ARCHIVED — Vol. 149, No. 18 — May 2, 2015

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Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999

Statutory authority

Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999

Sponsoring departments

Department of the Environment and Department of Health

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Order.)

Issues

Many volatile organic compounds (VOCs) contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, which is a component of smog. As a result, they were added to the List of Toxic Substances in Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) [hereafter referred to as the “List of Toxic Substances”] in July 2003. Evidence indicates, however, that some VOCs do not significantly contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone. Several of these compounds are therefore excluded from the List of Toxic Substances.

Scientific assessments conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) have concluded that 16 additional VOCs contribute negligibly to the formation of ground-level ozone, and therefore they have been included in the list of compounds excluded from the regulatory definition of VOCs in the United States. Environment Canada has examined the scientific approach used by the U.S. EPA and agrees with these assessments.

The VOC definition in Canada’s List of Toxic Substances and the management of these 16 compounds do not reflect the conclusions of the assessments regarding the low underlying risk with respect to ground-level ozone. Consequently, there are inconsistencies between the regulatory definitions of VOCs in the United States and Canada, and unnecessary limitations on the use of these compounds in product formulations in Canada.

Background

VOCs are organic compounds that contain one or more carbon atoms which evaporate readily to the atmosphere and contribute to air pollution. In the atmosphere, photochemical reactions between VOCs and other common airborne pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides, result in the formation of ground-level ozone, a respiratory irritant and a component of smog. However, different VOCs have different levels of reactivity; therefore, they do not react at the same speed or contribute to ozone formation to the same extent.

Since 2004, the U.S. EPA has periodically revised its VOC definition to exclude additional compounds that were determined to negligibly contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone. To determine the level of reactivity of VOCs, the U.S. EPA compares the reactivity of a compound to the reactivity levels of ethane. Compounds with reactivity levels less than or equal to the reactivity levels of ethane may be deemed negligibly reactive. As a result of the assessments conducted by the U.S. EPA, 16 VOCs were determined to contribute negligibly to the formation of ground-level ozone. The U.S. EPA has therefore excluded these compounds from its list of compounds included in the regulatory definition of VOCs.

Following U.S. action, Environment Canada has examined the scientific approach and assessment used by the U.S. EPA to determine the level of reactivity of these VOCs. Environment Canada has solicited input on the potential exclusion of these compounds from the VOC definition from other federal departments, provincial, territorial and municipal governments, industry and environmental groups, and public advocacy groups. Based on all of the information available and the feedback received to date, Environment Canada is in agreement with the U.S. EPA evaluation and has concluded that it is appropriate to exclude these organic compounds from the VOC definition.

The 16 VOCs can be used in a variety of potential applications, including as refrigerants, fire suppressants, heat transfer fluids, foam-blowing agents, aerosol propellants, adhesives and solvents. Some of these compounds are also used in coatings (e.g. architectural coatings and automotive refinishing coatings), cosmetics, cleaners, degreasers and food packaging. Following the addition of VOCs to the List of Toxic Substances, Canada developed regulations and established VOC concentration limits for certain products. These regulations are the Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Concentration Limits for Automotive Refinishing Products Regulations and the Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Concentration Limits for Architectural Coatings Regulations. Any VOC that is included on the List of Toxic Substances is presently managed in accordance with these regulations.

Objectives

The objective of the proposed Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (hereinafter referred to as the proposed Order) is to ensure that the List of Toxic Substances includes only those VOCs that contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone. The proposed Order would also address certain inconsistencies between the list of compounds excluded from the regulatory definition of VOCs in the United States and Canada.

Description

The proposed Order, made under section 90 of CEPA 1999, would amend item 65 of the List of Toxic Substances by adding 16 compounds to the list of excluded VOCs. The 16 organic compounds are as follows:

  • 1,1,1,2,2,3,3-heptafluoro-3-methoxy-propane (HFE-7000);
  • 3-ethoxy-1,1,1,2,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,6-dodecafluoro-2-(trifluoromethyl) hexane (HFE-7500);
  • 1,1,1,2,3,3,3-heptafluoropropane (HFC-227ea);
  • methyl formate (HCOOH3);
  • tertiary butyl acetate;
  • 1,1,1,2,2,3,4,5,5,5-decafluoro-3-methoxy-4-trifluoromethyl-pentane (HFE-7300);
  • propylene carbonate;
  • dimethyl carbonate;
  • trans-1,3,3,3-tetrafluoropropene (HFO-1234ze);
  • HCF2OCF2H (HFE-134);
  • HCF2OCF2OCF2H (HFE-236cal2);
  • HCF2OCF2CF2OCF2H (HFE-338pcc13);
  • HCF2OCF2OCF2CF2OCF2H;
  • 2,3,3,3-tetrafluoropropene (HFO-1234yf);
  • trans 1-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene; and
  • 2-amino-2-methyl-1-propanol.

