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ARCHIVED - CEPA Annual Report for Period April 2004 to March 2005

4. Pollution Prevention

The Act allows the Minister to publish a Pollution Prevention Planning Notice requiring any person described in the Notice to prepare and implement a pollution prevention plan in respect of a substance or group of substances specified on the List of Toxic Substances in Schedule 1. The Minister may also require pollution prevention plans from Canadian sources of international air and water pollution for substances not on the List of Toxic Substances, with the approval of the Governor in Council and if the government responsible for the area in which the pollution source is located cannot or will not take action.

CEPA 1999 enables the establishment of a national pollution prevention information clearinghouse to facilitate the collection, exchange, and distribution of information about pollution prevention. Authority is also provided to create an awards program to recognize significant achievements in the area of pollution prevention.

4.1 Pollution Prevention Planning Requirements

In 2004-05, three Pollution Prevention Planning Notices were finalized, and one was proposed:

  • Inorganic Chloramines and Chlorinated Wastewater Effluents -- The final Notice, published on December 4, 2004, applies to owners of wastewater systems where the effluent release to surface water is greater than or equal to 5000 cubic metres per day and where the concentration of total residual chlorine exceeds 0.02 milligrams per litre. The risk management objective is to achieve and maintain a concentration of total residual chlorine that is less than or equal to 0.02 milligrams per litre or non-acutely lethal to fish in the effluent released to surface water by December 15, 2009. Approximately 95 facilities across the country are expected to be subject to the requirements in the Notice.
  • Nonylphenol and its Ethoxylates Used in the Wet Processing Textile Industry and Effluents from Textile Mills that Use Wet Processing -- The final Notice, published on December 4, 2004, targets persons involved in textile wet processing activities who discharge their effluents produced during wet processing to off-site wastewater treatment facilities and who have had a daily effluent discharge greater than 30 cubic metres at least once between 1999 and 2003. The Notice targets approximately 150 textile mills. The risk management objective is to reduce the use of nonylphenol and its ethoxylates by 97% and to reduce the toxicity of textile mill effluents.
  • Nonylphenol and its Ethoxylates Contained in Products -- The final Notice, published on December 4, 2004, outlines the requirements for manufacturers and importers of soap and cleaning products, processing aids used in textile wet processing, and pulp and paper processing aids containing nonylphenol and its ethoxylates to prepare and implement pollution prevention plans. The requirements target persons who purchase a total of 2000 kilograms or more annually of these substances used for the manufacturing of products or contained in imported products for any year occurring between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2012. The risk management objective is to reduce the total use of these substances in products manufactured in or imported into Canada by 50% from 1998 levels by 2007 and by 95% from 1998 levels by 2010. The Notice targets approximately 200 manufacturers and importers.
  • Specified Toxic Substances Released from Base Metals Smelters and Refineries and Zinc Plants -- A proposed Notice, published on December 4, 2004, will require implementation of a pollution prevention plan in respect of specified toxic substances that are released from base metals smelters and refineries and zinc plants. The toxic substances addressed by this notice include particulate matter containing metals that is released in emissions from copper smelters or refineries, or both; particulate matter containing metals that is released in emissions from zinc plants; sulphur dioxide; PM10; lead; mercury; inorganic arsenic compounds; inorganic cadmium compounds; oxidic, sulphidic, and soluble inorganic nickel compounds; PCDDs; and PCDFs. Eleven facilities engaged in the smelting or refining of base metals are expected to be subject to the Notice.

4.2 Pollution Prevention Awards

Environment Canada participates in the CCME Pollution Prevention Awards Program, which recognizes organizations that have shown leadership and innovation in pollution prevention. There were seven awards and four honourable mentions presented at the CCME awards ceremony, recognizing achievements in 2004:

