UPDATE: In March 2023, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (“MECP”) approved the application. While CELA is disappointed with the approval of the application, the MECP did adopt OPG’s recommended action plan. You can read more about the decision and the conditions here.
This session took place on Thursday, September 15, 2022.
Click here to download the presentation slide deck.
Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) is a speciality legal aid clinic focused on environmental justice and the protection of low-income and vulnerable communities from environmental health impacts. The Community Advocacy & Legal Centre (CALC) is a non-profit community legal clinic that helps people living on a low income in Hastings, Prince Edward, and Lennox & Addington counties and Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory with their legal problems from our main office in Belleville, Ontario.
CELA and CALC co-hosted a free webinar on September 15 to provide the community with information about a recent application by Ontario Power Generation for a site-specific air pollution standard for its Lennox Generating Station.
If granted, the facility would be entitled to exceed the provincial air pollution standard for sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen and sulphuric acid for a 10-year period. Sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, and sulphuric acid emissions may cause impacts to human health, especially in combination with emissions from other industrial facilities in the area. The facility is located close to Bath and Napanee.
The webinar provided legal information on:
1- What is the Environmental Registry of Ontario and how can the public make comments on this proposal?
2- Why is it important to comment on the Environmental Registry of Ontario posting?
3- What is a site-specific standard?
4- How do the air pollution standards OPG is requesting compare to the provincial standards?
What’s the issue?
Ontario Power Generation (“OPG”) – Lennox Generating Station (“Lennox Generating Station”) has requested a site-specific standard approval for sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, and sulphuric acid from the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, for a 10-year period from (2022-2032). This means that OPG has requested an exemption from provincially-regulated emissions standards and is asking the province to allow them to pollute more.
Why is this important for the community?
Sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, and sulphuric acid emissions may cause important impacts to human health, especially in combination with emissions from other industrial facilities in the area. The facility is located close to the towns of Bath and Napanee.
This is especially concerning considering the amounts of requested emissions. For example, the provincial air standard for sulphur dioxide is 690 µg/m3; in 2023, the province will be lowering this standard to only 100 µg/m3; but OPG has requested approval to emit 2026 µg/m3. That’s over 20 times higher than the standard coming into effect next summer.
The provincial government is planning on lowering these standards for important reasons: the main one being human health. If OPG is granted this approval, the people who live in proximity to the generating station could suffer from adverse health impacts, such as respiratory problems, stemming from a variety of pollutants being emitted in their local area.
How do I get involved?
You can submit your concerns about this proposal through the Environmental Registry of Ontario. Public comments are due to the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks on this proposal by September 29, 2022.
The posting can be found here: Ontario Power Generation Inc. – Approval of a site-specific air standard | Environmental Registry of Ontario
And you can submit your comments here: Submit a comment