New source emission guidelines for thermal electricity generation

The annexed New Source Emission Guidelines for Thermal Electricity Generation are a revised version of the former Thermal Power Generation Emissions - National Guidelines for New Stationary Sources which were issued May 15, 1993.

Whereas, pursuant to paragraph 54(1)(c) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999Footnote 1, the Minister of the Environment has formulated the annexed New Source Emission Guidelines for Thermal Electricity Generation;

And Whereas the annexed Guidelines include emission limits for nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and sulphur dioxide based on the emissions performance achievable using current best available economically feasible technologies and strategies;

And Whereas the annexed Guidelines reflect the intention of the Minister of the Environment to continually update these Guidelines to reflect advancements in emission control technologies and strategies over time.

Therefore, the Minister of the Environment, pursuant to subsection 54(1) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, is pleased to issue the annexed New Source Emission Guidelines for Thermal Electricity Generation and pursuant to subsection (4) direct that they be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I.

David Anderson
Minister of the Environment


Foreword

1. During the development of the annexed Guidelines, representatives of the federal and provincial governments, environmental non-government organizations and industry were consulted regarding control strategies and emission limits for the air pollutants addressed in the Guidelines.

2. The Minister of the Environment recommends that the appropriate regulatory authorities adopt the annexed Guidelines as practical baseline standards for new fossil fuel-fired steam generating units within their jurisdiction. However, local conditions, such as density of industrial development, topography and other environmental considerations, may necessitate the adoption of more stringent requirements than those suggested in these Guidelines. The continual advancement in emission control technologies and strategies should also be taken into account.


Scope

3. (1) The annexed Guidelines indicate the quantities and concentrations above which nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and sulphur dioxide should not be emitted from fossil fuel-fired steam-driven electricity generating units, operated in whole or in part for the purpose of the sale of electricity to industry, commerce, or the public.

(2) The Guidelines are intended to apply to new generating units only. However, it is recognized that opportunities to reduce emissions may arise during major alterations to an existing generating unit. It is therefore recommended that an assessment of the feasibility of emission reduction measures be completed prior to commencing such alterations. This assessment should be undertaken by the owner of the unit in close consultation with the appropriate regulatory authority, and improved emission control measures should be implemented wherever feasible.

(3) The Guidelines are part of continuing efforts to diminish the emissions of air-polluting discharges to the atmosphere, and will contribute to that end by restricting such discharges from future additions to electric generating system capacity. The recommended emission limits are achievable using control methods now available to the industry for the abatement of the specified air pollutants.


Interpretation

4. In these guidelines

"appropriate regulatory authority" means any federal, provincial or territorial government that has or could exercise regulatory or other authority over the emissions set out in these Guidelines. (autorité compétente de réglementation)

"averaging period" means a period for determining emission rates based on a 720 hour rolling average. (période de prise de la moyenne)

"continuous monitoring system" means the complete equipment for sampling, conditioning and analyzing emissions or process parameters and for recording data. (dispositif de surveillance en continu)

"first commercial operation" means the date of the first operation of a steam generating unit at which time electric generating capacity is electrically connected to the transmission and/or distribution systems for the use of tariff- paying customers. (début de l'exploitation commerciale)

"fossil fuel" means natural gas, petroleum, coal, and any form of gaseous, liquid or solid fuel derived from such for the purpose of creating useful heat. (combustible fossile)

"generating unit" means a fossil fuel-fired steam combustion device used for the purpose of burning fossil fuel, at a rate in excess of 73 megajoules per second heat input, for the purpose of producing steam for utility electric generation. (générateur)

"gross energy output" means the gross useful work performed by the steam generated. For units generating only electricity, the gross useful work performed is the gross electrical output from the turbine/generator set. For cogeneration units, site-specific provisions for accounting for any useful thermal energy output supplied by the plant may be specified by the appropriate regulatory authority. (rendement énergétique brut)

"kg/MWh" means kilograms per megawatt-hour. (kg/MWh)

"net energy output" means gross energy output minus unit service power requirements. (rendement énergétique net)

"new generating unit" means any generating unit including a generating unit which replaces an existing generating unit with equivalent technology or with any other steam generating technology which is based on fossil fuel combustion, for which first commercial operation commences after April 1, 2003. (nouveau générateur)

"ng/J" means nanograms per joule. (ng/J)

"nitrogen oxides" means all oxides of nitrogen except nitrous oxide, collectively expressed as nitrogen dioxide. (oxydes d'azote)

"opacity" means the degree to which emissions reduce the transmission of light and obscure the view of an object in the background. (opacité)

"Protocol and Performance Specifications EPS 1/PG/7" means Protocols and Performance Specifications for Continuous Monitoring of Gaseous Emissions from Thermal Power Generation (EPS 1/PG/7), September 1993, published by the Department of the Environment, as may be amended from time to time. (Protocoles et spécifications des exigences en matière de performance SPE 1/PG/7)

"Reference Method EPS 1-AP-75-2" means Standard Reference Methods for Source Testing: Measurement of Opacity of Emissions from Stationary Sources (Reference Method EPS 1-AP-75-2), November 1977, published by the Department of the Environment as may be amended from time to time. (Méthodes de référence SPE 1-AP-75-2)

