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In the province of Ontario, air quality and noise from industrial facilities are regulated under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) and the air pollution regulation, O. Reg. 419/05.  The overriding philosophy of the EPA and O. Reg. 419/05 is to ensure that emissions from a facility do not cause an adverse effect, or cause harm to people, the environment, or the loss of enjoyment of normal use of property.  For specific substances of concern, maximum concentrations at ground level are stated in the Regulation.  For these compounds, companies are required to demonstrate that the emitted concentrations will not exceed the specified regulated levels.  In Ontario, air pollution standards are based on the concentration of contaminants off property, referred to as the point of impingement (POI).  It should be noted that that the POI is defined as any point at or beyond the property boundary at which the highest concentration of a contaminant is expected as a result of the aggregate emissions of that contaminant originating from the facility.

The EPA stipulates that companies must obtain an Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA), formerly known as a Certificate of Approval (C of A), prior to the start of operations at the facility, introduction of a new process, or modification to an existing process that may discharge a contaminant into the natural environment.  At the stage of reviewing an Application for an ECA, the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) assesses the technical information and the predicted impact on local air quality.  Specifically, the concentration of all contaminants emitted by the facility must be lower than the limits set out by O. Reg. 419/05 at the POI.  The ECA is issued to the facility when the MOECC is assured that the contaminant emission concentrations from the facility at the POI are below the limits set out by O. Reg. 419/05, and that no adverse environmental impacts are likely to result from the operation of the facility.

Further, the Environmental Bill Registry (EBR) was established in 1994 to provide a formal framework for notifying the public about proposed legislation, policies, regulations and other legal instruments that could have a significant effect on the environment.  In addition to providing public notification of proposed initiatives, it also provides a forum for public discussion on proposed changes being made to their communities.  Any facility applying for an ECA has a description of their proposal posted on the EBR for a 45-day public comment period.  The government considers all public input before making the final decision as to whether to grant approval to the applicant.

It is the responsibility of the facilities to demonstrate compliance with contaminant emission standards and ensure that they have an ECA prior to operating equipment that requires approval.

Trinity Consultants has the knowledge, experience and resources to assist you with ECA applications for your facility.  For more information, please contact Suzy Sabanathan at (416) 391-2527 x22.