The Regional Municipality of Durham


News Release

Update on recent stack test at Durham York Energy Centre

WHITBY, ON June 03, 2016

The Regional Municipality of Durham would like to advise residents that boiler #1 at the Durham York Energy Centre (DYEC) remains off-line in response to the recent stack test failure. Boiler #1 will stay off-line while the operator, Covanta, undertakes phase one of the investigation into the failure which includes a thorough inspection of the boiler system and development of a plan for corrective action.

At this time, the abatement plan—which will include a detailed action plan to determine the root cause of the exceedance and prevent further exceedances—is under development by Covanta with input from the Regions of Durham and York and their consultant, HDR Inc. The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) will also review and provide input on the abatement plan. Covanta is required to demonstrate compliance to the satisfaction of the regions and the MOECC.

Boiler #1 will remain off-line until an approved abatement plan is in place and appropriate corrective actions are completed. With the MOECC and the regions’ concurrence, Covanta will be testing the auxiliary burners in Boiler #1 utilizing natural gas only to verify their functionality. These will be short duration tests that must be conducted prior to further diagnostic investigation.

The process to complete a detailed assessment involves two phases of investigations: Phase one outlines inspections and investigations that will be undertaken while boiler #1 is offline. Phase two includes additional investigations, as well as physical and diagnostic testing that will be undertaken after the restart of boiler #1, and the subsequent completion of an additional stack test by Covanta.

During a stack test completed in early May, boiler #1 exceeded the Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) limits for dioxins and furans. (Stack test results for boiler #2 demonstrated that all emissions were well below ECA limits; the facility continues to operate with ‎boiler #2.) Boiler #1 was taken off-line on May 26.

The MOECC has imposed strict limits on the air emissions for the DYEC, ensuring that this facility will operate in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. Covanta is contractually obliged to comply with the emission limits in the ECA.

Residents may sign up to receive email notifications whenever new documents are posted to the Durham York Energy Centre project website. To register for weekly updates on new documents posted to the website please submit your email address through the subscribe section of the project website https://www.durhamyorkwaste.ca/Home/Subscribe.aspx.

Emissions monitoring data is streamed in real time and posted on the project website (www.durhamyorkwaste.ca), as well as on a large electronic board outside of the visitor’s centre. Environmental reports, as well as a comprehensive overview of the facility and answers to frequently asked questions are also available online.

The Durham York Energy Centre, located in Courtice, is Durham Region’s primary long-term disposal option for waste and only processes the household waste remaining after Durham and York Regions’ aggressive composting, recycling and reuse programs. Both regions are leaders in waste diversion with diversion rates consistently above 50 percent. For more information on the Durham York Energy Centre, visit www.durhamyorkwaste.ca, call 1-800-667-5671, or email info@durhamyorkwaste.ca.

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For more information, please contact Corporate Communications.