June 21, 2004

Nfld sets new limits for sulfur in fuel, industrial emissions

Changes to Newfoundland and Labrador's air pollution control regulations include a limit on sulfur content in heavy fuel and an annual cap on provincial sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions, effective January 1, 2005.

"Changes to our regulations will see a 2% annual limit on sulfur content in heavy fuel used in the province and a sulfur dioxide emissions cap of 60,000 tonnes per year," said Environment and Conservation Minister Tom Osborne. "These new standards address some of our major sources of air pollution in the province and will result in a 20% decrease in local sulfur dioxide emissions from 2000 levels."

Osborne said companies that release more than 20 tonnes of SO2 per year must prepare an annual report for government outlining fuel usage, fuel sulfur content and sulfur dioxide emissions.

The regulations, developed in consultation with industry, include new standards for incineration, including a ban on open burning of such items as tires, plastics and treated lumber. The ban on burning, other than at a facility licensed by the Minister, is effective immediately. It will extend to all waste disposal sites in 2005.

Changes to the regulations will enable the government to establish vehicle emissions standards. "Many provinces are moving toward some form of mandatory testing for vehicle emissions," Osborne noted. "Our new regulations will allow us to introduce vehicle emissions standards in the future.

The revisions follow other recent air quality initiatives, including the signing of a new national environmental standard calling for the phase-out of teepee incinerators by 2008.

"In January, the Premier and I signed a Canada-Wide Standard for Dioxins and Furans from Conical Waste Incinerators," said Osborne, adding that "Newfoundland and Labrador is the first province in Canada to sign this important standard."

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