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Metro Vancouver is seeking feedback on potential amendments to the air quality permit and regulatory fees defined in Greater Vancouver Regional District Air Quality Management Fees Regulation Bylaw No. 1083, 2008 (Bylaw 1083). The changes proposed are designed to:

  • achieve health and environmental benefits associated with the reduction of harmful emissions and improved air quality,
  • ensure fees promote continuous improvement, and
  • recover the costs of monitoring and enforcement while maintaining Metro Vancouver’s commitment to discharger-pay, equity, and fairness principles.

The last significant changes to air quality fees was in 2008.

For detailed information on the potential permit and fee changes, see the Discussion Paper.

If you represent a permitted or regulated facility in Metro Vancouver and would like to receive an estimate of proposed fees for your facility, please contact Metro Vancouver at AQBylaw@metrovancouver.org to request an estimate.

BACKGROUND

Under the B.C. Environmental Management Act, Metro Vancouver regulates the discharge of harmful air contaminants. Organizations whose emissions are authorized under a permit or emission regulation pay a base fee plus an emission fee determined by the quantity and type of air contaminants released. The fees for authorized air emissions are based on the potential health impact of the air contaminants and recover the cost of air quality management services. New health information suggests that Metro Vancouver’s air contaminant fees should be updated to better reflect the potential negative health effects of various air contaminants.

The fee changes proposed for the most harmful air contaminants are based upon a study prepared for Metro Vancouver, which assessed the relative health effects of specific air contaminants in the region.

 

Engagement Opportunities

We want your feedback on the proposed amendments and how they may impact you or your organization.

ONLINE FEEDBACK FORM

Fill out a feedback form by April 30, 2021.

FEEDBACK FORM

WEBINARS

Thursday, February 25, 2021 (11:00 am – 12:00 pm)
This webinar explored all proposed amendments to air contaminant emission fees.

Download presentation

Thursday, March 4, 2021 (11:00 am – 12:00pm)
This webinar explored all proposed amendments to air contaminant emission fees.

Download presentation

Thursday, March 11, 2021 (2:00 pm – 3:00 pm)
This webinar focused more on odorous air contaminants and the Measured Discharge Program.

Download presentation

 

NOTABLE PROPOSED CHANGES TO AIR QUALITY PERMIT AND REGULATORY FEES

Several amendments to air quality permit and regulatory fees are proposed in the Discussion Paper, notably:

  • Increasing fees for air contaminants, especially those associated with the greatest health impacts, namely fine particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides, and volatile organic compounds
  • Adding new fees for odorous air contaminants, while enabling substantial fee refunds if emitters take action to reduce emissions and impacts on surrounding communities
  • Discontinuing the Measured Discharge Program, which unfairly benefitted large dischargers, allowing them in some cases to pay lower fees for emissions than smaller facilities

  • Existing and Proposed Fees for Common Air Contaminants
    Air Contaminant Existing Fee ($/tonne) Proposed 2022 Fee($/tonne) Proposed 2025 Fee ($/tonne) Driver for Proposed Increase in Fee
    Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) $300 $700 $1,800 Health
    Photoreactive Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) $100 $150 $260 Health
    Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) $50 $90 $150 Health
    Sulphur Oxides (SOx) $100 $100 $100 Health
  • Existing and Proposed Fees for Other Air Contaminants
    “Other” Air Contaminant Existing Fee ($/tonne) Proposed 2022 Fee($/tonne) Proposed 2025 Fee ($/tonne) Driver for Proposed Increase in Fee
    Ammonia $30 $60 $90 Health, visibility
    Coarse Particulate Matter $30 $35 $40 Inflation
    Coarse Particulate Matter, containing soy dust $30 $70 $180 Health
    Diesel Particulate Matter $300 (as PM2.5, combustion) $2,970 $4,950 Health
    Hazardous Air Pollutants $1,000 $1,500 $2,000 Health
    Metals $30 $900 $1,100 Environmental protection
    Methane $30 $180 $1,120 Climate change
    Non-Photoreactive VOC $30 $35 $40 Inflation
    Other Greenhouse Gases $30 Based on ratio of global warming potential (GWP) to methane GWP, multiplied by methane fee Climate change
    Ozone $30 $150 $260 Health
    Total Reduced Sulphur $150 $800 As Odorous Air Contaminant Environmental protection
  • Proposed Fees for Odorous Air Contaminants
    Air Contaminant Existing Fee ($/billion odour units*) Proposed Fee ($/billion odour units)**
    2022 2025
    Odorous Air Contaminants – Permitted $50 $50 $60
    Odorous Air Contaminants – Measured $50 $200 $240
    *A billion odour units means that a billion cubic metres (i.e., one cubic kilometre) of clean air is required to dilute the discharge so that it is just detectable to the human nose.
    ** 50-75% reduction in fees available if impact mitigation can be demonstrated with dispersion modelling.

PUBLIC OPINION RESEARCH

Even with higher fees, society bears much greater potential health costs arising from the exposure to discharged air contaminants, relative to proposed increased regulatory fees. Due to this impact, research was conducted to gauge public opinion about how air quality management services should be funded. The findings of this research were that a majority of respondents (80%) believed that businesses emitting pollutants should pay most or all of the costs for regulating those emissions. Furthermore, the vast majority (92%) felt that fees should be scaled in accordance with the amount and degree of harm of the pollutants discharged.

PROJECT TIMELINE

August – October 2020
COMPLETE
Public and stakeholder opinion research on current and best future fees and fee structure
October 2020
COMPLETE
Develop proposed Air Quality Management Fees Bylaw Amendment Discussion Paper
November 2020
COMPLETE
Present draft Air Quality Management Fees Bylaw Amendment Discussion Paper to the Metro Vancouver Board for approval to engage
January – April 2021 Engagement on Air Quality Management Fees Bylaw Amendment Discussion Paper
Spring – Summer 2021
​Develop proposed amendments to Bylaw No. 1083 based on engagement feedback
Summer – Fall 2021
​Present draft Bylaw No. 1083 to the Metro Vancouver Board for approval