May 16, 2005

Air pollution reg to be replaced

The Ontario Ministry of Environment (MOE) is proposing to revoke and replace Regulation 346, the general air pollution regulation under the Environmental Protection Act. The new regulation would introduce new effects-based air standards with variable averaging times, update air dispersion models, and provide a risk-based decision-making process for alternative standards to address implementation issues related to new standards and/or models.

In addition to updating Regulation 346, the MOE plans to introduce three new guidelines as part of its overall plan to improve the implementation of provincial air quality standards. Several proposals have previously been posted on the EBR Registry, with decisions pending. These include:

a position paper, "Updating Ontario's Regulatory Framework for Local Air Quality" (reference No PA04E0011;

an air dispersion modelling guideline (reference No PA04E0009);

a guideline for implementation of air standards (reference No PA04E0010);

a guideline for emission summary and dispersion modelling reports (reference No PA05E0009); and

proposed revisions to odour-based ambient air quality criteria and development of an odour policy framework (reference No PA05E0007).

Finally, the new air quality regulation would amend the instrument classification regulation 681/94 under the Environmental Bill of Rights such that the following two instruments would be classified as Class II proposals: Director's approval for alternative standards, and new Director's order to require new air dispersion models to be used.

Comments are due by June 4, 2005. (Registry reference No RA05E0008)

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