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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.

Recent EBR Decisions - Cumulative Effects, ACB List and Toxics Reduction Act/O. Reg. 455/09

     Posted by LEHDER News on

The MOECC has posted multiple decisions recently to the Environmental Registry of Ontario (ERO, formerly referred to as the Environmental Registry, or EBR).  A brief overview and links to the appropriate documents/ ERO postings are available below.


Amendments to Ontario Regulation 455/09 and Creation of a New Services Documents Regulation under the Toxics Reduction Act

Decision Posted: April 24, 2018
ERO Number: 012-8583

Decision Summary

We have changed when facilities have to review their toxic reduction plans. This will help to align the first two plan reviews with federal timelines and ensure facilities plan and report on current and relevant toxic substances. We also made a new regulation to provide more options to serve documents making it consistent with other regulations.

The full EOR posting is available at https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/012-8583?mc_cid=3b1a5feaf0&mc_eid=4e23b95e90


Cumulative Effects Assessment in Air Approvals

Decision Posted: April 26, 2018
ERO Number: 013-1680

Decision Summary

We have a new policy to improve how we consider cumulative impacts from multiple air pollution sources. The policy applies to air emissions of benzene and benzo[a]pyrene in the Hamilton/Burlington area and benzene in the Sarnia/Corunna area.

Note: This will guide decisions on ECAs for new or expanding facilities and will apply to all ECA applications submitted after October 1, 2018.

The full ERO posting is available at https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/013-1680; a copy of the policy is also provided below.

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


New/Updated Screening Levels for the Air Contaminants Benchmarks (ACB) List

Decision Posted: April 27, 2018
ERO Number: 013-2207

Decision Summary

We have updated the Air Contaminants Benchmarks (ACB) list with new or updated screening levels for over 4,500 air contaminants.

Note: This update to the ACB list also includes the new and updated air standards for sulphur dioxide, announced on March 20, 2018 (ERO# 013-0903)

The full ERO posting is available at https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/013-2207

 

EBR Posting - Cumulative Effects Assessment in Air Approvals

     Posted by LEHDER News on

Cumulative Effects Assessment in Air ApprovalsOn November 9, 2017, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change posted a new proposed policy regarding Cumulative Effects Assessment (CEA) in air approvals on the EBR (EBR Registry #013-1680). The intent is to more effectively consider cumulative impacts from both industrial and non-industrial air pollution sources.

The proposed policy applies to air emissions of benzene and benzo[a]pyrene in the Hamilton/Burlington area and benzene in the Sarnia/Corunna area.  A comment period of 90 days is in effect; comments must be submitted by February 7, 2018.

Relevant documentation and comment submission information is provided below.


Proposal for Cumulative Effects Assessment (CEA) in Air Approvals Proposal for Cumulative Effects Assessment (CEA) in Air Approvals (132 KB)


Discussion Paper: Cumulative Effects Assessment in Air Approval Discussion Paper: Cumulative Effects Assessment in Air Approval (361 KB)

All comments on this proposal must be directed to:

Lubna I. Hussain
Manager
Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
Environmental Sciences and Standards Division
Standards Development Branch
40 St. Clair Avenue West
Floor 7
Toronto Ontario
M4V 1M2
Phone: (416) 212-0081
Fax: (416) 327-9187

To submit a comment online, click the submit button below:

For more information, please contact Penny McInnis.

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.

Pre-Notification of Updates to Ontario’s Air Dispersion Models

     Posted by LEHDER News on

On Monday October 2, 2017,  the MOECC issued the pre-notification for updates to the air dispersion models utilized for Ontario Regulatio 419/05: Air Pollution - Local Air Quality.  The pre-notification details are provided below but can also be found at https://www.ontario.ca/page/pre-notification-updates-ontarios-air-dispersion-models

Ontario will be adopting new air dispersion models that are based on latest available science, to provide clarity and consistency to the regulated community and stakeholders.

Ontario’s local air quality regulation (O. Reg. 419/05: Air Pollution – Local Air Quality) under the Environmental Protection Act is part of the province’s air management framework. It regulates air contaminants released into communities by various sources, including local industrial and commercial facilities.

The regulation includes three compliance approaches for industry to demonstrate environmental performance and make improvements when required. Industry can:

  • meet the air standard
  • request and meet a site-specific standard,
  • or register and meet the requirements under a sector-based technical standard (if available).

