Province cutting diesel particulate levels in underground mines – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – April 11, 2023)

New regulations to reduce emissions by 70 per cent of current levels come into effect in September

Underground miners will breathe a little easier this fall with the arrival of new provincial regulations requiring better ventilation in the workplace.

Announced on April 11, the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development is introducing new legislation that lowers the acceptable level of diesel particulate that’s emitted by diesel-powered equipment underground.

Currently, Ontario permits levels of up to 400 micrograms per cubic metre of air — one of the highest allowable levels in the world.But under the new legislation, that number would be cut by 70 per cent, to 120 micrograms per cubic metre of air, and companies in non-compliance will face orders and fines, among other measures.

“We know that long-term exposure to diesel exhaust while on the job can be a significant cause of bladder and lung cancer, and cardiovascular disease for miners,” said Labour Minister Monte McNaughton, who travelled to the NORCAT underground mine in Onaping, northwest of Sudbury, to make the announcement.

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