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Recent News

CHAR Completes Acquisition of The Altech Group 

The Altech Group is pleased to announce that it has completed its merger with CHAR Technologies Ltd. , a publicly traded organization (YES:TSXV).

CHAR brings to Altech an opportunity to effect growth in all business lines at an optimal time. According to Alexander Keen, Founder and CEO of Altech, “CHAR brings an exciting future for Altech and our Clients. Our joint efforts in consulting engineering, GHG reduction, environmental compliance, property due diligence, resource efficiency and environmental technology design/build/installation going forward, will bring tremendous opportunities”.

A core business of CHAR is the production of a proprietary activated charcoal-like material (“SulfaCHAR”), which can be used to removed hydrogen sulfide from various gas streams (focusing on methane-rich and odorous air).  The SulfaCHAR, once used for the gas cleaning application, has further use as a sulfur-enriched biochar for agricultural purposes (saleable soil amendment product).

Bill White, Chairman of CHAR stated that, “The acquisition of the Altech Group adds over 30 years of experience in environmental technologies and professional engineering consulting” and that “Altech provides CHAR with a growth catalyst to move much of our engineering design in-house, while at the same time allows us to greatly expand our technology solutions offering for industrial clean air and clean water”.

The new joint enterprise plans to realize synergies and combined growth in Technology Systems and Environmental Consulting. New technology initiatives include the commercialization of a new cleantech solid fuel branded “CleanFyre”. CleanFyre will allow large industrial customers the ability to greatly reduce their GHG emissions without significant capital expenditures. According to Andrew White, CEO of CHAR, “CleanFyre will leverage both Altech’s experience and expertise, and CHAR’s platform pyrolysis technology, to create a solution with strong market pull and significant growth opportunity.

For more information call Alex Keen, CEO, Altech, at 416-467-5555 ext 223.

 

Ontario to Triple Hazardous Waste Tonnage Fee by 2017

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change is proposing to amend O. Reg. 347 to increase the fees related to the disposal of hazardous waste. These fees have not been updated since when they were implemented in 2002. The fee increase are expected to allow a full cost recovery of the hazardous waste program.

The fee component and changes are as follows:

  • Initial and Annual Generator Registration Fee – $50 per registration (remain the same);
  • Manifest Fee – $5 per manifest (remain the same);
  • Tonnage Fee – $20 per tonne as of January 1, 2016 (increase from $10 per tonne);                                  – $30 per tonne as of January 1, 2017.

This proposal was posted on Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) Registry for a 45 day public review and comments were accepted until September 19, 2015.

Changes to Air Standards in 2016

Beginning July 1, 2016, new air standards under O. Reg. 419/05 will take effect for nine substances including Benzene, Benzo-a-pyrene, 1,3-Butadiene, Chromium and chromium compounds (Metallic, Divalent and Trivalent), Chromium Compounds (Hexavalent), Dioxins, furans and dioxin-like PCBs, Manganese and manganese compounds, Nickel and nickel compounds and Uranium and uranium compounds.

Facilities emitting these contaminants must ensure compliance with the new air standards using the applicable air dispersion model and document the results in the facility’s Emission Summary and Dispersion Modelling (ESDM) Report by July 1, 2016.

For help & advice, contact Justie Chung, P.Eng. Project Engineer, Altech, at 1-800-323-4937 ext 247 or info@altech-group.com

City of Mississauga Begins Charging Property Owners for Stormwater Runoff

City of Mississauga’s new Stormwater Charges By-law (0135-2015) comes into effect January 1, 2016 and allows the City to charge local property owners for rain water runoff to city sewers. (ref: www.mississauga.ca/portal/stormwater/charge). The City indicates it will use the new revenue to offset increasing infrastructure capital and operating costs, and that it brings the City in line with several other Ontario jurisdictions doing the same.

Using satellite imagery and GIS systems, staff have already determined the amount of impenetrable surface area of all multi-residential and ICI properties in the City. For 2016, the annual charge applied to the site’s regional water bill will be $100 per 267m2 of impermeable area. Go to http://estimator.stormwatercharge.ca/ and input your property address to determine what your charge will be. A typical industrial facility with 50,000m2 of combined rooftop and hard-paved parking area will pay approximately $15,000 in surcharge in 2016.

To encourage property owners to reduce, re-use or treat their runoff water, the City is offering up to a 50% credit or rebate on this surcharge. Applications for these credits are being accepted now. All applications require the inclusion of best practice Stormwater Management (SWM) Plans, including detailed drawings and operations manuals of qualifying upgrades such as runoff peak flow reduction and volume reduction measures (e.g. rainwater re-use for irrigation or toilets, holding tanks, green rooves, bio-swails) and storm sewer pollution reduction measures such (e.g. storm interceptors) and site Pollution Prevention plans. These SWM Plans must be certified by a licensed and qualified Ontario Professional Engineer. Differing categories of stormwater control measures qualify for differing amounts of credits.

The City has targeted a 30-day turnaround on rebate/credit applications, with the approved credit being retroactive to the application receipt date or to the installation date of the runoff control measure, whichever is latest. Approved credits expire every five years and require re-submission for renewal. Updated applications for increased credits can be made anytime if a new measure is installed. Proposed changes can be submitted to the City for pre-approval. New developments will likely optimize building and site designs to maximize future credits, and can use the SWM Plan normally submitted with development applications with the Stormwater Credit Application.

