This page has been archived on the Web

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

Overview of the Multi-Sector Air Pollutants Regulations

Overview of the Multi-Sector Air Pollutants Regulations

 Frequently Asked Questions

 Questions and Answers

General Questions

  • What is the purpose of this fact sheet?

    This fact sheet provides an overview of the proposed Multi-Sector Air Pollutants Regulations (MSAPR) in a question and answer format.  It provides history and rationale for the MSAPR, followed by information on its structure, which equipment is subject to the proposed Regulations, and finally details the obligations of owners and operations of stationary spark-ignition engines, boilers and heaters, and cement kilns.

    Top of Page

  • How did the Multi-Sector Air Pollutants Regulation come about?

    The federal government has the authority to address air pollution due to the transboundary nature of pollutant flows and the identification of key air pollutants as toxic substances under the Canadian Environment Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999).

    Environment Canada has worked with industry, provinces/territories and other stakeholders since 2008 to develop a new Air Quality Management System (AQMS) that includes performance standards for major industrial sources.  

    On June 7, 2014, the federal government published the proposed Regulations in Canada Gazette Part I.  It included mandatory performance standard requirements for boilers and heaters, stationary spark-ignition engines, and kilns at cement manufacturing facilities.

    Top of Page

  • What is the structure of the proposed Regulations?

    The first publication of the proposed Regulations consists of the following seven sections:

    • Overview;
    • Interpretation;
    • Part 1 – Boilers and Heaters;
    • Part 2 – Stationary Spark-Ignition Engines;
    • Part 3 – Cement;
    • Part 4 – General; and,
    • Schedules 1 to 8.

    Top of Page

  • What is the coverage and function of each section?

    The Overview applies to all the regulatees. Its functions are the following:

    • Explain that the purpose of the proposed Regulations is to establish air pollutant requirements that are located in Part 1 – Boilers and Heaters, Part 2 – Stationary Spark-Ignition Engines and Part 3 – Cement.
    • Make known that Part 4 – General provides general rules that apply to all regulatees (details of the rules are indicated below in the description for Part 4 – General).

    The Interpretation applies to all the regulatees and its function is to provide definitions that apply to more than one section of the proposed Regulations.

    The equipment-specific Parts (Part 1 – Boilers and Heaters; Part 2 – Stationary Spark-Ignition Engines and Part 3 – Cement) of the proposed Regulations provide specific requirements (i.e. definitions, emission limits, quantification methods, testing procedures, reporting and details on record-keeping) for the following specified air pollutants and equipment type:

    • Nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from boilers and heaters that combust gaseous fossil fuels in regulated facilities (Part 1);
    • NOx emissions from stationary spark-ignition engines that combust gaseous fuels in regulated facilities (Part 2); and,
    • NOx and sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions from kilns at cement manufacturing facilities (Part 3).

    Part 4General applies to all regulatees and the function is to provide some general rules related to:

    • The Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems (CEMS) Reference Method governing the use of a CEMS;
    • Alternative rules to those in the CEMS Reference Method and in certain other methods incorporated into these proposed Regulations; and,
    • The reporting, sending, recording and retention of information.

    Schedules 1 to 4 apply to Part 1 –Boilers and Heaters. Schedules 5 and 6 apply to Part 2 – Stationary Spark-Ignition Engines. Schedule 7 applies to Part 3 – Cement and Schedule 8 applies to Part 4 – General.  The functions of each of the schedules are the following:

    • Schedule 1 provides information regarding the loss of thermal efficiency for watertube boilers for Part 1;
    • Schedule 2 provides default heating values by fuel type for Part 1;
    • Schedules 3 and 4 set out information requirements for Part 1;
    • Schedules 5 and 6 set out information requirements for Part 2;
    • Schedule 7 sets out information requirements for Part 3; and,
    • Schedule 8 sets out information requirements for Part 4.

    Top of Page

  • How are future requirements going to be added?

    Future requirements for additional industrial sectors and equipment groups would be added to the proposed Regulations as new “Parts” (similar to Parts 1, 2, and 3 of the proposed Regulations) and new “Schedules” via amendments. The Overview and/or Part 4 may also be modified.

