries – Industry Standard (FIS), which is contained in the ministry’s “Technical Standard Publication” (see EBR # 010 -6588) and was published in 2009. A technical standard is a technology-based compliance approach designed for two or more facilities in a sector that are not able to meet one or more air standards due to technical or economic limitations.
Since 2009, the sector, as represented by the Canadian Foundry Association, requested an update of this technical standard to include additional contaminants. The 2009 version of the FIS allowed for registration of up to 111 contaminants, whereas this amendment now includes an additional 195 contaminants, totaling 306 contaminants available for registration. The registration of all of a foundry’s contaminants could eliminate the need for an annual Emission Summary and Dispersion Modelling (ESDM) report thereby reducing the regulatory burden for these small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Provisions in the technical standards will ensure that environmental performance in managing the releases of these contaminants is maintained.
Rationale Report - Foundries Industry Standard (Amendments) (PDF download)
In 2011, the Canadian Association for Surface Finishing (CASF) approached the MOECC with a request to develop a proposed Technical Standard under the Local Air Quality Regulation (O. Reg. 419/05) for chromium compounds (hexavalent forms) and nickel and nickel compounds. Air standards for both of these contaminants will come into effect July 2016.
As a result of the consultation of this proposal, there are 2 significant additions to the Metal Finishers - Industry Standard:
Facilities that operate in multi-tenant buildings will now have the option to use both a fume suppressant or wetting agent and an air pollution control device with local exhaust ventilation to minimize emissions or to replace make-up air filters, as per the original proposal.
Maintaining Negative Building Pressure:
Maintaining a negative pressure in key areas of the building will minimize fugitive emissions and improve the capture efficiency of the fume hoods so as to improve the control of emissions from processes in the building. The original proposal required facilities to maintain a negative pressure in the metal finishing tank areas and to assess this by maintaining a table of air flows entering and exiting the facility or area. Any facility will now have the option to either maintain a table of these air flows or to measure building pressure differential in 30 minute block averages. If the building pressure differential over a 30 minute block average is positive, facilities must make operational adjustments to self-correct. If there is a second measurement of a 30 minute block average showing positive pressure in the same day, this would be considered non-compliance and the facility is required to notify the ministry at the end of the calendar day of all the positive 30 minute block averages of the calendar day.
A summary of the policy decision as well as applicable documents can be viewed using the links below.
Rationale Report - Metal Finishers - Industry Standard (PDF download)
For more information in regards to the above policy proposals and decision or O. Reg. 419/05 information, please contact Marnie Freer.