July 3, 2006

Ontario provides $480K to support environmental programs, research

The Ontario government is providing over $480,000 in funding to support key environmental organizations, universities and programs that promote and advance scientific research and education and outreach. These projects will help improve understanding of the sources and impacts of air pollution and greenhouse gases and will explore ways to reduce emissions. Among the funding recipients are Pollution Probe, the Ontario Centre for Environmental Technology Advancement (OCETA), the Clean Air Partnership and the Toronto Atmospheric Fund.

Ontario's contribution of $65,000 to Pollution Probe will be used for the following initiatives:

*$25,000 to develop a Climate Change Guide for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises. This will be a valuable tool to help businesses understand the advantages of addressing climate change and how they can reduce greenhouse gas emissions while remaining competitive.

*$15,000 to facilitate Ontario's participation in a national-scale scientific assessment of climate change impacts and adaptation in Canada. The resulting report will examine climate impacts and adaptation at the regional level.

*$15,000 to update Pollution Probe's state of emissions trading report, An Assessment of Emissions Trading for NOx and SO2. As a market-based tool, emissions trading offers a competitive edge to companies that lower their emissions.

*$10,000 to update its Acid Rain Primer to reflect the latest science on acid rain and make the publication more accessible to the public.

OCETA's Toronto Region Sustainability Program aims to raise the environmental awareness of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and help them implement pollution prevention initiatives. The province has granted OCETA $25,000 to continue the program's focus on reducing emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), key contributors to smog.

The Clean Air Partnership will use $22,000 in provincial funding to develop an Emissions Reduction Decision Matrix for use by municipalities to help them seek out, and assign priority to, emission reduction opportunities.

The Toronto Atmospheric Fund (TAF) is receiving $15,000 for a study of opportunities for establishing a Greater Toronto Atmospheric Fund (GTAF). The research will include a strategic assessment of a private-public self-financing fund to help manage climate change and air quality.

Through the Best in Science program, Ontario is supporting a number of initiatives related to air pollution research. These include:

*A $35,000 grant to the Alberta Research Council for a petroleum refinery site study in which advanced optical technologies for detecting, monitoring and quantifying fugitive emissions will be investigated;

*A $32,000 grant to Queen's University for a province-wide survey of atmospheric deposition of mercury on Ontario vegetation;

* $50,000 to support the work of the new Southern Ontario Centre for Atmospheric Aerosol Research (SOCAAR), based at the University of Toronto; and

*A $200,000 contribution toward research by the BIOCAP Canada Foundation on greenhouse gas management, forestry management and bioenergy production, aimed at finding ways to mitigate climate change and reduce its impacts;

The government is also providing $25,000 in dollars plus in-kind contributions, including the participation of expert staff as partners, toward a collaborative project between the Ministry of Environment and Brock University on urban lichen monitoring in Ontario. This research will measure the biological impact of air pollutants, particularly sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.

Laurentian University's Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Program has received $5,000 from the province. This project will examine the vulnerability of the city of Greater Sudbury to the potential impacts of climate change and will define possible strategies for responding to these changes.

Finally, a $10,000 provincial grant will fund the last colloquium in a series on Health and Air Quality: Interpreting Science for Decision Making, organized by the Network for Environmental Risk Assessment and Management (NERAM). The event, scheduled for October 16-18, 2006 and will address Strategic Policy Directions for Air Quality Risk Management.

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