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Canada’s first mandatory national emissions standards

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

On 3 June, it was announced by Ministre Aglukkaq that the Government of Canada will, for the first time, regulate industrial air pollutant emissions through requirements in the proposed Multi Sector Air Pollutants Regulations. The regulations will contribute significantly to lower smog levels and better air quality throughout the country. It is also estimated that these regulations will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 3.4 mega t between 2013 and 2035.

The first phase requirements that have been set include industrial boilers and heaters, stationary engines, such as those used for gas compression and the cement manufacturing sector. Over the last few years, the Government of Canada has collaborated extensively with representatives from provinces, territories, industry and non-government organisations to lay the foundation for these new requirements and regulations.

This is the latest action to provide Canada with cleaner air. In 2013, the government announced a new Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards to reduce smog forming emissions and that Canada intends to align transportation related air pollutant emission standards with the more stringent Tier 3 standards proposed in the US.

Key facts

Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from regulated boilers and heaters are expected to be reduced by approximately 227 000 t between 2013 and 2035 using 2012 as the year of reference, this is equivalent to eliminating an entire year’s worth of NOx emissions from electric power generation, and commercial and residential fuel combustion. NOx emissions from regulated stationary engines are also expected to reduce by approximately 1.8 mega t, in this instance, between 2013 and 2035. This is almost twice the amount of NOx that Canada’s entire mobile fleet emitted in 2011.

When it comes to Sulfur dioxide and NOx emissions from regulated kilns in the cement sector, these are expected to drop by 96 000 t and 63 000 t respectively between 2017 and 2035.


Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, and Minister for the Arctic Council said, ‘the Harper Government is committed to cleaner air for Canadians, for today and for future generations. With today’s proposed regulations we are taking real, tangible actions by establishing, for the first time, mandatory national air pollutant emissions standards for major industrial facilities across the country. Thanks to our actions, the reduction of nitrogen oxides in the air we breathe will be equivalent to removing four million cars from the road.’

Royal Galipeau, Member of Parliament, Ottawa-Orleans said, ‘the government is taking action to preserve and protect our clean air. The regulations announced today speak to the strong commitment the government shares with the provinces, territories and stakeholders to reduce smog and ensure better air quality for Canadians.’

Adapted from press release by Claira Lloyd

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