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July 24, 2000
Toronto Public Health Urges Premier to Convert Nanticoke
  
Toronto Public Health - Toronto's Board of Health will consider a
report at its monthly meeting today (1p.m. at City Hall) calling on the
provincial government to reduce emissions from the Nanticoke Generating Station
by converting it to natural gas.

Dr. Sheela Basrur, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, said the province must
respond directly to concerns raised by the Attorney General for the State of
New York about Ontario's coal fired plants. "Given the importance of bilateral
negotiations between Canada and the U.S. on reducing air pollution, I am asking
the Board of Health to urge the Premier to ensure the conversion of the
Nanticoke plant."

Canada and the United States will meet in August to try to reach an agreement
to reduce transboundary air pollution that contributes to ozone levels on both
sides of the Canada-U.S. border. Under rules adopted by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency, coal-fired power plants in the United States will have to
reduce ozone producing emissions to rates three to four times lower than those
in Ontario. New York's Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer, has stated that "until
Ontario addresses the harmful emissions from coal-fired plants, Canada lacks
credibility" in the negotiations.

"In Toronto, we have focused on the Lakeview Generating Station because it is
located at our doorstep," said Dr. Basrur. "But Nanticoke is only about 100
kilometres southwest of Toronto and emits four times as much sulphur dioxide."

The report to the Board of Health points out that in 1998 Nanticoke emitted 11
times as much sulphur dioxide as was emitted from the entire City of Toronto in
1995. Sulphur dioxide is a major component of smog.

"Ontario must be willing to offer reductions in air emissions that are equal to
or better than the commitments being made by the United States," said Dr.
Basrur. Recent reports by both Toronto Public Health and the Ontario Medical
Association have documented the negative economic and health impacts resulting
from hospitalizations and premature deaths caused by smog.



Board of Health Meeting:
Date: Today, Monday July 24, 2000
Time: 1 p.m. (Nanticoke is agenda item #4)
Place: Committee Room #1, 2nd Floor, Toronto City Hall


Media Contact
Mary Margaret Crapper
Public Health Communications
416-392-1494

 

 

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