Weekly Compliance Digest – Canada Air Pollutants Regulations
Multi-Sector Air Pollutants Regulations
What is it?
On June 29, 2016, Multi-Sector Air Pollutants Regulations were published in the Canada Gazette. The regulations set mandatory national performance standards for the cement sector and two equipment types used in several industrial sectors: Gaseous-fossil-fuel-fired boilers and heaters, and 2) stationary spark-ignition gaseous-fuel-fired engines. For the purpose of protecting the environment and human health, the regulations establish requirements for the emission of the following air pollutants:
- NOx (nitrogen oxide) from boilers and heaters in certain regulated facilities in various industrial sectors.
- NOx from stationary spark-ignition engines that combust gaseous fuels in certain regulated facilities in various industrial sectors.
- NOx and SO2 (sulphur dioxide) from cement manufacturing facilities.
Actions to manage industrial emissions currently vary across Canada and the requirements are different from one province or territory to another. In addition, air pollutants travel across provincial boundaries and to and from the U.S. Such inter-jurisdictional issues are federal responsibility in Canada.
In October 2012, ministers of the environment across Canada, with the exception of Québec, agreed to implement a Canada-wide Air Quality Management System (AQMS). AQMS is a harmonized approach to air quality management across Canada, where all levels of government work together to respond to the different air quality challenges in the country. Québec has its own Clean Air Regulation and supports the general objectives of AQMS.
While federal, provincial and territorial governments continue to work together under the auspices of the AQMS, federal action is taken to establish a nationally consistent approach to reduce industrial air pollutant emissions.
Who is affected?
The regulations affect the cement sector and several industrial sectors based on the type of emissions source. Regulated facilities affected by requirements regarding emissions of NOx from boilers and heaters include:
- Oil and gas facilities
- Oil sands facilities
- Chemicals facilities
- Nitrogen-based fertilizer facilities
- Pulp and paper facilities
- Base metals facilities
- Potash facilities
- Alumina facilities and aluminum facilities
- Power plants
- Iron, steel and ilmenite facilities
- Iron ore pelletizing facilities
- Cement manufacturing facilities
Regulated facilities affected by requirements regarding emissions of NOx from stationary spark-ignition engines are the same as above, but also include petroleum refineries.
What are the requirements?
An article from OHS Insider summarizes the key requirements, which include:
- Mandatory performance standards specific to each sector or equipment group, including emissions intensity limits for each targeted emissions source.
- Reporting requirements (e.g. due dates of reports, information required on the reports, etc.).
- Requirements for Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems (CEMS), which a facility must comply with if it uses a CEMS to determine its emissions intensity.
What is next?
The new regulations were finalized and took effect on June 17, 2016. Deadlines for specific requirements range from January 1, 2018 to January 1, 2036.
Companies can successfully satisfy requirements from air pollutants regulations by using a software application that embeds sophisticated capabilities performing complex calculations at high volume, and on an on-going basis, to ensure accuracy of air emissions calculations throughout all facilities.
Visit Enablon Insights again next Friday for a brand new Weekly Compliance Digest!