This proposal is to develop a Technical Standard under the local air quality regulation for the petroleum refining industry.
The primary objectives of a technical standard, under Ontario’s Local Air Quality Regulation, is to include requirements for the implementation of best available air pollution control. This will lead to modernization of operations and minimizing air pollution. In practical terms, a technical standard provides a prescriptive set of air pollution control requirements that focus on key contributors to off-site concentrations of priority air toxics.
In 2012, the Canadian Fuels Association (CFA) approached the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (the ministry) with a request to develop a proposed Technical Standard under the Local Air Quality Regulation (O. Reg. 419/05: Air Pollution – Local Air Quality) for benzene and benzo[a]pyrene. Air standards for both of these contaminants will come into effect July 1, 2016. The ministry formed a technical committee with members of CFA which has been meeting regularly since 2012. Representatives of the Aamjijwnaang First Nation (AFN) and Walpole Island First Nation (WIFN) communities were invited to participate in the technical committee in 2014. An additional community member also joined the group 2015.
The key contaminants of interest for the petroleum refining sector include: benzene and benzo[a]pyrene. This proposed Petroleum Refining-Industry Standard is intended to apply to facilities identified as part of NAICS code 324110 (Petroleum Refining) and 324190 (Other Petroleum and Coal Product Manufacturing). Requests for registration from other facilities that operate under this NAICS code will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
When the ministry develops a proposed technical standard, representative facilities in the sector are compared to other facilities' requirements around the world to determine whether or not the same can be required of Ontario facilities. In addition, development of a technical standard includes a better understanding of the specific sources of contaminant(s) for that sector, benchmarking technology to address the sources of contaminant(s), and consideration of economic issues that relate to the sector.
The dominant sources of key contaminants from this sector consist of the following:
- storage vessels;
- equipment leaks (valves, pumps, etc);
- industrial sewage treatment operations;
- truck and railcar product loading racks; and
- marine vessel loading berths.
A summary of the proposed requirements are included in the attached rationale document and the draft Petroleum Refining – Industry Standard. Highlights include the following requirements for benzene emissions:
- beginning January 1, 2018, storage vessels that are at least 75 cubic metres in capacity and store liquid with at least 2% by weight benzene, are to be equipped with internal floating roof (IFR), external floating roof (EFR) or closed vent and control systems;
- oil and water separators are to install by January 1, 2019, IFR, EFR or closed vent and control systems or monitor ambient air or inlet/outlet benzene levels in industrial sewage starting July 1, 2017;
- implement by January 1, 2019 air pollution control plans for all process drains within 200 metres of the property-line or with maintenance access points within 200 metres of the property-line, or monitor for benzene in industrial sewage starting July 1, 2017;
- within 18 months of recording certain product loading thresholds, require closed vent and air pollution control systems for product loading areas with 2% by weight benzene or more;
- a Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) program for components that are in contact with fluid that contains 2% by weight benzene or more;
- a leak is defined as greater than 1,000 parts per million by volume volatile organic compounds (VOC);
- as of January 1, 2018, an LDAR survey must be conducted every 4 months (or at least once per year if the percentage of leaking valves is less than 1%);
- one survey per year must be completed using a method specified in the proposed technical standard (i.e., similar to United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) Method 21) and the other surveys in a year may be completed using an optical gas imaging (OGI) technology or fixed leak detection system;
- leak repairs must be completed within specified time-frames beginning January 1, 2020;
- a “delay of repair list” is allowed to delay the repair of a component until the process unit is next shutdown if the combined total of all leaks on the “delay of repair” list (for in service components with 50% benzene or more) is less than 250,000 parts per million by volume as benzene;
- benzene or VOC emission limits for all air pollution control devices must be source tested every two years;
- flares that are used as air pollution control devices, must meet comparable requirements as the US EPA by January 1, 2023;
- as of January 1, 2018, a requirement for the installation and operation of twelve property-line monitors for benzene at each facility that registers with the technical standard;
- annual ambient monitoring reports including a summary of actions taken to address any statistically significant higher monitoring results must be posted on the facility web-site;
- operating and monitoring requirements;
- deviations and repairs for leaks;
- tracking complaints;
- no back-sliding requirements for existing air pollution controls at the facility not specified in the proposed technical standard;
- more stringent requirements that phase-in over time; and
- public reporting, notification and recordkeeping requirements.
The technical review for benzo[a]pyrene, and the associated dominant source analysis, concluded that new requirements for benzo[a]pyrene air emission from petroleum refineries is currently unnecessary (e.g., facilities will either meet the new air standard and/or no additional controls could be identified for the key contributors to point of impingement concentrations of this contaminant). Hence, the proposed requirements for benzo-a-pyrene will only be general requirements such as complaint response and record keeping.
Embedded in the proposed Petroleum Refining - Industry Standard are a combination of compliance approaches that link together to form a strategy ensuring that:
- Facilities have greater accountability for self-assuring compliance and driving continuous improvement;
- Ministry oversight is applied by including triggers that require notification to the ministry, and follow up actions, when necessary, and
- Reporting to the highest ranking individual.
Currently, notifications of air limit exceedences are included in the ministry’s Environmental Compliance Report. Consideration is being given to how non-compliance with the Technical Standard may be incorporated into this report.
Once the technical standard is published, any facility in the sector (that may or may not meet the air standard) could apply to register under this compliance approach. Such registration would involve a posting on the Environmental Registry and may involve additional public outreach. The goal is to have a more efficient tool to better manage air emissions and reduce overall exposure from various industrial and commercial facilities in a sector.