Ontario suspends chemical plant approval over benzene emissions

By Allison Jones   The Canadian Press Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment has ordered a petrochemical facility in Sarnia to suspend its production operations after high benzene emissions, first flagged by a neighbouring First Nation. Aamjiwnaang First Nation, which is surrounded by industrial facilities and monitors air quality readings, recently said citizens fell ill and there were high emissions of the cancer-causing substance from Ineos Styrolution. The company said in a statement Tuesday that its own monitors didn’t detect any emissions outside prescribed limits, but that it temporarily shut down to perform maintenance and address a mechanical issue. But the ministry said Wednesday evening that “despite several previous provincial orders requiring the company to reduce benzene emissions, recent readings at this site continue to be above acceptable levels.” “Today, the decision…

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