  • Small Business Award -- Clean Choice Printers, McDonalds Corners, Ontario. Clean Choice Printers, a unique home-based printing business, incorporated risography, a direct transfer process that is water-based and uses non-toxic ink, into its total printing system, thereby reducing its ecological footprint by 90%.
  • Small Business Honourable Mention -- Trimac Transportation, Oakville Washrack Cleaning Facility, Port Colborne, Ontario. This bulk trucking company eliminated the use of solvents in its exterior cleaning process by using a soluble media blasting technique with baking soda. The technique eliminates over 24 tonnes of methylene chloride per year. The return of investment was only two and half months, as the cost to treat the pollutants would have added $162 000 per year to in-plant measures.
  • Medium Business Award -- Roxul Inc., Milton, Ontario. Roxul Inc., a manufacturer of mineral wool insulation products, adopted a progressive environmental management system including a two-stage recycling facility, which includes innovative fines recycling to reduce solid waste, air emissions, and transportation of raw material and waste; a reduction/elimination program for binder resins; and an energy reduction program to reduce process and auxiliary energy consumption.
  • Medium Business Honourable Mention -- Louisiana Pacific Canada Ltd.--Oriented Strandboard Plant, Swan River, Manitoba. The Swan River manufacturing plant reduced dryer system emissions, improved raw material usage efficiency, and reduced net annual costs. The plant realized a 77% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions from installing drying system pollution control equipment and additional reductions in particulate matter, volatile organic compound, and nitrogen oxide emissions from closing its wood waste incinerator. Net greenhouse gas emissions were also reduced by 3488 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
  • Medium Business Honourable Mention -- Zep Manufacturing Company of Canada, Edmonton, Alberta. Zep Manufacturing initiated activities to eliminate or significantly reduce nonylphenol and its ethoxylates contained in hundreds of manufactured and imported cleaning and sanitation products. Zep achieved a 96.7% reduction of these substances by 2002. As of June 2002, more than 98.5% of products were free of nonylphenol and its ethoxylates.
  • Large Business Award -- New Flyer Industries, Winnipeg, Manitoba. In an effort to minimize environmental impacts from and reduce worker exposures to volatile organic compounds, New Flyer Industries, a transit bus manufacturer, identified activities that involved using high content products such as flooring installation and surface coating operations. A 70.29% reduction in volatile organic compounds was achieved through product substitution and installation of a high-efficiency gunwash solvent recovery still. Since 2002, New Flyer's reduction initiatives in Winnipeg have reduced the total volatile organic compounds generated for every bus unit built by 41.7%.
  • Organization/Institution/Group Award -- Clean Air Strategic Alliance, Edmonton, Alberta. This non-profit multistakeholder association developed a solution gas management framework, which relied on a voluntary pollution prevention approach, supported by regulations. Since implementation of the framework, solution gas flaring has been reduced by 70% from the 1996 baseline and solution gas venting has been reduced by 38% since 2000. In 2003, 95.3% of solution gas was conserved or used in another manner.
  • Organization/Institution/Group Award -- Partners for a Green Hill, Ottawa, Ontario. Pollution prevention initiatives established by four partner organizations on Parliament Hill reduced pollution in the workplace by establishing freshwater saving measures, diverting wastewater from the municipal sewer system, reducing paper waste, and eliminating hazardous cleaning products. A pilot project for composting paper towels in washrooms, started in 2002, has resulted in thousands of kilograms of paper towels diverted from landfill.
  • Organization/Institution/Group Honourable Mention -- Ontario Centre for Environment Technology Advancement, Mississauga, Ontario. This centre developed the Toronto Region Sustainability Program, which provides pollution prevention technical assistance to small to medium-sized manufacturers. The program has improved participating manufacturers' environmental performance by reducing smog precursors, toxics, sewer discharges, process wastes, and water consumption, while increasing cost savings.
  • Innovations Award -- Sani-Terre Inc., Normandin, Quebec. Sani-Terre developed an innovative mobile ecological wash unit for heavy equipment, which allows heavy equipment to be directly washed on site, increasing water efficiency and cost savings. The unit is also equipped with a patented carpet system allowing water retrieval, a pumping and used water treatment system allowing retrieval and separation of contaminants, such as petroleum hydrocarbons and heavy metals, and a water reuse system.
  • Greenhouse Gases Reduction Award -- Hamilton Community Energy, Hamilton, Ontario. Hamilton Community Energy's heating project delivers efficient thermal energy in the form of hot water to 13 downtown buildings. An efficient gas-fired combined heat and power plant produces 3.5 megawatts of electricity using a low nitrogen oxide reciprocating engine, with the exhaust heat being recovered and converted to hot water. The initiative contributes to improving local air quality, reduces greenhouse gases, and results in energy reductions and savings.

4.3 Canadian Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse

The Canadian Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse, an online comprehensive resource on pollution prevention, has undergone a complete redesign. Highlights of the redesign include enhanced database searching capabilities, improved record display, and the creation of the three new supporting sections.

The accessibility of the over 1400 records in the Canadian Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse database has been improved. The website now indicates how a specific resource promotes pollution prevention and the type of audience for which the resource is useful. Three new sections -- Business, Government, and Citizens and Society -- were created so that Canadians from all segments of society can be introduced to pollution prevention, become informed about environmental legislation at all levels of government, and learn about getting involved in practising pollution prevention.


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