In March 2016, Ontario committed to implementing the CCME Air Quality Management System (AQMS) as stated in the MOECC policy decision (EBR #012-4347). The implementation of the Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards (CAAQS) for SO2 supports this initiative - please review Part I of the LEHDER Blog Series here for additional background. As a first step to the implementation of the AQMS in Ontario, the province has delineated air zones, referred to as Air Zones 1 through 3.
Ontario Air Zone Details
| Air Zone
| Air Zone 1
Areas with limited pollution from either point or non-point sources or transboundary influence; where air quality management activities are focused on maintaining good air quality.
|Majority of Northern Ontario
|Air Zone 2
|Areas under pressure from multiple sources including some or all of the following: non-point sources, smaller point sources, individual large industrial point sources, transboundary influences; where air quality management activities are focused on multiple broad-based initiatives targeting many sources.
||Majority of Southern Ontario, Sault. Ste. Marie and the City of Greater Sudbury
| Air Zone 3
|Areas with a concentration of large industrial sources; where air quality management activities are focused on the abatement of local industrial emissions as well as non-industrial sources.
||City of Hamilton, Sarnia-Area (including the city of Sarnia and Township of St. Clair)
You can download a map of these zones via http://www.downloads.ene.gov.on.ca/envision/env_reg/er/documents/2015/012-4347.pdf
Concerns were raised during the proposal comment period in regards to the lack of supporting information and details about how the air zones will be used to drive Ontario’s proposed approach to air zone management (AZM). The MOECC responded in March of 2016 that the approach to managing air zones in Ontario is currently being developed and that the approach will include and build on all laws, regulations and policies currently in place, and involve partnerships with local governments, stakeholders and communities. To date, no further information has been publicly provided on what this approach looks like.
The Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) decision states that the key concept of the Ontario AZM is that as air quality approaches or exceeds the CAAQS, Ontario will implement progressively more proactive measures, tools and activities to improve air quality. Anticipated management actions and strategies in Zone 3 may include:
- A Local Integrated Air Strategy
- Community specific action plan
- Frequent, proactive inspection of facilities
SO2 and Ontario Air Zones
Although Ontario has not proposed any specific values for updated SO2 air standards, pre-consultation began in April & May of 2016 with a Science Discussion Document. No further information has been posted, but LEHDER continuously monitors the EBR and will share any new information as it becomes available.
LEHDER Series Part I - What Do the CCME SO2 CAAQS Mean for Industry? - available here.
CCME Announces New SO2 Ambient Air Quality Standards
LEHDER Blog Post, November 1, 2016
EBR Decision - Delineation of Ontario Air Zones
MOECC Pre-Consultation Notice for Updating Air Standards for SO2 (EBR # 012-7192)
MOECC Presentation - Air Zones in Ontario (PDF Download)
Map of Ontario Air Zones (PDF Download)
LEHDER has over 20 years of experience in Air Quality Consulting. For more information on the SO2 CAAQS or Ontario Air Zones, please contact Penny McInnis.