Canadian Manufacturing

More coherent air quality standards for industry

St. John’s, N.L.: Canada is planning to adopt new air quality standards for industry and other emitters.

The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME), an intergovernmental forum on the environment, approved the new air quality management system at their meeting its week in St. John’s, N.L.

The Comprehensive Air Management System (CAMS) will set consistent industrial emissions standards across the country.

Building on existing federal and provincial air quality management, CAMS will establish regionally coordinated airsheds and air zones. It will also help Canadians access air quality information by introducing public reporting, modeling and monitoring mechanisms.

CCME will work with industry, government, and non-government organizations to develop CAMS in 2011 and start implementing it in 2013.

Having more consistent air quality standards will not only improve Canada’s environment, but also its economy, according to one of the industry groups that has long been advocating for the new system.

“One of our biggest problems has been the duplication of federal and provincial regulations,” said Gordon Lloyd, vice-president of the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada and a member of the CAMS steering committee.

Lloyd said CAMS will not only touch sectors such as manufacturing, but other sources of pollution from municipalities to transportation.

Since the new system would be closer to the approach in the US, where states implement federal standards, it could help facilitate talks to deal with cross-border air pollution, Lloyd said.

“We’re hoping this will give us a package we can go to the Americans with,” he said, adding “this is especially important because a lot of our pollution comes from the US.”

The CCME will be engaging stakeholders in the coming year as it develops the system.

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