New technical standard for the asphalt mix industry

ERO number
013-3363
Notice type
Policy
Act
Environmental Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Notice stage
Proposal
Proposal posted
Comment period
March 12, 2019 - May 11, 2019 (60 days) Closed

This consultation was open from:

March 12, 2019
to May 11, 2019

Proposal summary

We are proposing a new technical standard for the asphalt mix industry. This will address air emissions and help protect communities who live close to these industrial sources.

Proposal details

Technical standards in Ontario

This proposal is for a technical standard under the local air quality regulation for the asphalt mix industry.

A technical standard is a technology-based solution designed for two or more facilities in a sector that may not be able to meet an air standard for technical or economic reasons. This is a sector-based compliance approach under the local air quality regulation.

There are two types of technical standards:

  • industry standards regulate all sources of a specified contaminant(s) within an industry sector
  • equipment standards address a source of contaminant, but may apply to one or multiple industry sectors.

In 2013, the Ontario Asphalt Pavement Council (OAPC) asked us to develop an industry standard for benzo(a)pyrene. The air standard for this contaminant was updated in July 2016.

Read more about the rules on air quality and pollution in Ontario.

Proposed industry standard

The proposed industry standard:

  • includes all reasonably anticipated contaminants discharged from an asphalt mix facility
  • would apply to asphalt facilities identified as part of NAICS code 324121.

The dominant sources of key contaminants from this sector consist of:

  • storage of asphalt cement material
  • manufacturing and handling of the hot mix asphalt
  • emissions from the combustion equipment
  • storage areas, aggregate handling and storage.

Key proposed requirements include:

  • monitoring storage asphalt cement storage temperature
  • monitoring asphalt mix production temperature to reduce the emissions
  • mandatory air scavenging system
  • chemical dust suppressant application and /or maintaining a moisture level preventing the particulates discharge
  • annual monitoring reports including a summary of actions taken to address exceedances of production temperatures
  • operating and monitoring requirements
  • requirements to make operational adjustments (when deviations occur)
  • complaint response procedures
  • requirements to maintain existing air pollution controls or management methods at the facility (even it is not specified in the proposed technical standard
  • public reporting, notification and recordkeeping requirements

Read more about the proposed requirements in the rationale document and the proposed Asphalt Mix - Industry Standard.

Once the industry standard is published, any facility in the sector (that may or may not meet the air standard) could apply to register under this compliance approach. This would involve a posting on the Environmental Registry and may involve additional public outreach. The goal is to have a more efficient tool to better manage air emissions and reduce overall exposure from various industrial and commercial facilities in a sector.

Background

We have been working with the members of the OAPC since 2013 as part of a technical committee.

The air standard for benzo(a)pyrene was updated and came into effect July 1, 2016.

Starting in August 2016, facilities were expected to begin implementing key aspects of the proposed industry standard as part of an abatement plan aimed at improving operational practices. The requirements are proposed for facilities that register under this proposed industry standard.

Embedded in the proposed Asphalt Mix - Industry Standard are a combination of compliance approaches that link together to form a strategy to ensure:

  • facilities have greater accountability for self-assuring compliance and driving continuous improvement
  • facilities notify the ministry and follow up, when necessary, to ensure there is sufficient oversight
  • annual summary reports are signed by the highest ranking individual at the facility with management responsibilities.

Purpose of policy

The primary objective of an industry standard is to set requirements for the industry to use the best available air pollution control or best practices. This will modernize operations and reduce air emissions.

In practical terms, an industry standard provides a set of air pollution control requirements or best practices that focus on key contributors to off-site concentrations of priority air toxics. A facility that meets its obligations under an industry standard is in compliance with the regulation.

When we develop a proposed industry standard, we compare representative facilities in the sector to other similar facilities operating in other jurisdictions to determine whether similar requirements can be set for Ontario facilities. We also review of the specific sources of contaminant(s) for that sector, benchmarking of technologies and best management practices to address these sources, and consideration of economic issues that relate to the sector.

Regulating air contaminants in Ontario

We regulate contaminants in air because we want to be protective of communities who live close to industrial sites.

Ontario's Local Air Quality Regulation (O. Reg. 419/05: Air Pollution - Local Air Quality) works within the province's air management framework by regulating air contaminants released into communities by various sources including local industrial and commercial facilities.

Ontario has a unique regulatory approach to improving local air quality that starts with setting science-based standards to protect human health and the environment. While these standards may not always be achievable due to limitations in technology or economics, the goal is to reduce emissions through continuous improvement and best available technologies and practices over time.

Some facilities that are not able to meet an air standard may request a site-specific or technical standard. These standards require companies to invest in the best available technologies and practices to reduce air emissions and improve air quality over time.

These standards are all about getting new investments in modern air pollution controls with the goal of minimizing air pollution over time. We closely oversee the companies' progress to ensure they are achieving the desired results.

We have seen vast improvements to address air emissions as a result of our regulatory approach.

Site-specific and technical standards are developed with full public transparency through public meetings and consultations. We consult the public on all applications for site-specific and technical standards and public input plays an integral role in the ministry's review of proposals.

Facilities in a sector that are operating under an industry standard must focus on best practices and lower emissions to reduce risks to local communities. When we develop a proposed industry standard, key sources of contaminants are identified and prescribed steps and timelines are proposed to address them. Some facilities may also chose to register under the industry standard for contaminants where they meet the air standards. This allows them to be excluded from the modelling requirements for the contaminant(s) facility registered for and reduce regulatory burden and costs while focusing resources where needed to manage emissions.

A facility that meets its obligations under a technical standard is in compliance with the regulation for the registered contaminants.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Some supporting materials may not be available online. If this is the case, you can request to view the materials in person.

Get in touch with the office listed below to find out if materials are available.

Local Air Quality Permits
Address

40 St. Clair Avenue West
7th Floor
Toronto, ON
M4V 1M2
Canada

Office phone number

Comment

Commenting is now closed.

The comment period was from March 12, 2019
to May 11, 2019

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