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Stronger Air Emissions Standards Now In Effect

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Stronger Air Emissions Standards Now In Effect

McGuinty Government Protecting Local Air Quality

Starting today, industrial facilities have to meet stronger standards for 33 high priority contaminants. This will better protect air quality and health in local communities.

Changes include:

  • Reducing the acceptable level of lead and acetone by about 75 per cent
  • Creating standards for acetonitrile that causes respiratory irritation and methyl isocyanate that causes respiratory tract injury
  • Cutting the acceptable level of xylenes, which have neurological effects, by nearly two-thirds.   
For a full list of air standards visit http://www.news.ontario.ca/ene/en/2010/02/strengthening-protection-for-ontarios-air.html.

Quick Facts

  • These changes were introduced in 2005 with Regulation 419 and come into effect today marking the biggest improvement in regulating air toxics in more than 25 years.
  • The pulp and paper, petroleum, chemical industries are among the sectors covered by the regulation.
  • Ontario currently has air standards for 124 substances and guidelines for over 200 contaminants. Proposed standards for an additional eight substances are currently undergoing consultation and will be announced later in 2010.

Additional Resources


“These stronger air standards are based on the best science on health and environmental impacts. The regulation is coming into force after extensive consultation with both industry and the environmental community.”

John Gerretsen

Minister of the Environment

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