Aluminium and alumina sector: environmental performance agreement overview

This environmental performance agreement is in effect from November 13, 2017 to December 31, 2025.

Aluminium and alumina sector: environmental agreement

Objective

The objective of this agreement will be to implement the base level industrial emissions requirements (BLIERs) developed for the aluminium and alumina sector.

Signatories

This agreement has been negotiated between:

  • Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC)
  • the Aluminium Association of Canada
  • Rio Tinto Alcan inc.
  • Alcoa-Lauralco Management co., Alcoa Canada cie, and Aluminerie de Bécancour inc.
  • Aluminerie Alouette inc.

Key requirements

The participating companies agree to:

  1. Achieve and maintain the BLIERs for emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2), total particulate matter (TPM), fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and polycyclic aromatics hydrocarbons (PAH), including the development of a SO2 action plan and data reporting and the implementation of the PM2.5 code of practice
  2. Participate in the development of a quantitative PM2.5 target based on the PM2.5 sampling and monitoring program
  3. For the purposes of continuous improvement, establish a working relationship that will facilitate the exchange of information and knowledge regarding atmospheric emissions, including emission sources, emissions reduction and methods for sampling and analysis

Deadlines

Type of reports Deadline
Annual report June 30 (each calendar year of this agreement, starting in 2018)
ECCC public reporting Annually

Where to submit

All annual reports are to be submitted electronically to ec.epa-epe.ec@canada.ca

Performance results

All companies submitted their 2018 annual report by the reporting deadline. All reports were verified by ECCC and indicated that all companies met and maintained their emissions targets for SO2, TPM, PM2.5 and PAH for 2018 (refer to the tables below). The PM2.5 working group was created and is composed of industry, the Aluminium Association of Canada, provinces and ECCC representatives. To date, three annual working group meetings have occurred. The working group discussed the results and sampling methods of PM2.5 measurement campaigns carried out so far, the criteria for setting a quantitative PM2.5 target and the validation of the method for measuring PM2.5 emissions from potlines roof vents. Most of the facilities submitted their action plan highlighting the implementation of the code of practice to reduce emissions of PM2.5 from the primary aluminium sector. Due to special circumstances and with ECCC’s approval, one facility did not submit their PM2.5 action plan; it will be submitted in 2021.

