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Canadian Power Stations and the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI): A Success Story for Pollution Intensity?

Abstract

This paper presents a comprehensive analysis of the pollutant emissions and intensity from Canada’s power stations. An analysis of National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) and site generation data shows significant variability with the dominant emissions pathway being point-source air emissions. In general, power stations are a very small fraction of Canada’s direct facility and estimated diffuse emissions, as well as showing significant variability of pollutant intensities per megawatt or megawatt hour of capacity or generation. The evidence also suggests that increased scale does not lead to a lower pollutant intensity, and that transfers and disposal pollutant loads are substantial, often representing most of the total reported pollutants. Overall, this study provides a valuable insight into the current status of pollutant intensities from Canada’s power stations, possible improvements to the NPRI and a valuable benchmark for future studies and international comparisons.

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Correspondence to Minmeng Tang.

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Tang, M., Mudd, G.M. Canadian Power Stations and the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI): A Success Story for Pollution Intensity?. Water Air Soil Pollut 225, 2129 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11270-014-2129-0

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Keywords

  • Pollutant intensity
  • Electricity generation
  • Canada