    Top of Page

Boilers and Heaters

  • Why is the government regulating boilers and heaters?

    Prior to MSAPR, there were no federal regulations under CEPA 1999 that limited the pollutants emitted by industrial boilers and heaters.  These boilers and heaters are significant sources of NOx, and MSAPR is expected to generate substantial emission reductions and associated benefits to human health and the environment.

    Top of Page

  • What is a boiler or heater?

    For the purposes of MSAPR, a boiler burns gaseous fossil fuels, such as natural gas, to create hot water or steam for use in industrial processes and heating, while a heater directly heats the material being processed.  Boilers and heaters typically comprise a combustion chamber, burners, a pressure vessel (only for boilers), and control/monitoring equipment.

    In the proposed Regulations, an incinerator is not considered a heater.

    Top of Page

  • Which industrial facilities are covered by the Boilers and Heaters Part of the MSAPR?

    The proposed Regulations apply to large industrial boilers and heaters that burn gaseous fossil fuels, such as natural gas, at facilities in eleven industrial sectors (aluminum and alumina, base metal smelting, cement, chemicals and fertilizers, electricity, iron ore pellets, iron, steel and ilmenite, oil sands, potash, pulp and paper, and oil and gas). 

    Boilers and heaters in facilities in other sectors (e.g., the commercial, residential, institutional, petroleum refining and other industrial sectors) are not subject to the proposed Regulations.

    There are approximately 900 original (existing) boilers and heaters that would be subject to the proposed Regulations.

    Top of Page

  • What are the proposed performance standards for boilers and heaters?

    The performance standards in the proposed Regulations differ depending on whether the equipment is modern (new) or original (existing), whether it is a boiler or a heater, whether the equipment burns natural gas or alternative gaseous fuels, whether the heater preheats the combustion air, and whether the boiler has an efficiency of greater than 80%.  

    The performance standards range in value from 16 grams per gigajoule (g/GJ) (for a modern (new) boiler or heater that burns natural gas, has an efficiency of 80%, and does not preheat the combustion air) to 40 g/GJ (for original (existing) large boilers and heaters that currently emit more than 80 g/GJ and are unable to emit less than 26 g/GJ for technical reasons).

    Top of Page

  • Are all existing boilers and heaters subject to these proposed Regulations?

    No, the proposed Regulations only target existing equipment at facilities in AQMS industrial sectors that do not have pollution control technology limiting NOx emissions. We estimate that these boilers and heaters are a small portion of the existing fleet that, when retrofitted with NOx control technology, will lead to significant reductions in emissions.

    Top of Page

  • How much will MSAPR reduce emissions from boilers and heaters?

    MSAPR will result in emission reductions across Canada. The size of equipment and the amount of time that it operates will determine the size of the reductions from each unit.

    A modern (new) medium-size boiler could reduce its emissions by more than 40 tonnes per year. An original (existing) medium-size boiler could reduce its emissions by more than 90 tonnes per year. Between 2013 and 2035, it is estimated that there will be a 227 kilotonne reduction in pollution due to these proposed Regulations.

    Top of Page

  • What are the costs and benefits of the boilers and heaters portion of the MSAPR?

    Between 2013 and 2035, the present value of costs of the performance standards for boilers and heaters is $50 million, largely due to the additional boiler and heater technology requirements. The present value of the benefits between 2013 and 2035 is estimated at $1.2 billion, which largely comprises health benefits ($1.1 billion) and environmental benefits ($29 million).

    Overall, the net present value of the proposed Regulations is estimated at $1.13 billion, which gives rise to a benefit-cost ratio of 24:1.

    Top of Page

  • How do the performances standards for boilers and heaters compare to those in the United States?

    The performance standards of these Regulations are of comparable stringency to those required for similar equipment in many areas of the United States. Some states, such as California, have more stringent requirements; other states do not regulate NOx emissions from gas-fired boilers and heaters.

    Top of Page

  • How can industry comply with the requirements for boilers and heaters?

    We anticipate industry will have to change the burner of a boiler or heater, or possibly replace the piece of equipment if they are currently emitting above the performance standard. There is a range of readily available technologies from manufactures within North America that companies could purchase to meet these performance standards.

