New regulation under the Environmental Assessment Act which allows Ellsin Environmental to increase the quantity of tires they can thermally treat daily at their Sault Ste. Marie facility

ERO number
019-3370
Notice type
Regulation
Act
Environmental Assessment Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Notice stage
Decision
Decision posted
Comment period
March 19, 2021 - May 3, 2021 (45 days) Closed
Last updated

This consultation was open from:
March 19, 2021
to May 3, 2021

Decision summary

A regulation has been made allowing Ellsin Environmental to increase the quantity of tires they can thermally treat daily without carrying out additional EA work, given the extensive EA work already completed and the various other MECP approvals required for the project which ensure environmental protections are maintained.

Decision details

New regulation made under the Environmental Assessment Act

Recovering value from waste is an essential component of Ontario’s commitment to divert waste from landfill. Ontario wants to support the establishment of thermal treatment facilities that recover valuable materials and support green economic recovery, while maintaining appropriate environmental protections.

On July 30, 2021, a regulation was made under the Environmental Assessment Act(Act) allowing Ellsin Environmental to increase the quantity of tires they can thermally treat daily (from 10 tonnes to 20 tonnes) and recover valuable materials at its thermal treatment facility in Sault Ste. Marie without needing to carry out additional requirements under the Act.

Specifically, the regulation exempts the establishing or changing of a thermal treatment facility at 155 yates avenue in Sault Ste. Marie from the Act, provided that:

  • The facility does not use coal, oil or petroleum coke as a fuel for thermal treatment
  • The waste that is subject to thermal treatment is tire waste
  • The maximum amount of tire waste thermally treated at the facility does not exceed 20 tonnes per day

The substantial work Ellsin Environmental completed during the previous Environmental Screening Process determined that the potential environmental effects from increasing the quantity of tires they can thermally treat daily are similar in nature to the existing environmental effects, since there will be no new infrastructure and the facility footprint will remain the same. Requiring Ellsin to conduct additional environmental assessment work would repeat consultation and evaluation already completed under the Environmental Screening Process.

With increased capacity, the facility is expected to result in an investment of $10 million into the community and create 15 new full-time jobs.

Protecting human health and the environment is our top priority. Ellsin Environmental is only exempt from the requirements of the Act for their thermal treatment facility in Sault Ste. Marie, provided, among other things, the facility does not thermally treat more than 20 tonnes of tire waste per day. Ellsin will still need to apply for amendments to their existing air & noise and waste environmental compliance approvals to increase their recycling capacity while continuing to maintain environmental protection.

Comments received

Through the registry

6

By email

5

By mail

0
View comments submitted through the registry

Effects of consultation

Feedback received

We received a total of 11 comments:

  • 6 comments through the registry posting
  • 5 direct emails

Some of the comments supported the development and the technology to be used in the proposal.

Some of the comments raised concerns about the following:

  • impacts on human health
  • reliance on previous environmental assessment work
  • production of updated data that demonstrates the emissions and releases from this facility with the changes in processing volumes
  • impacts from the thermal treatment process
  • cumulative effects of proximity to other facilities, including Algoma Steel Inc.

Ministry response

We have reviewed all of the submissions and have concluded that:

  1. Ellsin previously completed an assessment of environmental effects from the operation of a commercial facility treating 20 tonnes per day of tire waste as part of an Environmental Screening Process (a proponent driven, self-assessment process which applies to specific projects, including waste management projects) completed between 2017-2019. It is not necessary to repeat the work already completed.
  2. Environmental compliance approvals are required for all activities that discharge, or may discharge, a contaminant to the natural environment. An emission summary and dispersion modelling report (ESDM) must be submitted as part of an air environmental compliance approval application. The ESDM Report summarizes all air emissions emanating from the sources at a facility and assesses the offsite impacts against ministry standards and guidelines. The ministry sets terms and conditions when issuing or amending environmental compliance approvals that the company must comply with, which could include monitoring and steps the company must take to minimize and mitigate any adverse effect on the environment
  3. Ellsin’s Sault Ste. Marie facility is located in a heavily industrialized area near Algoma Steel Inc. and its operation is regulated by several permits and approval. Ellsin’s emissions are expected to be much lower than the neighbouring Algoma Steel facility.
  4. Ellsin must apply for amendments to their existing air, noise and waste environmental compliance approvals, to allow for the increased thermal treatment capacity while maintaining environmental protection. When the environmental compliance approval amendment applications are submitted, the ministry will undertake a detailed review. As part of the review, the air review engineer can further assess the impact of cumulative effects. This assessment can consider factors such as the relative contribution to point of impingement concentration of the Ellsin facility and the possibility of imposing conditions to minimize emissions.