"Reference Method EPS 1/RM/8" means Reference Methods for Source Testing: Measurement of Releases of Particulate from Stationary Sources (Reference Method EPS/1/RM/8) , December 1993, published by the Department of the Environment as may be amended from time to time. (Méthodes de référence SPE 1/RM/8)

"720 hour rolling average" means for each pollutant, the average of the consecutive hourly mean emission rates, determined for the preceding 720 hours of system operation. Intervals of zero emissions are not to be included in the calculation of rolling averages. (moyenne mobile sur 720 heures)


Emission guidelines

5.(1) The hourly mean rate of discharge of sulphur dioxide emitted into the ambient air from a new generating unit, as determined over successive 720 hour rolling average periods, should not exceed any one of the following sets of final sulphur dioxide emission rates:

  1. 4.24 kg/MWh net energy output and 8 percent of the uncontrolled emission rate as determined under subsection (2); or
  2. 2.65 kg/MWh net energy output and 25 percent of the uncontrolled emission rate as determined under subsection (2); or
  3. 0.53 kg/MWh net energy output.

(2) The uncontrolled emission rate of sulphur dioxide from the generating unit in kg per megawatt-hour net energy output (kg/MWh) shall be calculated using the formula

(A/B) × C × (1000 MJ/1 GJ) × D

where

A is the sulphur concentration in fuel expressed in the decimal form of a percentage, on a dry basis;

B is the higher heating value of fuel in megajoules per kilogram (MJ/kg);

C is a constant equal to 2, representing the ratio of molecular weight of sulphur dioxide to molecular weight of sulphur;

D is a constant equal to 10.6 GJ/MWh, representing the reference net plant heat rate in gigajoules per megawatt-hour.

6. The hourly mean rate of discharge of nitrogen oxides, expressed as NO2, emitted into the ambient air from a new generating unit when determined over successive 720 hour rolling average periods should not exceed the emission rate of 0.69 kg/MWh net energy output.

7. The hourly mean rate of discharge of particulate matter emitted into the ambient air from a new generating unit when determined over successive 720 hour rolling average periods should not exceed 0.095 kg/MWh net energy output.


Opacity

8. (1) Subject to subsection (2), a new generating unit should not emit visible emissions with opacity greater than 20%.

(2) A new generating unit may emit visible emissions with opacity greater than 20% but no more than 40% for a maximum of six (6) minutes in the sixty (60) minute period following any increase in opacity above 20%.


Compliance

9. (1) Natural variations in coal constituents can cause emissions to vary and make enforcement on an hourly or daily basis impractical. However, calculating the 720 hour rolling average allows the regulatory authority to be informed daily, for each generating unit, of the maximum average emission rate in the previous 24 hours, since the rolling average must be calculated hourly, on the previous 720 hours' emission values.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), the emission guidelines set out in sections 5 to 8 may be exceeded in the event of

  1. malfunction or breakdown in air pollution control equipment; or
  2. start-up or shutdown in the operation of the source.

(3) These events should be minimized, both as to frequency of occurrence and duration of each event.


Emission testing

10.(1) For the purposes of sections 5 to 8, emission tests should be conducted and a written report of results submitted to the appropriate regulatory authority within 180 days from first commercial operation of a generating unit and at such other times as the appropriate regulatory authority may require.

(2) Emission tests required under subsection (1) should be carried out in accordance with

  1. Protocol and Performance Specifications EPS 1/PG/7 for nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide;
  2. Reference Method EPS 1/RM/8 for particulate matter;
  3. Reference Method EPS 1-AP-75-2 for visible emissions.


Emission monitoring

11.(1) A continuous monitoring system for measuring the opacity of emissions should be installed on each new generating unit that is fired with solid or liquid fossil fuel. The installation and operation of the system should be in accordance with the performance specification for transmissometer systems established by the appropriate regulatory authority.

(2) A continuous system for measuring sulphur dioxide should be installed on each new generating unit that is fired with solid or liquid fossil fuel. The installation and operation of the system should be in accordance with Protocol and Performance Specifications EPS 1/PG/7.

(3) A continuous monitoring system for measuring nitrogen oxides should be installed on each new generating unit. The installation and operation of the system should be in accordance with Protocol and Performance Specifications EPS 1/PG/7.

(4) All continuous monitoring systems should be installed, calibrated and operating prior to the emission tests required under subsections (1) to (3). During emission tests or within 30 days after the tests have been conducted, and at such other times as may be required, an evaluation of the performance of the continuous monitoring systems should be conducted in accordance with the requirements and procedures set out in Protocol and Performance Specifications EPS 1/PG/7. A written report of the results should be prepared and submitted, within sixty (60) days of the evaluation, to the appropriate regulatory authority.

Notification and Record Keeping

12.(1) The 720 hour rolling average emission rate for each pollutant included in these Guidelines should be sent to the appropriate regulatory authority at least every calendar quarter.

(2) Operators of new generating units should keep records of malfunction and breakdowns and should report each occurrence, at least every calendar quarter, to the appropriate regulatory authority. The appropriate regulatory authority should be furnished with written notification of

  1. the proposed construction, replacement or major modification of a generating unit;
  2. the anticipated date of first commercial operation of the source, postmarked not less than 30 days prior to such date; and
  3. the date of any performance tests and evaluations of continuous monitoring system performance, postmarked not less than 30 days prior to such date.
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