Proposal for a declaration order to exempt Stelco Inc’s proposed 262.5 kilovolt transformer station from the requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act

ERO number
019-2724
Notice type
Regulation
Act
Environmental Assessment Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Notice stage
Proposal
Proposal posted
Comment period
February 17, 2021 - March 19, 2021 (30 days) Open
Last updated

This consultation closes at 11:59 p.m. on:
March 19, 2021

Proposal summary

Stelco Inc. has requested a declaration order from the ministry that would exempt the planning, designing, establishing, constructing, operating, changing, expanding and retiring of a 262.5 kilovolt transformer station, located at its Lake Erie Works facility in Nanticoke, Ontario, from the requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act.

Proposal details

Stelco Inc. (Stelco) plans to build a new electricity generation facility at its existing Lake Erie Works facility (i.e.,steel plant) in Nanticoke, Ontario. It would:

  • use already produced by-product gases to create electricity for Stelco’s steel plant
  • include a new 262.5-kilovolt transformer station

The planning, designing, establishing, constructing, operating, changing, expanding and retiring of the 262.5-kilovolt transformer station (the proposed project) would typically be subject to the requirements of the Class Environmental Assessment for Minor Transmission Facilities (Class EA).

If this proposed declaration order is approved, it would allow Stelco to proceed with the proposed project without having to meet the requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act as set out in the Class EA.

Purpose of the proposed project

The proposed project would be located at the site of the existing Stelco Lake Erie Works facility located towards the western border of Haldimand County, along the shore of Lake Erie in Nanticoke, Ontario.

The purpose of the Stelco’s proposed electricity generation facility is to:

  • recover by-product gases at its existing Lake Erie Works site and
  • generate electricity for use at the steel facility

Currently, the by-product gas produced at the Lake Erie Works site is flared off. The proposed transformer station is a critical component to the by-product energy recovery electricity generation process.

The proposed transformer station would transfer power generated by the by-product energy recovery electricity generation system to a form that could be used by other facilities on the Stelco Lake Erie Works site. Without the transformer station component, the energy recovered by the electricity generating facility would not be at a voltage that would be usable at the Stelco Lake Erie Works site.

Declaration considerations

If the proposed declaration order is approved, it would reduce unnecessary delays to the construction schedule for the proposed transformer station. Stelco has already begun construction on other components of the electricity generation facility. If a Class EA process were required, it could take up to 27 months to complete. Construction of the proposed transformer station is anticipated to begin in Spring 2021.

Potential environmental impacts

Stelco has identified that the potential environmental impacts associated with the new transformer station may include:

  • Short-term construction related impacts, including spills.
  • Noise

The proposed transformer station would be located within the boundaries of Stelco’s Lake Erie Works site, an already heavily industrialized area. The company has identified that it will implement a Spill Prevention and Contingency Plan, which would be in place during the construction period. For these reasons, the proposed transformer station is expected to have minimal potential impacts on the environment and surrounding area.

Overall, the proposed electricity generation facility would have a positive impact by helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the site. The electricity generation facility would also help Stelco to:

  • grow and create additional jobs;
  • reduce the demand on the provincial electricity grid during peak hours at the Lake Erie Works site.

If Stelco’s request for a declaration order is approved, all requirements under the Environment Assessment Act would be removed. No conditions are anticipated in the proposed declaration order, since the impacts of the proposed transformer station are expected to be minimal.

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