Download the Air Action Plan [PDF 1.08MB]

Clean Industry

Did You Know?

B.C. has 50 per cent of Canada’s biomass electricity generating capacity. And B.C.’s wood pellet industry alone produces one-sixth of the entire European Union market for bioenergy feedstock.

British Columbia has a strong track record of bringing ideas and innovation to industry – from harnessing hydro power to generate clean electricity, to developing hydrogen fuel-cell technologies. Our economy has the strength and resources to support bold choices, and the government is working with industry associations province-wide to ensure our industries are thriving and sustainable – and supporting British Columbians’ environmental and health priorities.

This Air Action Plan includes the following measures to reduce the air quality of impacts of industry. Many of these measures also support the government’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent by 2020.

Action #14: Encourage companies to use cleanest available practices and technologies. New policies will be introduced that support the use of the best available, economically feasible pollution-control technologies in all new or expanding industrial facilities.

For example, technologies exist to help reduce emissions from the pulp and paper industry, a major contributor to air pollution, and these can be integrated into the development of new or modernized facilities. The provincial government will consult with stakeholders as part of the policy development process.

Action #15: Clean up industrial boilers. Industrial boilers are primarily used for incinerating waste or generating heat in places like commercial greenhouses or pulp mills. Most are in industrial complexes or businesses close to populated areas. In conjuction with the BC Bioenergy Strategy, we will work with the bioenergy industry and others to develop new fine particulate standards for industrial boilers, helping to reduce pollution and improve air quality. For details, please visit www.energyplan.gov.bc.ca/bioenergy.

Action #16: Reduce emissions from upstream oil and gas production. B.C.’s oil and gas sector is critical to our economy, employing tens of thousands of people and contributing nearly $2 billion a year to provincial revenues. Initiatives in this area are guided by, and form part of, the new B.C. Energy Plan, and will help reduce emissions from oil and gas – before they reach consumers. For more on the B.C. Energy Plan, go to www.energyplan.gov.bc.ca.

Action #17: Develop economic instruments for clean industrial choices. Economic instruments are one of the key ways government can influence choices and behaviours. For example, government can provide financial support to aid in the development of new ideas and technologies, adjust tax and fee structures to motivate certain behaviours, or provide something like a deposit/refund system, where the cost paid upfront is designed to encourage the return of recyclable materials. Another example is the cap-and-trade system that is being designed under the Western Climate Initiative, and which will allow low-polluting businesses to exchange their carbon credits for cash. Economic instruments supporting this Air Action Plan will be developed throughout 2008.

Action #18: Support innovative pilot projects. Pilots are a good way to test and assess new techniques and technologies. Then the experience gained can guide any needed adaptations before the new approach is adopted more broadly. As part of this Air Action Plan, the B.C. government will create a matching-funds incentive program to support the development and piloting of innovative production and control techniques, pilot projects for alternative fuels, and control technologies to reduce emissions from industrial operations. The initiative will focus on applying B.C.- based research and science, and developing techniques and technologies that could be adopted across Canada and around the world.

Action #19: Eliminate beehive burners. The provincial government has been working with mill owners since the 1990s to phase out these old, inefficient wood-waste burners. The worst polluters – known as Tier 1 burners – were required to shut down by December 31, 2007.
Action will be initiated on remaining beehive burners starting in 2010, starting with those near residential areas. This will remove over 14,000 tonnes of fine particulate matter from our air.