Table 1: potroom electrolysisFootnote 1  (TPM)
Facility BLIERs target
(2.0 kg/tonne of aluminium for existing electrolysis, 1.3 kg/tonne of aluminium for new electrolysis)
Rio Tinto Alcan: Grande Baie Target achieved
Rio Tinto Alcan: Laterrière Target achieved
Rio Tinto Alcan: Arvida n/aFootnote 2 
Rio Tinto Alcan: AP60 Target achieved
Rio Tinto Alcan: Alma
Target achieved
Rio Tinto Alcan: Kitimat
Target achievedFootnote 3 
Rio Tinto Alcan: Vaudreuil n/a
Rio Tinto Alcan: Strathcona n/a
Alcoa: Baie-Comeau
Target achieved
Alcoa: Deschambault
Target achieved
Alcoa: Bécancour
Target achieved
Alouette: Sept-Îles
Target achieved
Table 2: anode bakingFootnote 4  (PAH)
Facility BLIERs target
(50 g/tonne of baked anode)
Rio Tinto Alcan: Grande Baie Target achieved
Rio Tinto Alcan: Laterrière n/a
Rio Tinto Alcan: Arvida Target achieved
Rio Tinto Alcan: AP60 n/a
Rio Tinto Alcan: Alma
Target achieved
Rio Tinto Alcan: Kitimat
Target achieved
Rio Tinto Alcan: Vaudreuil n/a
Rio Tinto Alcan: Strathcona n/a
Alcoa: Baie-Comeau
n/a
Alcoa: Deschambault
Target achieved
Alcoa: Bécancour
Target achieved
Alouette: Sept-Îles
Target achieved
Table 3: anode bakingFootnote 4  (TPM)
Facility BLIERs target
(0.3 kg/tonne of baked anode)
Rio Tinto Alcan: Grande Baie Target achieved
Rio Tinto Alcan: Laterrière n/a
Rio Tinto Alcan: Arvida Target achieved
Rio Tinto Alcan: AP60 n/a
Rio Tinto Alcan: Alma
Target achieved
Rio Tinto Alcan: Kitimat
Target achieved
Rio Tinto Alcan: Vaudreuil n/a
Rio Tinto Alcan: Strathcona n/a
Alcoa: Baie-Comeau
n/a
Alcoa: Deschambault
Target achieved
Alcoa: Bécancour
Target achieved
Alouette: Sept-Îles
Target achieved
Table 4: anode paste productionFootnote 5  (PAH)
Facility BLIERs target
(30 g/tonne of anode paste)
Rio Tinto Alcan: Grande Baie Target achieved
Rio Tinto Alcan: Laterrière n/a
Rio Tinto Alcan: Arvida Target achieved
Rio Tinto Alcan: AP60 n/a
Rio Tinto Alcan: Alma
Target achieved
Rio Tinto Alcan: Kitimat
Target achieved
Rio Tinto Alcan: Vaudreuil n/a
Rio Tinto Alcan: Strathcona n/a
Alcoa: Baie-Comeau
n/a
Alcoa: Deschambault
Target achieved
Alcoa: Bécancour
Target achieved
Alouette: Sept-Îles
Target achieved
Table 5: alumina productionFootnote 6  (TPM)
Facility BLIERs target
(as in Quebec's Clean Air Regulation, approx. 18 kg/h for calcinators)
Rio Tinto Alcan: Grande Baie n/a
Rio Tinto Alcan: Laterrière n/a
Rio Tinto Alcan: Arvida n/a
Rio Tinto Alcan: AP60 n/a
Rio Tinto Alcan: Alma
n/a
Rio Tinto Alcan: Kitimat
n/a
Rio Tinto Alcan: Vaudreuil Target achieved
Rio Tinto Alcan: Strathcona n/a
Alcoa: Baie-Comeau
n/a
Alcoa: Deschambault
n/a
Alcoa: Bécancour
n/a
Alouette: Sept-Îles
n/a
Table 6: alumina productionFootnote 6  (SO2)
Facility BLIERs target
(1% maximum sulphur concentration in fuel)
Rio Tinto Alcan: Grande Baie n/a
Rio Tinto Alcan: Laterrière n/a
Rio Tinto Alcan: Arvida n/a
Rio Tinto Alcan: AP60 n/a
Rio Tinto Alcan: Alma
n/a
Rio Tinto Alcan: Kitimat
n/a
Rio Tinto Alcan: Vaudreuil Target achievedFootnote 7
Rio Tinto Alcan: Strathcona n/a
Alcoa: Baie-Comeau
n/a
Alcoa: Deschambault
n/a
Alcoa: Bécancour
n/a
Alouette: Sept-Îles
n/a
Table 7: coke calcinationFootnote 8  (TPM)
Facility BLIERs target
(1.5 kg/tonne of green coke)
Rio Tinto Alcan: Grande Baie n/a
Rio Tinto Alcan: Laterrière n/a
Rio Tinto Alcan: Arvida Target achieved
Rio Tinto Alcan: AP60 n/a
Rio Tinto Alcan: Alma
n/a
Rio Tinto Alcan: Kitimat
Target achieved
Rio Tinto Alcan: Vaudreuil n/a
Rio Tinto Alcan: Strathcona Target achieved
Alcoa: Baie-Comeau
n/a
Alcoa: Deschambault
n/a
Alcoa: Bécancour
n/a
Alouette: Sept-Îles
n/a

Verification

ECCC received and verified the annual reports, which included PAH, TPM, PM2.5 and sulphur content in fuel data. This year, ECCC reached out to industry to verify the data for TPM emission from alumina production and obtained more details on their calculations. No changes to the annual reports were necessary following this verification.

Next steps

  • The SO2 working group is expected to be created at the end of 2020
  • Conduct desktop reviews of 2019 reports

Background information

Federal, provincial and territorial environment ministers are taking action to better protect human health and the environment by endorsing and implementing the air quality management system. It includes:

  • Canadian ambient air quality standards for fine particulate matter, ground-level ozone and SO2
  • BLIERs
  • local air zone management by the provincial/territorial jurisdictions

Summary of instruments to implement BLIERs

The Government of Canada led a federal, provincial and territorial consensus process with stakeholder involvement to complete the development of BLIERs. For the aluminium and alumina sector, quantitative BLIERs were developed for TPM, PAHs and SO2 and qualitative BLIERs were developed for PM2.5 and SO2.

Response to comments

A draft agreement was posted for public consultation on the Government of Canada's environmental performance agreements website for 60 days. Comments were received from industrial stakeholders. These comments were taken into consideration when finalizing this agreement. In response to comments, text was added to the annex of this agreement to clarify the requirements for minimum sampling frequency in order to harmonize with the provincial jurisdiction.

Related information

Overview of the aluminium sector code of practice

Contact us

Mining and Processing Division
Environment and Climate Change Canada
351 St-Joseph Boulevard
Gatineau QC  K1A 0H3

Email: ec.mmp-tmm.ec@canada.ca

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