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Decision comes after SIU probe into 2017 incident

By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

The region is waiting on word from the province regarding what officials are calling a minor carbon monoxide exceedance at the Durham York Energy Centre.

On Thursday, March 1, scheduled major maintenance was completed on Boiler 2 with waste fed into the boiler that afternoon. The following day, a carbon monoxide increase led to a four-hour rolling average of 48 milligrams per cubic metre.

This is more than the limit of 40 milligrams per cubic metre as laid out in the centre’s Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA).

“This is a very small exceedance,” says Gio Anello, manager of waste planning and technical services for the region.

This is the first carbon monoxide exceedance under the centre’s ECA, Anello says.

In accordance with provincial regulations, the region informed the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change on March 2.

“We described the incident and what corrective actions were taken,” Anello says.

According to a region media release, Boiler 2 was back online within three hours of the incident and performing within the requirements of the ECA.

According to Anello, the MOECC will review the incident.

“They will come back and let us know if they are satisfied,” he adds.

There are numerous steps the province could take including imposings fines against Covanta, the operator of the DYEC.

Anello told The Oshawa Express on March 8 he expects the ministry to hand down its findings within the next week.

The carbon monoxide exceedance comes on the heels of region revealing a spike in air contaminants at the DYEC’s Rundle Road monitoring station in late November 2017.

Air quality measurements on Nov. 27 showed an exceedance of 93 per cent over provincial standards.

Consultant Stantec Inc. concluded the incident was the result of heavy traffic in the area of the monitoring station and posed a negligible human health risk.

Another ambient air exceedance at the Rundle Road station in June 2017 was attributed to nearby construction on the future Highway 418.