Ontario has significantly reduced the air emissions reporting burden on industries and institutions by cutting back reporting requirements under O. Reg. 127/01. Many of the substances were already reportable to the federal NPRI. But 55 of the Ontario-specific substances were de-listed because data indicated they present minimal risk to the environment and human health.
Reducing reportable contaminants from 350 substances to 15 substances,
Removing smog season and quarterly reporting requirements,
Exempting commercial and educational facilities (universities, colleges, office buildings, hotels, shopping centres),
Removing special requirements for electricity generators.
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The text of MOE's February 15 Backgrounder is reproduced below:
HARMONIZING ONTARIO AND FEDERAL AIR EMISSIONS REPORTING SYSTEMS
Ontario's Regulation 127/01 - Airborne Contaminant Discharge Monitoring and Reporting - has been amended to eliminate duplication with the federal reporting system, while maintaining Ontario's high standard of environmental reporting and the public's right to know, without compromising the protection of human health and the environment.
Currently, Ontario facilities must report on their air emissions annually to both the provincial and federal governments. Although facilities report through a national, on-line reporting system, Ontario-based facilities were required to submit the same information twice in response to different data requirements of the two governments - costing them time, money and resources.
Following several years of data analysis and stakeholder consultations, the Ministry of the Environment has amended O. Reg. 127/01 to:
- Reduce the airborne contaminant list from over 350 substances of interest to 15
- Remove the smog season and quarterly reporting requirements
- Remove special rules applied to particular facilities
- Remove special reporting requirements concerning the type of energy source and the amount of electricity produced by electricity generation facilities.
Of the substances being de-listed, approximately 280 are already required to be reported nationally to Environment Canada (EC) through the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) program. Of the remaining 70 Ontario-specific substances previously listed in Ontario Regulation 127/01, but not covered by the NPRI program, the Joint O. Reg. 127/NPRI Stakeholder Work Group recommended that 55 of them be de-listed as they present minimal risk to the environment and human health.
Reducing The Airborne Contaminant List
National consultations have already begun on the possibility of EC incorporating Ontario's reduced list of substances into the national database - NPRI. In the meantime, EC has agreed to accept emission reports from Ontario-based facilities on these 15 substances, under Ontario's legal authority.
The NPRI is an online emissions database system managed by EC and is a comprehensive tool for identifying emission sources of pollution in Canada. Data collected by the NPRI is used to assess pollution risks to the environment and human health, and to help set monitoring indicators for the quality of our air, land, and water. The NPRI is an indicator for corporate environmental performance and is the only national, legislated, publicly accessible inventory of its kind in Canada.
Removing Specific Reporting Requirements
Smog season and quarterly reports will continue to be available from EC's NPRI database
Special reporting requirements concerning electricity generation facilities will continue to be available through Ontario's Emissions Trading regulation.
Removing Special Rules Applied to Particular Facilities
In the case of a special facility, such as a university, college, office building, hotel or shopping centre, those reporting requirements were removed because NPRI's reporting requirements provide the same level of information.
Overall, the government's effort to reduce the regulatory burden and duplicate reporting will save approximately 4,000 facilities more than an estimated $2 million annually. The improvements will make reporting easier and more effective for industry and government, and will make the reporting process more efficient upon full-harmonization - all without compromising environmental protection and human health.
The ministry will continue to review and set emission standards based on the best available science, and protect air quality in Ontario through stringent regulations, targeted enforcement and a variety of innovative air quality initiatives.