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Original proposal

ERO number
019-3370
Notice type
Regulation
Act
Environmental Assessment Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Proposal posted

Comment period

March 19, 2021 - May 3, 2021 (45 days)

Proposal details

Ellsin Environmental Ltd. (Ellsin) proposes to increase the maximum amount of tire waste thermally treated at its Sault Ste. Marie facility (located at 155 Yates Street), from 10 tonnes to 20 tonnes per day.

The 2018 Environmental Screening Report completed by Ellsin determined that the potential environmental effects from increasing the treatment rate to 20 tonnes per day are similar to the existing environmental effects from the 10 tonnes per day facility, since there will be no new infrastructure and the facility footprint will remain the same.

If the regulation is approved, Ellsin would need amendments to their existing air and waste Environmental Compliance Approvals, to allow for the increase while maintaining environmental protection.

Purpose of the Project

Ellsin’s Sault Ste. Marie facility uses microwave radiation to thermally treat tire waste and turn them into materials such as:

  • carbon black (for mixing with recycled plastic to make black plastic concentrate);
  • scrap steel;
  • syngas; and,
  • oil.

Exemption Considerations

If the proposed exemption regulation is approved, it would expedite the approval process for the increase in the maximum thermal treatment rate to 20 tonnes per day at the Sault Ste. Marie facility.

Ellsin’s Sault Ste. Marie Site is located in an industrialized area near Algoma Steel and its operation is already regulated by several permits and approvals, including Environmental Compliance Approvals for air, noise, and waste.

The ministry recognizes that Ellsin completed an assessment of environmental effects from the operation of a commercial facility treating 20 tonnes per day of tire waste in 2018 as part of an Environmental Screening Process. Given this previous work, an exemption from additional environmental assessment requirements is being proposed.

The potential environmental effects from the facility’s operation are associated with:

  • contaminant emissions to the atmosphere from the thermal treatment of tire waste and production of black plastic concentrate, and associated equipment;
  • noise emissions from the site;
  • storage of tire waste received at the site; and,
  • storage of recovered materials and residual waste generated from thermal treatment and associated processes.

While the thermal treatment of tires generates greenhouse gases, the proposal has the potential to offset greenhouse gas emissions associated with manufacturing of products by replacing virgin raw materials with outputs from the thermal treatment of the tire waste or through use as an alternative source of energy. Ellsin is also looking at the opportunity to generate electricity with the syngas produced from the thermal treatment process.

This proposal is being considered in the context of the government’s Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan commitment for supporting the use of advanced recycling and energy recovery technologies that can help ensure valuable resources, such as hard-to-recycle plastics, do not end up in landfill.

Implementation and timelines

If made, the proposed regulation would come into effect on a date specified in the regulation.

Ellsin will be required to obtain amended environmental compliance approvals from the ministry prior to thermally treating more than 10 tonnes per day of tire waste at the facility.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Important notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, viewing supporting materials in person is not available at this time.

Please reach out to the Contact listed in this notice to see if alternate arrangements can be made.

Comment

Commenting is now closed.

This consultation was open from March 19, 2021
to May 3, 2021

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Contact

Carolyn Lee

Phone number
Email address
Office
Environmental Assessment Branch
Address

135 St. Clair Ave W
Toronto, ON
M4V 1P5
Canada