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New Manitoba proposal encourages use of biomass fuels

The Government of Manitoba will hold public consultations on proposed new regulations aimed at reducing emissions from incinerators and encouraging the use of natural biomass materials as fuels, Conservation Minister Bill Blaikie announced today.

 

“The proposed new laws will help make Manitoba’s air cleaner,” said Bill Blaikie, Conservation Minister. “The province is also proposing changes to streamline the approval process for new clean-energy systems, such as biomass, that will replace the use of fossil fuels like coal and help reduce air emissions.”

 

The proposed changes will bring Manitoba into compliance with the countrywide standards on incinerator emissions adopted from the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment. Manitoba has already announced that a new biomedical waste facility will be built in Brandon to serve expanded health facilities in the region and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in compliance with the standards. The new facility will also serve smaller hospitals in rural Manitoba, further reducing emissions from smaller incinerators currently operating throughout the province.

 

In addition to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, the government says the proposed changes will help encourage further use of biomass material as a fuel source. Thermal treatment technologies include incineration, gasification and pyrolysis processes which convert solids to gases and/or liquids through the application of heat.

 

The government says the proposed changes would make biomass-based systems more attractive to industry by putting in place a simpler and faster permit system. The changes would level the playing field for biomass thermal systems currently competing with fossil-fuel based systems, while increasing the level of environmental protection though stricter emissions controls, according to the government.

 

Public consultations will consider a proposed thermal treatment systems regulation to replace the existing incinerators regulation. As well, the public will be asked to consider revised classes of development regulation. The revisions include changes such as the addition of landfill-gas collection systems and commercial composting facilities.

 

The proposed regulations can be found at www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/eal/news.html.