CANADA: Ontario power station must clean up emissions to NY standards

As Canadian and US officials meet in Washington to negotiate air pollution reductions, environmental campaigners have called for the Canadian government to clean up North America's largest coal-fired power plant in Nanticoke, Ontario.

The campaigners point out that cross-boundary air pollution affects the health of people on both sides of the US-Canada border (see related story). “Both countries need to cut smog pollution to New York’s forward looking standard. Canadian power plants like Nanticoke exceed this standard outrageously – by a factor of three,” said Reg Gilbert, senior coordinator at Great Lakes United (GLU).

GLU say the Nanticoke plant, located 63 miles directly upwind from Buffalo, NY is contaminating the air in upstate New York as well as Canada’s Niagara Peninsula. The campaigners say Nanticoke is equipped with second-rate pollution control equipment, and emits NOx at three times the rate allowed in New York State.

Moreover, the Canadian Government has no requirement for Canadian power plants to use the best available air pollution control technology, such as selective catalytic reduction (SCR), which can reduce NOx emissions by up to 70%. SCR is employed at dozens of US power plants, but none in Ontario, GLU says.

“Canada has often put forward the case that Canadians are victims of American air pollution and that is correct,” said Dan McDermott, director of Toronto-based the OntAIRio Campaign. “But the sad truth is that Canada also pollutes the lungs of

Americans. We all need a tough new air quality deal that will force the cleanup of dirty coal-fired power plants on both sides of the border,” he said.

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