Carbon monoxide exceedance at Durham York Energy Centre

On Saturday, July 20, an external electrical power trip and subsequent recovery procedures led to an exceedance of the four-hour rolling average limit for carbon monoxide (CO) at the Durham York Energy Centre (DYEC).

The limit for CO is set at 40 mg/Rm3 (milligrams per reference cubic metre), which is a Performance Requirement under Schedule C of the Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA). The CO levels were 55 mg/Rm3. CO is monitored as an operational parameter indicating combustion performance. All other emissions were in compliance.

The exceedance was initiated by an external electrical power trip and occurred during the recovery effort.  Boiler #2 experienced elevated levels of CO while it was being taken off-line. Boiler #1 was back online July 21 and Boiler #2 was back online July 22. The DYEC is now performing within the requirements of the ECA.

Since this was an exceedance of an in-stack emission limit which is a Performance Requirement under Schedule C of the ECA, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) Spills Action Centre was informed of the exceedance in the early morning of Sunday, July 21.

The MECP has imposed strict limits on the air emissions for the DYEC, ensuring that this facility operates in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. Current emissions monitoring data is posted online at the project website www.DurhamYorkWaste.ca and on a large electronic board outside of the visitor’s centre. Ambient Air reports, as well as a comprehensive overview of the facility and answers to frequently asked questions are available online.

The Durham York Energy Centre, located in Courtice, is Durham Region’s primary long-term disposal option for waste and only processes the household waste remaining after Durham and York Regions’ aggressive composting, recycling and reuse programs. Both regions are leaders in waste diversion with diversion rates consistently above 60 per cent. For more information on the Durham York Energy Centre, visit www.DurhamYorkWaste.ca, call 1-800-667-5671, or email info@durhamyorkwaste.ca.

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