Ban on burning used oil improves Ontario's air

January 11, 2007

(Toronto) The Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) strongly supports the provincial government’s announcement today to ban the burning of used oil in space heaters. The move is a victory for TEA and other environmental groups who for years have identified the practice as a source of highly toxic local air pollution. The ban will not only improve air quality but will also remove a potential health threat to workers and local residents.

“We applaud Minister Broten’s ban on the burning of used oil, this will help address Toronto’s concerns by reducing harmful pollutants in our air and is a good first step towards promoting recycling for oil,” said Lina Cino from the Toronto Environmental Alliance.

In the spring of 2006, TEA disclosed information on over 40 facilities that have the right to burn motor oil even though the City of Toronto passed a bylaw banning the practice in 2000. TEA’s disclosure triggered outcry from the City of Toronto and residents groups.

“The reality is that most people are unaware of dangerous pollution being created by local neighbourhood based businesses, and governments do little to provide access to such information” said Lina Cino.

“Communities have a right to know what toxic chemicals are being used and released in their neighbourhoods and governments have a responsibility to make this information public and where possible, a responsibility to act. Today, the provincial government has done that.”

The ban will phase out all existing permits by June 2009, and the government will no longer consider new applications, such as the current application by Ontario Redimix’s facility in North Etobicoke.

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For more information please contact Lina Cino, Toronto Environmental Alliance, 416-596-0660