Amendments to the Petroleum Refining - Industry Standards under the Local Air Quality Regulation (O. Reg. 419/05)

ERO number
019-1752
Notice type
Bulletin
Act
Environmental Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Bulletin posted
Last updated

This notice is for informational purposes only. There is no requirement to consult on this initiative on the Environmental Registry of Ontario. Learn more about the types of notices on the registry.

Bulletin summary

The ministry is providing temporary relief to four petroleum refining facilities in Ontario for routine inspections and surveys in the Petroleum Refining Industry Standard, reducing inspections and surveys from three to two times in 2020. This will support physical distancing measures needed to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Why consultation isn't required

The health and well-being of Ontarians is the government’s number one priority. These are unprecedented times and this serious situation has evolved quickly. That is why our government has taken decisive action to do whatever we can to keep individuals and families safe and stop the spread of the outbreak.

As the COVID-19 outbreak evolves, we are working to ensure our government is able to quickly respond to time-sensitive needs so important operations can continue and goods and services can be delivered to the people of Ontario. That is why we have temporarily exempted the requirement to post proposals for acts, regulations, policies and instruments to the Environmental Registry for up to 30 days after Ontario’s Declaration of Emergency is lifted.

Environmental protections continue to be a priority in all government decision-making.

We are committed to continuing public transparency on environmental decision making and have posted this bulletin to inform the public about our decisions during this unprecedented emergency period.

Bulletin details

Nothing is more important than protecting the health and well-being of Ontarians.

Ontario recognizes the impact the COVID-19 outbreak has had on the regulated community and is taking necessary steps to protect the health of all Ontarians while ensuring continuity of important operations.

While environmental protection remains a priority, we recognize that in some cases temporary relief from certain regulatory requirements may be needed for some operations to support physical distancing and staff shortages.

Amendments to the Petroleum Refining Industry Standard will reduce the number of required inspections and surveys from three to two times in 2020.

These steps are temporary during this unprecedented emergency period. These actions are to support physical distancing and ensure operations can continue and goods and services can be delivered to the people of Ontario.

Reducing required surveys

Currently, registered petroleum refineries are required to conduct three Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) surveys per year. The purpose of these surveys is to identify components, such as valves, that are leaking so that they can be quantified and repaired. We are amending the industry standard to require only two surveys in 2020 to help support physical distancing.

Reducing required inspections

There are also existing requirements in the industry standard for three inspections of storage tanks and primary oil/water separators per year. We are amending the industry standard to require only two inspections of storage tanks and primary oil/water separators in 2020 to help support physical distancing.

Ongoing requirements to manage risk to communities

The regulation continues to require ongoing Property Line Monitoring and all other requirements such as using vapour tight cargo loading tanks and record keeping remain in place to help manage risk to the surrounding communities. Property Line Monitoring will continue to be required during this period and could identify issues and allow the ministry to take actions as needed.

In addition to the monitoring that occurs through the Clean Air Sarnia and Area (CASA) network, the ministry operates two temporary air monitoring stations in the Sarnia area. The instruments at these stations provide real-time (i.e., hourly) measurements of key contaminants such as benzene and sulphur dioxide. They are located at strategic locations and they also measure wind speed and wind direction.

The ministry checks the data regularly and the stations are set to automatically notify ministry staff if elevated concentrations are measured. This enables the ministry to quickly follow up with local facilities whose emissions could be impacting the monitors.

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