Most Ontario facilities are regulated by the air standards compliance approach (i.e., meet the air standard), although all three approaches are allowable under the regulation. Models are part of the air standards and site-specific standards compliance approaches. Section 6 of O. Reg. 419/05 provides a list of approved dispersion models for use in assessing compliance with air standards or site-specific standards under the regulation. Currently, the approved dispersion models include:

1. The AERMOD dispersion model (version 14314) and AERMET meteorological preprocessor (version 14314) available from the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) website.

2. The ASHRAE method of calculation. Section 1(1) of O. Reg. 419/05 defines the “ASHRAE method of calculation” to mean the method of calculation described in Chapter 44 (Building Air Intake and Exhaust Design) of the 2015 ASHRAE Handbook — HVAC Applications, published by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.

3. The SCREEN3 dispersion model on the USEPA’s website, or available from the MOECC.

4. The method of calculation required by the Appendix to Regulation 346, if section 19 of O. Reg. 419/05 applies to the discharges.

In addition, section 13 of O. Reg. 419/05 references regional surface and upper air meteorological data for use with AERMOD that must be processed by the AERMET computer program.

Under subsection 177 (6) of the Environmental Protection Act, the adoption of an amendment to a document that has been incorporated by reference (e.g. AERMOD/AERMET/ASHRAE), comes into effect once the MOECC publishes a notice of the amendment in either The Ontario Gazette or the Environmental Registry under the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR), 1993.

Accordingly, in April 2018 the MOECC will be posting an Information Notice on the Environmental Registry to replace current regulatory air dispersion models under O. Reg. 419/05 with the following updated model versions:

  • AERMOD dispersion model
    • Will be updated to AERMOD version 16216r (version date December 20, 2016)
  • AERMET meteorological pre-processor
    • Will be updated to AERMET version 16216 (version date December 20, 2016), and
  • ASHRAE method of calculation
    • Will be updated to Chapter 45 (Building Air Intake and Exhaust Design) of the 2015 ASHRAE Handbook – HVAC Applications

The ministry will make the approved dispersion models available through the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) website.

Ontario Regional Meteorological data sets that have been reprocessed with AERMET 16216 (version date December 20, 2016) will also be available at the above noted website link once the Information Notice is posted on the Environmental Registry (under EBR). Until that time, proponents may request copies of the re-processed meteorological datasets from the Environmental Monitoring and Reporting Branch at MetDataENE@ontario.ca.

Because air dispersion models will continue to evolve in the future, MOECC developed an implementation plan for model version updates, with input from stakeholders, which provides clarity. Key elements of this annual process include the following:

  • Monitoring and assessing regulatory model update developments on an ongoing basis and discussing with stakeholders, as required.
  • Notifying stakeholders, every year, six months in advance of formally adopting updated versions of the models. This will give facilities time to determine if they will be affected by model updates and if so, to contact their local district office for assistance in developing a path forward, as needed.
  • Posting an Information Notice on the Environmental Registry (EBR) six months following pre-notification to formally adopt the updated model versions. We will adopt updated model versions annually as necessary.
  • Updating regulatory data files/instruments, and guidance materials to reflect the adoption of updated model versions, as necessary.

Additional information may also be obtained from:

Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
Air Quality Monitoring and Transboundary Air Sciences Section
Environmental Monitoring and Reporting Branch
125 Resources Road, Toronto, ON M9P 3V6
E-mail: MetDataENE@ontario.ca
General Inquiries: 416-235-6171

For more information, please contact Penny McInnis.

Ontario Government - Red Tape Challenge for Chemical Manufacturing

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Chemical Manufacturing Comments for Red Tape ChallengeThe Government of Ontario is soliciting feedback regarding regulations affecting the chemical manufacturing industry, based upon the Red Tape Challenge.  Comments are currently being received on 148 different regulations which affect this industry until September 30, 2017.  A report with the consultation findings will be issued on March 30, 2018.

This government initiative is intended to provide an avenue for stakeholders to provide input on existing regulations to assist with updating, improving or eliminating the regulations pertaining to the chemical manufacturing industry.

Consultation on the following regulatory categories is currently available:

Comments can be provided by selecting the category above; more information regarding this consultation is available at:

https://talks.ontario.ca/redtapechallenge/

If you do not work within this industry, the Ontario Government is still interested in comments you may have pertaining to any of the regulations listed so please feel free to participate.

For more information, please contact Marnie Freer.

Environmental Registry Decision on Updated Guidelines for the Local Air Quality Regulation (O. Regulation 419/05: Air Pollution – Local Air Quality)

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On March 8, 2017, updated guidance documents for Local Air Quality Regulation (O. Regulation 419/05: Air Pollution – Local Air Quality) were posted to the Environmental Registry. 

