Regulation - Minister

Proposed Sector–Based Technical Standard to Manage Air Pollution for the Forest Products Sector

Regulation Number(s):
Ontario Regulation 419/05: Air Pollution – Local Air Quality
Instrument Type:
Regulation - Minister
Bill or Act:
Environmental Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990
Summary of Decision:
The Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) has filed amendments to Ontario Regulation 419/05: Air Pollution - Local Air Quality (O. Reg. 419/05), including a new approach for improving air pollution by allowing compliance to be assessed against a technical standard. This amending regulation was made under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA), and can be found via the hyperlink on the right side of his notice (see also EBR decision 010-6587). Environmental improvements achieved through these new legal requirements will improve local air quality, be more cost-effective and clarify rules for industry.

The amendments created the authority for the Minister to publish a Technical Standards Publication entitled: “Technical Standards to Manage Air Pollution” dated December 4, 2009, as amended from time to time. The “Technical Standard Publication” will be made available on the ministry's website and through the ministry’s Public Information Centre.

The “Technical Standard Publication”, dated December 4, 2009, contains version 1.0 of the Forest Products – Industry Standard. In general, this industry standard applies to wood products, pulp and paper, and sawmill facilities. The industry standard identifies technical and operational practices and solutions to better manage and reduce discharges of the contaminant acrolein. This new authority allows eligible facilities who register under the Forest Products – Industry Standard to replace current compliance requirements for acrolein under O. Reg. 419/05 with technical and operational requirements set out in the publication.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
Posting Date:
June 25, 2009
Summary of Proposal:
Under Ontario Regulation 419/05 (O. Reg. 419/05), air standards are set to protect against health and environmental effects—as opposed to setting standards that also consider technical or economic issues. Under the current regulatory framework, facilities are required to comply with these standards within specified time lines. Provisions exist for a facility that is unable to meet the standards within those timelines where they may submit a request for a site-specific alteration to a standard. Such requests are publicly transparent and must document technical (and, if requested, economic) challenges that will be factored into the decision to approve or deny the request.

In some cases, new or updated standards can affect multiple facilities in a sector. For example, in 2005, the MOE set a standard for acrolein that was to be phased in February 1, 2010. This standard is currently under review as a result of new scientific information. However, the Forest Products sector has raised issues about multiple facilities in this sector that may not be able to meet this standard by February 1, 2010.

Although O.Reg. 419/05 has a mechanism to address facilities that are unable to meet air standards by the phase-in date, it may only do so for each facility individually. MOE is proposing amendments to O. Reg. 419/05 to allow the Minister to have the authority to allow facilities in a sector to meet technical standards as opposed to contaminant-based standards. These technical standards would result in air quality improvements on a sector-basis as opposed to case-by-case for each site. The proposal is similar to what is already allowed under the alteration of standards process – except that the decision would be for a sector.

The proposed Forest Products Sector Technical Standard (which includes wood products, pulp and paper and sawmills) outlined in the attached document is intended to identify technical and operational practices and solutions to manage better, and reduce exposures to air toxics. It would establish consistent requirements across a sector, which a facility may choose to follow, rather than the current compliance requirements in O. Reg. 419/05.

It is proposed that a facility would have to register with the MOE for the sector-specific technical standard to apply. The registration of facilities would be posted on the MOE website so that the public is aware of the facility’s compliance requirements.
Contact Address:
Catherine Grant
Engineering Specialist, Air Standards & Risk Management
Ministry of the Environment
Environmental Sciences and Standards Division
Standards Development Branch
40 St. Clair Avenue West
Floor 7
Toronto Ontario
M4V 1M2
Phone: (416) 327-6600
Fax: (416) 327-2936
Effective Date:
December 22, 2009