    Top of Page

Stationary Spark-Ignition Engines

  • Why is the government regulating industrial engines?

    Prior to MSAPR, there were no federal CEPA 1999 regulations and few provincial regulations that limited pollutants emitted by stationary spark-ignition engines (stationary engines). In 2010, the engines covered by the proposed Regulations accounted for 46% of Canada’s total industrial NOx emissions. Environment Canada prioritized the regulation of these engines because they are a significant source and will lead to substantial emission reductions and associated benefits to human health and the environment.

    Top of Page

  • What is a stationary spark-ignition engine?

    For the purposes of MSAPR, a stationary engine is an engine designed to be stationary while in use. It is not an engine on a machine that is either self-propelled or designed to be propelled while performing its function. It operates very similarly to a gasoline-fuelled engine, using a spark plug or other sparking device to ignite the gas. It must combust gaseous fuel; therefore, liquid-fuel-fired engines are not covered by these proposed Regulations. These engines are used in a number of industrial applications, for example: gas compression and pumping water.

    Top of Page

  • Which industrial facilities are covered by the Stationary Spark-Ignition Engine Part of the MSAPR?

    The proposed Regulations apply to modern (new) stationary engines used in facilities in twelve industrial sectors (aluminum and alumina, base metal smelting, cement, chemicals, electricity, iron ore pellets, iron and steel, oil sands, petroleum refining, potash, pulp and paper, and oil and gas) and to original (existing) stationary engines used in oil and gas facilities. In MSAPR, oil and gas facilities include the natural gas transmission pipelines and upstream oil and gas sectors, but do not include oil sands facilities or petroleum refineries.

    Stationary engines in facilities in other sectors (e.g., residential, institutional, or other industrial sectors) are not subject to the proposed Regulations.

    Environment Canada estimates that more than 8,000 original (existing) stationary engines will be covered by the proposed Regulations.

    Top of Page

  • What is a modern/original engine?

    A modern (new) engine is an engine manufactured on or after January 1, 2015.

    An original (existing) engine is an engine manufactured before January 1, 2015.

    Top of Page

  • What are the proposed performance standards for stationary engines?

    The performance standards in the proposed Regulations differ depending on whether the engine is modern (new) or original (existing) and, for original (existing) engines only, depending on the current year. The standards for original (existing) stationary engines have been set in compliance phases, starting in the years 2021 and 2026.    

    For modern (new) stationary engines, the standard for NOX is 2.7 grams per kilowatt-hour (g/kWh) or 160 parts per million dry volume (ppmvd). For original (existing) stationary engines, the regulatee has the option to meet a performance standard on a per engine basis (flat limit) or by the yearly average of engines in their fleet, as per the table below.

    YearFlat LimitYearly Average Limit
    2021 to 2025Engines comprising 50% of total fleet power:
    4 g/kWh output
    or 210 ppmvd at 15 percent oxygen
    8 g/kWh output
    or 421 ppmvd at 15 percent oxygen
    2026 and LaterAll engines:
    4 g/kWh output
    or 210 ppmvd at 15 percent oxygen
    4 g/kWh output
    or 210 ppmvd at 15 percent oxygen

    Top of Page

  • How much will MSAPR reduce emissions from stationary engines?

    MSAPR will result in emission reductions across Canada. Consider that an average original (existing) stationary engine with a rated brake power of 600 kilowatts emits 14 g/kWh of NOx, equal to approximately 74 tonnes of NOx per year. This engine can emit as much NOx in one hour as an average new light-duty vehicle will emit in 190,000 kilometers. If this same engine’s NOx emissions are reduced to 4 g/kWh, NOx emissions would be reduced by as much as 53 tonnes per year. 

    Between 2013 and 2035, the estimated reduction of NOx due to these regulations is 1,775 kilotonnes. In addition, due to a reduction in fuel use associated with using retrofit technologies, a reduction of 3.4 megatonnes in greenhouse gas emissions in this period is also expected.  

    Top of Page

  • What are the costs and benefits of the engines portion of the MSAPR?