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change has updated guidance on technical requirements that support the ministry’s risk framework for air standards, site-specific standard, technical standards and Upper Risk Thresholds (URTs) under the Local Air Quality Regulation (O. Regulation 419/05: Air Pollution – Local Air Quality) made under the Environmental Protection Act. The web links and documents for the updated documents are provided below:

Guideline for the Implementation of Air Standards in Ontario (Guideline A-12)

Guideline for the Implementation of Air Standards in Ontario (GIASO) Guideline for the Implementation of Air Standards in Ontario (GIASO) (3619 KB)

Guide to Requesting a Site-Specific Standard

Guide to Requesting a Site-specific Standard Guide to Requesting a Site-specific Standard (1552 KB)

Guide to Applying for Registration to the Technical Standards Registry – Air Pollution


The full EBR post can be viewed here:

https://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/displaynoticecontent.do?noticeId=MTI1MDMz&statusId=MTk0OTI0&language=en

For more information on these guidance documents, please contact Marnie Freer.

Ontario's First Cap and Trade Auction Scheduled for March 22, 2017

     Posted by LEHDER News on

Aird & Berlis article on Ontario Cap and Trade Auction, March 22, 2017On February 6, 2017, the Mondaq Business Briefing posted an article written by David Stevens, Partner with Aird & Berlis LLP, in regards to the forthcoming Ontario Cap and Trade Auction of GHG Allowances.  The full post can be viewed here; the article content is also provided for you below.

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change has released an Auction Notice for the Ontario Cap and Trade Program Auction of Greenhouse Gas Allowances to be held on March 22, 2017. This is the first public auction to be held. It follows a "practice auction" that was held earlier in January 2017 to help registered participants in the Cap and Trade program prepare for the official auctions.

As required by the Cap and Trade Program Regulation, the Auction Notice includes details about the upcoming auction, including:

  • Timing: The March 2017 Ontario Auction #1 is scheduled to take place on March 22, 2017 from 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) until 4:00 p.m. ET (the auction bidding window). Registered participants in the Cap and Trade program can access the online Auction Platform at that time.

  • Allowances Offered for Sale: Allowances offered during an auction are created under the Ontario Cap and Trade program. Allowances offered are for the current vintage budget year (2017) or future vintage budget year (2020), where 'vintage' refers to the year for which they are created. There will be approximately 25 million current vintage allowances offered (Current Auction), along with approximately 3 million 2020 vintage allowances (Advance Auction).

  • Auction Reserve Prices: The Auction Reserve Price is the minimum price at which allowances offered in the Current Auction and Advance Auction will be sold. Bids submitted with a bid price below the Auction Reserve Price will not be accepted. The Ontario Auction Reserve Price will be determined as the higher of the most-recently published California and Québec Annual Auction Reserve Price after applying the exchange rate established for the auction. Presently, the California Reserve Price is higher, at a value of US $13.57 (applicable to both Current and Advance Allowances). The actual Auction Reserve Prices that will apply will be displayed on the Auction Platform prior to the opening of the auction bidding window.

  • Auction Application Requirements and Instructions and Schedule: There are detailed requirements for parties to apply to participate in the auction process, and to establish the required accounts (see here). The deadline to apply to participate in the first auction is February 21, 2017.

  • Auction Procedures: Participants will be able to submit bids manually and upload bid schedules in a pre-defined Excel template in the Auction Platform during the scheduled 3-hour auction bidding window. Bidders submit bids in a single-round, sealed-bid auction format. Bid quantities can only be submitted in multiples of 1,000 allowances.

The Auction Summary Results Report will be released to the public on April 3, 2017. At the same time, the auction results will be available to qualified bidders. It will be interesting to compare the results in Ontario with the auction results seen for California and Quebec (discussed in earlier posts, here and here).

For more information in regards to Ontario's Cap and Trade Program, please contact Marnie Freer.

LEHDER 2017 Regulatory Reporting and Traning Calendars Available

     Posted by LEHDER News on

LEHDER 2016 CalendarsLEHDER is pleased to provide our clients with a Regulatory Reporting Calendar for important dates to remember for Ontario Reporting requirements.

Also available are LEHDER's 2017 in-class training calendars for both Alberta and Ontario. Additional information in regards to LEHDER's regulatory training capabilities are provided on the Regulatory Training page.

 Please feel free to download the documents from the links below.

LEHDER's regulatory training sessions occur in the spring and fall.  Additionally, LEHDER hosts webinars to provide updates to regulatory changes and updates.  To view the courses available in your region, please select the applicable category below.

