Harper Government announces first-ever mandatory national emission standards for major industries

Canadians getting new regulations for cleaner air

GATINEAU, QC, June 3, 2014 /CNW/ - Minister Aglukkaq announced today that the Government of Canada will, for the first time, regulate industrial air pollutant emissions through requirements in the proposed Multi-Sector Air Pollutants Regulations.

These regulations will contribute significantly to lower smog levels and better air quality overall for Canadians. It is estimated that these regulations will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3.4 megatonnes between 2013 and 2035.

The first phase of requirements includes industrial boilers and heaters, stationary engines, such as those used for gas compression or back-up generators, and the cement manufacturing sector. This is a key part of the federal responsibility for implementing the new Air Quality Management System.

For the past several years, the Government of Canada has collaborated extensively with representatives from provinces, territories, industry, and non-government organizations to lay the foundation for the requirements in these new regulations.

This is the latest federal action to provide cleaner air in Canada. In 2013, the Government of Canada announced the new Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards (for ozone and particulate matter) to reduce smog-forming emissions and that Canada intends to align transportation-related air pollutant emission standards with the more stringent Tier 3 standards proposed in the United States.

Quick Facts

  • Environment Canada's economists have projected that, from the period between 2013 to 2035, the net health benefits to Canadians resulting from regulating emissions from the cement manufacturing sector will be $1.4 billion, from boilers and heaters will be $1.1 billion, and from gas-fired engines will be $6.5 billion.
  • Net health and environmental benefits will be 15 to 34 times greater than the costs of implementing these new regulations.
  • Nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from regulated boilers and heaters are expected to be reduced by about 227,000 tonnes between 2013 to 2035. Using 2012 as the reference year, this is equivalent to eliminating an entire year's worth of the NOx emissions from electric power generation, and commercial and residential fuel combustion.
  • Nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from regulated stationary engines are expected to be reduced by about 1.8 megatonnes between 2013 and 2035. This is almost twice the amount of NOx that Canada's entire mobile fleet—cars, trucks, planes, trains, tractors and other industrial equipment—emitted in 2011. 
  • Sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from regulated kilns in the cement sector are expected to be reduced respectively by 96,000 tonnes and 63,000 tonnes between 2017 to 2035. For sulphur dioxide (SO2), this is roughly the amount of sulphur dioxide in solid form that would fill 600 railcars, and 380 railcars for nitrogen oxides.


"The Harper Government is committed to cleaner air for Canadians—for today, and for future generations. With today's proposed regulations we are taking real, tangible actions by establishing, for the first time, mandatory national air pollutant emissions standards for major industrial facilities across the country. Thanks to our actions, the reduction of nitrogen oxides in the air we breathe will be equivalent to removing four million cars from the road."

- The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, and Minister for the Arctic Council

"The Government is taking action to preserve and protect our clean air. The regulations announced today speak to the strong commitment the Government shares with the provinces, territories and stakeholders to reduce smog and ensure better air quality for Canadians."

- Royal Galipeau, Member of Parliament, Ottawa- Orléans

"The Asthma Society of Canada welcomes the proposed Multi-Sector Air Pollutants Regulations aimed at reducing industrial air emissions and improving air quality in Canada. This is a positive step toward improving the quality of the air that is inhaled daily by the three million Canadians with asthma. Specifically targeting nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, volatile organic compounds and particulate matter is key to improving the respiratory health of Canadians. We are encouraged by these new Regulations and the collaborative process that took place and look forward to collaborations with other industries to ensure that Canada has the cleanest air possible, especially for those with asthma and respiratory allergies."

- Robert Oliphant, President and CEO, Asthma Society of Canada

"The cement industry supports these new regulations. We were the first industrial sector to conclude discussions with the government and other stakeholders on the performance standards that would apply to our cement plants. We believe that the development of the regulations benefited from the multi-stakeholder process."

- Michael McSweeney, President and CEO, Cement Association of Canada

Related Product

For more information and to view a backgrounder on this announcement, please visit the Web site of Environment Canada.

SOURCE: Environment Canada

For further information:

Amanda Gordon
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of the Environment

Media Relations
Environment Canada

Environment Canada's Twitter page: http://twitter.com/environmentca

Environment Canada's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/environmentcan


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