    Between 2013 and 2035, the present value of costs of the performance standards for stationary engines is $470 million, largely consisting of engine emission control technology costs ($204 million) and maintenance costs ($189 million). Over that same period, the present value of the benefits is $7.0 billion, comprising environmental benefits ($245 million), health benefits ($6.5 billion), GHG reduction benefits ($77 million), and net fuel expenditure savings ($152 million).

    Overall, the net present value of the proposed performance standards is estimated at $6.5 billion, which gives rise to a benefit-cost ratio of 15:1 for stationary engines.

    Top of Page

  • How do these performance standards compare to those in the United States?

    The performance standards of these Regulations for modern (new) stationary engines are comparable to current United States Environmental Protection Agency’s New Source Performance Standard for Stationary Spark Ignition Internal Combustion Engines which have been adjusted for Canadian conditions such as weather and the location of engines.

    Top of Page

  • How can industry comply with the requirements for engines?

    There is a range of readily available technologies from manufacturers within North America that companies could purchase and/or employ to meet these performance standards.

    Top of Page

Cement

  • Why is the government regulating kilns in cement manufacturing facilities?

    Prior to MSAPR, there were no federal regulations under CEPA that limited pollutants emitted by kilns in cement manufacturing facilities. The proposed Regulations were developed to reduce emissions of air pollutants from the cement manufacturing sector to further protect the health of Canadians and the environment. 

    Top of Page

  • What is a cement kiln?

    A cement kiln is an insulated chamber into which blended feedstock is introduced for processing to produce clinker. Clinker is the intermediary product to make cement. Clinker manufacturing is the single largest source of air emissions in the cement manufacturing process.

    Top of Page

  • How many cement manufacturing facilities are covered by the MSAPR?

    Currently in Canada, there are 15 facilities across five provinces that manufacture grey cement. The proposed Regulations apply to all new and existing cement facilities that manufacture clinker for the purpose of making grey cement. 

    Top of Page

  • What are the proposed performance standards for kilns in cement manufacturing facilities?

    Annual performance standards for NOx and SO2 have been developed based on per tonne of clinker produced for each of the four kiln types operating in Canada. 

    The performance standard for SO2 is 3.0 kg/tonne of clinker for all kiln types. The performance standards for NOx are 2.55 kg/tonne clinker or a 30% reduction in emission intensity from calendar year 2006 for wet and dry kilns; and 2.25 kg/tonne clinker for preheater and precalciner kilns.

    Top of Page

  • How much will MSAPR reduce emissions from cement manufacturing facilities?

    MSAPR will result in emission reductions across Canada. The proposed Regulations are estimated to result in a reduction of 96 kilotonnes of SO2 and 63 kilotonnes of NOx over the 2017 to 2035 period from cement facilities. The reduction of NOxand SO2 emissions are expected to result from the addition of emission reduction technologies and through operational improvements.

    Top of Page

  • What are the costs and benefits of the cement portion of the MSAPR?

    Between 2013 and 2035, the present value of costs of the performance standards for the cement manufacturing sector is $43 million, largely due to the incremental costs of the required technologies. The present value of the benefits between 2013 and 2035 is estimated at $1.5 billion, which largely comprises health benefits ($1.4 billion) and environmental benefits ($31 million).

    Overall, the net present value of the proposed performance standard is estimated at $1.5 billion, which gives rise to a benefit-cost ratio of 34:1. 

    Top of Page

  • How do these performances standards for kilns in cement manufacturing facilities compare to those in the United States?

    The performance standards of the proposed Regulations are comparable to state-issued standards for similar existing facility types. New source performance standards proposed by the US EPA are anticipated to reduce NOx and SO2 emissions from cement kilns built after 2008.

    Top of Page

  • How can industry comply with the requirements for kilns in cement manufacturing facilities?

    There is a broad range of proven technologies and operational improvements that, when implemented, will allow facilities to reduce their emissions of NOx and SO2. This may include improvement in energy efficiency, adoption of flue gas desulphurization for the reduction of SO2 and the introduction of selective non-catalytic reduction for the control of NOx.

    Top of Page

Date modified: