Feds extend Chemical Valley benzene order for two years

By Matteo Cimellaro  Local Journalism Initiative  Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault’s emergency interim directive ordering the petrochemical industry in southern Ontario to clean up its act has been extended for two years. The interim order to mitigate dangerous levels of benzene pollution in Sarnia, Ontario area, including the adjacent Aamjiwnaang First Nation, was announced last week by Guilbeault. The interim order marks an unprecedented move by Environment and Climate Change Canada to mitigate air pollution, according to a spokesperson from Environment Climate Change Canada. The order requires petrochemical facilities in the Sarnia area, commonly known as Canada’s Chemical Valley, with emissions of dangerous levels of benzene to implement abatement measures, including fully closed vents and vapour control on storage tanks that contain the chemical. “Clean air is one of the environmental…

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