As you may recall, in September 2022 CELA hosted a webinar and made a submission to the Ontario government via the Environmental Registry of Ontario regarding Ontario Power Generation Inc.’s (“OPG”) application for a site-specific air pollution standard for its Lennox Generating Station, located at 7263-33 Highway West, Bath, ON.
On March 20, 2023, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (“MECP”) approved the site specific standard (“SSS”) application under the Environmental Protection Act.
The MECP approved the SSS for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and sulphuric acid for Ontario Power Generation’s Lennox Generating Station for a 10-year period.
While CELA is disappointed with the approval of the SSS, the MECP did adopt OPG’s recommended action plan. Below are some conditions that were implemented:
- Reduce the emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulphuric acid associated with periods when the facility uses residual fuel oil;
- Purchase cleaner residual fuel oil with a lower sulphur content no greater than 0.5 percent (by weight) starting immediately for the entire duration of the site-specific standard approval;
- Purchase a minimum of 50,000 barrels of fuel with a sulphur content of 0.5 percent (by weight) or below before December 31, 2023, to reduce the sulphur content in the short term;
- Reduce sulphur content of the entire fuel inventory at Lennox station to an annual average of 0.6 percent (by weight) or lower within five (5) years from the issuance of the site-specific standards approval;
- Install and operate two ministry-approved monitoring stations and a meteorological tower in the areas where higher concentrations of sulphur dioxide are expected. These locations were selected based on a modelling and statistical analyses;
- Create a community liaison committee that includes interested local citizens, First Nations and Public Health representatives to provide timely and transparent information about operations and emissions and meet at least once a year;
- Notify the ministry and the public when two consecutive five-minute concentrations of sulphur dioxide exceed 530 micrograms per cubic metre or when the 1-hour concentration exceeds 320 micrograms per cubic metre through a notification system established through consultation with the community liaison committee, and;
- Notify the public and ministry in advance of peak use of residual fuel oil when high emissions of sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen are anticipated, and increased community exposures are expected and make monitoring information easily accessible to the public on a website.
We strongly encourage members of the public in the community to get involved with the liaison committee once it is created.
CELA hopes these conditions help ensure the highest degree of safeguards for both the surrounding community’s health and the environment.