Ontario’s Nanticoke generating station is the country’s single worst polluter, according to a study on greenhouse gas emissions.

Operated by the Ontario Power Generation, the coal-fired plant tops the list as the country’s largest single source of carbon dioxide. The Lambton generating station, also in this province, ranks number five on the list, part of a study conducted by the environmental groups Environmental Defence and the Canadian Environmental Law Association.

Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals made an election promise to shut down all the province’s coal-fired plants, but so far haven’t been able to find an alternative power source that would make that possible.

And though it accounted for 28 per cent of greenhouse gases emitted across the country, Ontario wasn’t the worst provincial offender. That dubious distinction goes to Alberta, which in 2005 was responsible for 40 per cent of Canada’s climate-warming gases.

The oil-rich province had seven facilities in the top ten, including Syncrude Canada Ltd., Suncor Energy Inc., both in the tar sands, and five fossil-fuel-fired generating plants.

There’s concern from the group that Alberta could become even more of a polluter in relation to other provinces if plans to further develop the oil sands go ahead, which is why it’s looking at the government’s Clean Air Act to make sure it’ll be effective.

“The draft Clean Air Act is going through extensive study, to make sure it will do what it should – reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions across Canada,” said Aaron Freeman, Policy Director, Environmental Defence, in a statement. “Given that environment is the number one concern of Canadians, making the needed changes and passing an effective Clean Air Act should be the number one priority of our elected officials.”


Top 10 Greenhouse Gas Emitters in 2005 (tonnes CO2 equivalent):

1.   Nanticoke Generating Station – Ontario Power Generation (Ontario) – 17,629,437 tonnes

2. Sundance Generating Facility/Plant – TransAlta Utilities Corporation (Alberta) – 16,181,007 tonnes

3. Mildred Lake and Aurora North Plant Sites – Syncrude Canada Ltd. (Alberta) – 10,357,330 tonnes

4. Genesee Thermal Generating Station – EPCOR Power Dev’t Corporation (Alberta) – 8,949,492 tonnes

5. Lambton Generating Station – Ontario Power Generation (Ontario) - 8,738,072 tonnes

6. Suncor Energy Inc. Oil Sands – Suncor Energy Inc. Oil Sands (Alberta) - 7,694,458 tonnes

7. Boundary Dam Power Station – Saskatchewan Power Corporation (Saskatchewan) - 6,751,088 tonnes

8. Sheerness Generating Station – Alberta Power Ltd. (Alberta) – 6,522,557 tonnes

9. Keephills Generating Plant – TransAlta Utilities Corporation (Alberta) – 6,143,809 tonnes

10. Battle River Generating Station – Alberta Power Ltd. (Alberta) - 5,498,404 tonnes

Courtesy Environmental Defence and Canadian Environmental Law Association.