Ministry proposing tougher stance on local benzene levels

The Ontario Environment Ministry is proposing a new policy to better assess the cumulative impact of air pollution from multiple sources.

The proposal recently posted on the province’s Environmental Registry would specifically target emissions of benzene in the Sarnia/Corunna and Hamilton/Burlington areas, both of which have clusters of industries.

Ongoing monitoring has found benzene levels exceed the ministry’s air quality criteria on an annual average basis, the ministry said.

Facilities may need to add air pollution controls or use best management practices, even if they meet current local air quality regulations.

The public has until Feb. 7 to comment on the policy proposal on the Environmental Registry at http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/