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Environmental Compliance Approvals – Update to Dispersion Models

As part of a facility’s Environmental Compliance Approval, Ontario facilities must prepare an Emission Summary & Dispersion Modelling (ESDM) Report. This report contains the emission estimates for all the processes at a facility, as well as the atmospheric chemistry dispersion modelling that was used to estimate the point of impingement (POI) concentrations.

Under O. Reg 419/05 (Air Pollution – Local Air Quality) the Ministry of Environment & Climate Change (MOECC) regulates air quality limits for industrial, institutional, and commercial facilities. With a facility’s ESDM report, the company must demonstrate it can meet the air quality limits of O. Reg 419/05. If a facility is unable to meet the limits, there are a few options available: 1) apply for a site specific standard 2) apply for a technical standard (if one is available for the industry) 3) installation pollution control equipment to abate the contaminants that are in excess of the air quality limits (this is the most common option).

Back when O. Reg 419/05 was passed, the MOE mandated a particular version of dispersion model. For most facilities in Ontario, this meant that Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) applications were made with AERMOD version 07026 (released in 2007). The MOE is now updating to version 14134 (released in 2014).

What does this mean? It means that the MOE is updating the approved models to account for better science, and model improvements. What does this mean for you? The modeling results achieved will be different. We have seen several cases now where results are appreciably lower with the new model. Now is the time to update your model to the new version to ensure your facility can remain in environmental compliance. With the cost of pollution abatement equipment rising, using a more accurate model can save hundreds of thousands of dollars.

While AERMOD v14134 hasn’t officially been phased in yet, it is certainly worth modeling your facility using the new model to assess what the impacts will be. In most cases, it will make sense to submit ESDM reports using both models. This means that your environmental compliance approval application should be submitted using both models. Why? Because right now we are not sure how long ECA applications will take to be reviewed. It’s anywhere from a few months to a few years, and the last thing you want to have happen is have your ECA application kicked out because the MOECC wants the modelling updated to the new model.

To have your facility’s emission assessed using the updated atmospheric chemistry dispersion model, contact Rubidium Environmental: info@rb-enviro.com // (905) 635-4063