Province says it’s clearing the air

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TORONTO, Ont. – Ontario’s Anti-Smog Action Plan (ASAP) is making solid progress in the fight against smog, according to a recent report released by the Ministry of the Environment.

The report – Ontario’s Anti-Smog Action Plan: Progress Through Partnership – indicates that actions are implemented or planned to achieve 80 per cent of the ASAP target for nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.

The plan brings together a wide range of partners – including industry associations, companies, government agencies and environmental and health organizations – to reduce NOx emissions by 45 per cent from 1990 levels by 2015.

The report notes that 33 working groups have reported progress. As well, seven new partners have signed the Anti-Smog Accord, bringing to 51 the total number of signatories.

Compared to Ontario’s ASAP commitments, the U.S. EPA’s State Implementation Plans will lead to 25 per cent reductions of NOx emissions when implemented between 2003 and 2007.

At home, the ministry has taken action with such things as Drive Clean emission tests, which it says reduced smog-causing emissions from vehicles by 6.7 per cent in program areas, and the Smog Patrol, which conducts vehicle spot checks. n

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