For more information on LEHDER's regulatory training services, please contact Mark Roehler.

Recent EBR Postings - EASR & Cap and Trade Regulatory Decisions and the Air Contaminants Benchmarks (ACB) List

     Posted by LEHDER News on

Environmental RegistrySeveral important postings have been made to the Ontario Government's Environmental Registry (EBR) recently, including regulatory decisions on the Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR) and Cap and Trade Program, in addition to the release of the Air Contaminants Benchmarks (ACB) List.

Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR)

On September 26, 2016, the ministry posted a proposal for a regulation on the Environmental and Regulatory Registries that would require all but high risk and more complex activities with air and noise emissions to register in the Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR).

On January 4, 2017, the regulatory decision was posted to the EBR (Registry # 012-8646) to prescribe the activities noted above for the purposes of subsection 20.21 (1) of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA). The new EASR regulation made under EPA is: O. Reg. 1/17: Registrations Under Part II.2 of the Act –Activities Requiring Assessment of Air Emissions.

It is anticipated that a French version of the regulation will be available to the public in 2017. In the interim for all inquiries in French please contact Doris Dumais at (416) 327-9466 or doris.dumais@ontario.ca.

Key elements of O. Reg. 1/17 include:

  • A list of sectors, defined by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes and activities that have been deemed higher-risk or more complex and therefore are not prescribed by this EASR regulation. These higher risk sectors and activities include, for example: chemical manufacturing, cement manufacturing, mining, land disposal of waste, processing of metals outdoors etc.The requirement that assessments of discharges of contaminants from a facility to air, including noise and odour emissions, be prepared prior to registration and prior to making any modifications to confirm compliance with environmental standards and regulation requirements. These reports must be signed and sealed by a licensed engineering practitioner.
  • Operation and maintenance procedures, complaints reporting/recording requirements and record-keeping requirements.
  • The requirement for prescribed activities currently operating under an Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) to register under the Air Emissions EASR by January 31, 2027 or before making modifications to the facility or operation of the facility.The EASR publication incorporated by reference into the regulation that outlines limits and other mandatory requirements for facilities governed by the Air Emissions EASR regulation.

In general, the requirements set out in the Air Emissions EASR regulation are similar to the current environmental standards that have, to date, been implemented through the ECA process. The new EASR regulation will help provide more certainty for businesses and encourage growth, while protecting the environment and human health.

The ministry is also currently consulting on proposed amendments to O. Reg. 524/98 that would expand the current list of exemptions from section 9 of the EPA for low-risk activities/facilities (EBR # 012-8764). 

All supporting documents and additional information can be found on the EBR post for Registry #012-8646.

Cap and Trade Program

On December 28, 2016, the regulatory decision to proceed with amendments to the greenhouse gas cap and trade program was posted to the EBR (Registry # 012-8953).  The amendments include changes to the:

  • Cap and Trade Program Regulation (O. Reg. 144/16)
  • Methodology for Distribution of Ontario Emission Allowances Free of Charge
  • Quantification, Reporting and Verification of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Regulation (O. Reg. 143/16)
  • Guideline for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting


To review the full list of amendments and associated documentation, please refer to the full EBR post for Registry #012-8953.

Air Contaminants Benchmarks (ACB) List 

On January 4, 2017, a notice  was posted (Registry #012-9165) that the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) has prepared a document that compiles standards, guideline values and screening levels used to assess contaminants released to air. It serves as a single reference window and replaces the following documents:

  • Summary of Standards and Guidelines sorted by Chemical Abstracts Service (PIBS # 6569e01)
  • Summary of Standards and Guidelines sorted by Chemical Name (PIBS # 6569e01)
  • Jurisdictional Screening Level (JSL) List - A Screening Tool for Ontario Regulation 419 (PIBS #: 6547e)

The ACB List is intended for use primarily by an emitter who is required to prepare an Emission Summary and Dispersion Modelling (ESDM) report in accordance with Ontario’s Regulation 419/05 Air Pollution – Local Air Quality (“the Local Air Quality Regulation” or “the Regulation”) made under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA).

The ACB List includes the following benchmarks:

  • Benchmark 1 (B1) Values: Standards and guideline values
  • Benchmark 2 (B2) Values: Screening levels

Exceedence of a B1 value triggers specific actions under the Regulation. Exceedence of a B2 value triggers a toxicological assessment to determine the potential for an adverse effect.

The introduction of the ACB List is not a new policy
. The ACB List consolidates existing standards, guidelines and JSLs into one location.  Guidance on how to use the ACB List and the list itself are available through the ministry website at the link provided here