Changes to Ontario’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Regulation (Reg. 452/09)

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) had proposed amendments to the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Regulation and the related guide. The amendments include reducing the reporting threshold from 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) to 10,000 tonnes CO2e, establishing a reporting threshold of 200 litres of fuel for liquid petroleum fuel distributors and suppliers, addition of 7 sources that will require reporting for the 2016 emissions year, establishing category of sources that will reporting but will not subject to verification or potential compliance requirements under a cap and trade program, and updates to the Greenhouse Guide Reporting Guideline regarding calculation methods and other reporting requirements.

This proposal was posted on Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) Registry for a 45 day public review and comments were accepted until January 19, 2015.

Amendments to Drinking Water Regulations

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change is proposing more amendments to the Drinking Water Regulation (O. Reg. 169/03) and Drinking-Water Systems Regulation (O. Reg. 170/03) to include water testing requirements. This is following a recent amendment to implement drinking-water quality standards for new substances and tightening up several existing standards.

This proposal was posted on Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) Registry for a 45 day public review and comments were accepted until September 28, 2015.

ISO 14001 has Changed

The ISO 14001 standard for Environmental Management Systems (EMS) that was developed in 1990’s has undergone several revisions. The new version, 14001: 2015, was recently passed by the international organization. Several changes have been made by the ISO to respond to the latest trends worldwide, and to harmonize ISO 14001 with other management system standards.

 The new, key changes add new emphasis on:

  • Leadership
  • Increased prominence of 14001 within the organization’s strategic plan.
  • Addition of risk management and proactive initiatives to protect the environment, such as sustainable resource use and climate change mitigation.
  • Improvement of environmental performance requirement and of measuring progress to objectives is added, as is Lifecycle Analysis.
  • Addition of a communications & awareness strategy requirement.

 

The new standard now has a common structure, terms and definitions as other management system standards such as ISO 9001, making life easier and cheaper for registrants using multiple standards.

ISO has granted a three-year transition period to migrate their EMS system to the new requirements before being required to certify to the new version. Certification to the former version, ISO 14001:2004, will then expire.

For more information or help, contact Alex Keen of Altech at 1-800-323-4937 ext 223 or at info@altech-group.com or go to www.iso.org/iso/iso14001_revision

City of Toronto Making Brownfield Policy Update

The City of Toronto has its own policies and procedures for reviewing and accepting potentially contaminated lands that are to be conveyed to the City, under the Planning Act, typically during redevelopment projects.  Part of these policies are: what Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) under O.Reg. 153/04 and amendments must be completed for the lands, who must prepare and Peer Review them, and what Risk Management tools are acceptable by the City.  A new policy document will soon be submitted to City Council – the latest version being January 2015.  If council accepts this new policy document, the following changes may affect land conveyance in the near future:

  • Qualified Person (QP) requirements;
  • Acceptance of the Modified Generic Risk Assessment (MGRA) approach;
  • Soil management best practices;
  • Risk management measures for long-term site management; and
  • Site plan review by the Ministry.

To learn more, please contact Chad Stewart, P.Eng., QP, at Altech: info@altech-group.com or 416 467 5555 x 232.

Pollution Prevention Plans for City of Toronto set to Change

The City of Toronto is considering making Pollution Prevention Plan requirements by Toronto industry less onerous and costly.

industrial and environmental esotericUnder Toronto’s Sewers current By-Law Chapter 681, Section 5, Pollution Prevention Planning, every Toronto industry that discharges any amount of a subject pollutant is required to submit a Pollution Prevention (P2) Plan to the City acknowledging the discharge of that subject pollutant and steps being taken to reduce or eliminate that pollutant.

By setting threshold limits, the City can eliminate the requirement of industries to report trace amounts of subject pollutants that may be present in their effluent.

One proposed threshold under discussion is 25% of the limit. That is, any industry having a concentration of any of the long list of subject pollutants in their wastewater that is below 25% of the sewer bylaw limit, will no longer be required to submit a P2 Plan to the City.

This move is to save industry money, and reduce the time burden on City staff for reviewing and approving P2 Plans being submitted. The change will require approval by Council, likely for implementation in late 2015.

For advice, contact Altech’s Wastewater P2 Engineering team, at 416-467-5555 or info@altech-group.com. For a full copy of the current Bylaw, Click Here.

Work Shop

ALTECH once again exhibited at the Energy 2014 Workshop hosted by the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association. The theme was: Competitive Advantage Through Energy.

This event in Mississauga on Nov 6, 2014, highlighted opportunities for manufacturers to increase profitability and grow their businesses by addressing energy costs and exploring energy supply chain. Altech is one of the few consulting energy engineering firms in Ontario helping manufacturing clients reduce energy costs through process upgrades and equipment retrofits, often with 100% of our fees paid for by the Utilities. For more info, contact us.

Award

Altech’s world class project with Algoma Orchards receives a “Water’s Next” Award for 2012. Altech pioneered the development of a wastewater treatment system that treated all the wastewater from the processing of apples and fruit juices and upgraded the resulting water to potable standards for reuse back in the plant. For more information, Click Here.