The government of Nova Scotia announced on October 12, 2017, that it is making changes to its air quality regulations to allow a mercury diversion program to continue.
Since 2015, Efficiency One – a electricity demand side management supplier – has run a mercury diversion program on behalf of Nova Scotia Power. Under this program, individuals and companies can drop off products that contain mercury, such as compact fluorescent light bulbs, thermostats and other items, for recycling or proper disposal. According to Nova Scotia’s environment department, nearly 20 kilograms of mercury were diverted in 2016.
Under the air quality regulations, this program allows Nova Scotia Power to earn credits for kilograms of mercury diverted. The credits help make up for past emissions that were over the province’s legislated 65-kilogram cap, which Nova Scotia Power must make up for by the end of 2020. The arrangement has also helped prevent higher electricity rates.
Nova Scotia Power no longer needs the program to make up for its emissions over the cap. Rather than see the program end entirely, the province will now allow Nova Scotia Power to bank credits from the mercury diversion program to apply against any future over-emissions until the end of 2024. Credits must be used by the end of 2029.
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“Nova Scotia is making great strides in diverting products that contain mercury from the waste stream and it’s important that we continue this success,” said Environment Minister Iain Rankin. “We’ve made a change to the regulations so Nova Scotia Power continues its diversion program with some modifications.”
The province’s environment department said mercury emissions will continue to decrease in Nova Scotia. The limit will be lowered to 35 kilograms in 2020 and to 30 kilograms in 2030.
For more information on Nova Scotia’s mercury diversion program, visit: www.efficiencyns.ca/service/mercury-collection
To read the original press release, visit: www.novascotia.ca