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Environmental Compliance Approvals (ECA)

Environmental Compliance Approvals (ECA) – FAQ

What is an Emission Summary and Dispersion Modelling Report?

An Emission Summary and Dispersion Modelling (ESDM) Report summarizes all air emissions emanating from the sources at a facility and assesses the offsite impacts against MECP standards and guidelines. The typical or worst case impacts are determined/predicted using MECP approved calculation methods and/or computer programs.

What is an Acoustic Assessment Report?

An Acoustic Assessment Report evaluates the existing acoustic environment at the proposed site and uses predictive modelling to anticipate what the acoustic impact may be at nearest points of reception due to the noise sources at the facility.

What are the Consequences of Operating without an ECA?

If a company is found to be operating without an ECA, or if found to have new equipment or processes not included in their existing ECA, there are several courses of action that the Ministry can pursue. In most cases, a violation notice or a formal Order may be issued to the company, requiring the company to prepare and submit an ECA application with all necessary reports to demonstrate compliance with all applicable regulations. In some cases Control Orders and Stop Orders may be issued, which require the company to reduce or stop the emissions, which may include ceasing operations if necessary to stop the emissions. If convicted of an offence under the EPA, the company can be fined and individuals can be fined or imprisoned.

It is Cambium’s experience that the Ministry’s preference is to work with companies to bring the company into compliance with the regulations, in some cases with an agreed upon plan and timeline to implement the necessary changes to achieve the required reductions in emissions, and that Orders to close a facility or operation are issued a last resort for companies unable or unwilling to implement the necessary changes.

How do I Apply for an ECA for my Facility or Operation?

Once Cambium’s staff and the client determine that an ECA is required, we generally follow the steps listed below:


  1. Qualified Cambium staff will have an initial consultation with the client to set up a site visit to familiarize ourselves with processes and activities at the facility. We typically request some preliminary information such as material safety data sheets, specifications of the equipment in use, operating hours, and quantities of product used.
  2. Cambium Staff will conduct a site visit in order to accurately account for all the details that pertain to the facility’s emissions. It may be necessary to collect noise measurements, acquire detailed dimensions of various components at the facility, and assess the overall production rates and site surroundings. If the facility is not yet operating, then detailed site plans and equipment specifications would be required.
  3. Emission rates are quantified using estimation calculation techniques or from direct measurements collected.
  4. Modelling of the emissions is completed to determine the impact at nearby receptors defined as follows:

    Point of Impingement (POI) for air:

    nearest offsite receptor (property line) or nearest air intake if there are onsite receptors (shared building with another tenant).

    Point of Reception (POR) for noise:
    any point on the premises of a person within 30m of a dwelling where sound or vibration originating from other than those premises is received.

    Results of modelling are compared with accepted Ministry limits/guidelines – if the facility demonstrates compliance, then the final report will be prepared. If not, then it may be necessary to assess the facility using more accurate data (i.e., precise quantities used; stack testing and/or look into implementing emission control equipment).

  5. Submit the application with all supporting documents to the Ministry to undergo a review.
    An ECA will be issued that identifies the owner of the facility, outlines the equipment details, describes the process, and specifies the terms and conditions the facility must meet/maintain (performance specifications, maintenance, stack sampling requirements, acoustic audit requirements, record keeping, complaint process, etc.).

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