The Toronto Board of Health has approved a recommendation that the Medical Officer of Health develop an environmental reporting program which would require facilities to report on their use and emission of 25 substances of priority health concern, and that the Medical Officer of Health report to the Board of Health in 2008 on a draft by-law and implementation plan.

The decision follows a report from the Medical Officer of Health which concludes that there are significant gaps in current mandatory reporting systems. It was found that only 3% of Toronto facilities report to the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) and that most small and medium-sized facilities do not report at all. It also found that approximately 80% of releases to air in Toronto are not reported to the NPRI, and that approximately 60% of total releases in Toronto (to air, water, and land) are not reported to the NPRI. The objective is to capture what is not currently reported.

The sectors which may be proposed as required to report are:

  • food and beverage manufacturing
  • printing and publishing
  • wood industries
  • chemical distribution
  • medical and diagnostic laboratories
  • fuelling services
  • construction
  • funeral services
  • property management / institutional
  • clothing manufacturing
  • chemical manufacturing
  • other manufacturing
  • waste management
  • automotive repair and maintenance
  • transportation support
  • laundry services, including dry cleaning
  • power generation

The following 25 substances were identified for enhanced reporting and access to environmental information:

  • acetaldehyde
  • benzene
  • 1,3-butadiene
  • carbon tetrachloride
  • chloromethane
  • 1,4-dichlorobenzene
  • ethylene dibromide
  • lead
  • mercury
  • PM 2.5
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  • toluene
  • vinyl chloride
  • acrolein
  • cadmium
  • chloroform
  • chromium
  • 1,2-dichloroethane
  • dichloromethane
  • formaldehyde
  • manganese
  • nickel
  • NOx,
  • tetrachloroethylene
  • trichloroethylene

It is proposed to develop a draft by-law and implementation plan to be presented in the spring of 2008, following a consultation process.

For more information see:  http://www.toronto.ca/health/hphe/pdf/boh_july2007_access_to_environmental_information.pdf