The Ontario government is banning the burning of used oil in space heaters, Environment Minister Laurel Broten has announced.
“Motor oil was not formulated for use as fuel and burning it can release elevated levels of chemicals, like lead and arsenic, compared to cleaner burning fuels,” Broten said. “The practice is a potential risk to public health and the environment. What’s more, it makes no sense to burn what can be reused.”
About 700 facilities throughout Ontario, such as automotive service stations, dealerships, trucking fleet operators and construction businesses, burn about 10 million litres of used oil annually for heat; the equivalent of 2.5 million oil changes.
Used oil can be effectively re-used or re-refined into new lubricating oil. In certain industrial applications, used oil can be reclaimed and effectively re-used almost indefinitely. The ban will add to the 150 million litres that are currently being re-refined annually in Ontario.
The ban applies to facilities in southern Ontario only and will come into force on June 1, 2009, to allow facilities to adjust to the new regulation and to divert their used oil rather than discharging it into the environment.
“Banning the burning of used oil supports re-refining, reduces demand for new oil and encourages economic development in the environmental sector, and addresses potential impacts to public health and local air quality,” said Broten.
Ontario Regulation 280/07 to ban the practice of burning used oil in space heaters can be found at www.e-laws.gov.on.ca