“One-for-One” Rule

The “One-for-One” Rule would not apply to the proposed Order, as there would be no change in the administrative costs to business.

Small business lens

The small business lens would not apply to this proposed Order as there would be no costs to small business.

Consultation

On September 16, 2013, Environment Canada published a consultation document concerning a proposal to add compounds to the list of VOCs excluded from the List of Toxic Substances in Schedule 1 of CEPA 1999 for a 30-day public comment period. The consultation document was drafted in collaboration with Health Canada.

During the 30-day public comment period, submissions were received from seven industry associations, two chemical manufacturers, a coating manufacturer and a plastic product manufacturer. All submissions supported the addition of these compounds to the list of VOCs excluded from the List of Toxic Substances. The stakeholders also supported the alignment of Canadian and U.S. VOC definitions because it would provide greater flexibility for the use of the compounds in their product formulations.

Prior to the 30-day public comment period, Environment Canada informed the governments of the provinces and territories through the National Advisory Committee of CEPA 1999 (CEPA NAC) of the release of the consultation document and of the public comment period mentioned above. No comments were received from CEPA NAC.

Since the publication of the consultation document in 2013, an additional compound, 2-amino-2-methyl-1-propanol (AMP), has been added to the U.S. EPA’s VOC exclusion list. This compound is likewise included in the proposed Order.

Rationale

The proposed Order would add 16 compounds to the list of VOCs excluded from the List of Toxic Substances. This would ensure that the List of Toxic Substances includes only those VOCs that contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone and address inconsistencies between the list of compounds excluded from the regulatory definition of VOCs in the United States and Canada.

Following the U.S. EPA scientific assessment, a number of companies and associations have also suggested that Canada should add these 16 compounds to the exclusion list. The proposed Order would provide greater flexibility to industry to utilize these compounds in their formulations in order to meet VOC regulatory requirements without impairing the performance of their products. For example, propylene carbonate, dimethyl carbonate and AMP may potentially be used as substitutes for other, more highly reactive compounds, to meet the overall VOC concentration limits for automotive refinishing products and architectural coatings.

It should also be noted that from the list of the 16 compounds, methyl formate, tertiary butyl acetate, propylene carbonate, dimethyl carbonate, AMP, HFO-1234yf and HFO-1234ze are included on the Domestic Substances List (DSL). These compounds would therefore not be subject to the New Substances Notification Regulations (Chemicals and Polymers) (see footnote 1) [NSNR]. As a result, their use, manufacture or importation in Canada would not require any reporting on notification. HFE-7300 is included on the Non-domestic Substances List (NDSL) and remains subject to the NSNR but with fewer reporting requirements. The remaining compounds are not manufactured or imported in Canada. Any person who intends to import or manufacture these compounds would be required to submit a notification to the Minister of the Environment, as required by the NSNR.

By excluding these 16 compounds from the List of Toxic Substances, environmental and health risks to Canadians are not expected to increase, as both the United States and Canada have determined that these 16 compounds contribute very little to the formation of ground-level ozone. Since the contribution of VOCs to ground-level ozone was the only reason for their inclusion on the List of Toxic Substances, the new information about their negligible contribution is sufficient to warrant their exclusion. Excluding these compounds from the VOC definition does not preclude their future risk assessment and management for other reasons, such as for contributions to climate change or inherent toxicity to human health or the environment.

Contacts

Astrid Télasco
Director
Products Division
Environment Canada
351 Saint-Joseph Boulevard, 9th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0H3
Fax: 819-938-4480 / 1-888-391-3695
Email: products.produits@ec.gc.ca

Yves Bourassa
Director
Regulatory Analysis and Valuation Division
Environment Canada
10 Wellington Street, 25th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0H3
Fax: 819-953-3241
Email: RAVD.DARV@ec.gc.ca

PROPOSED REGULATORY TEXT

Notice is given, pursuant to subsection 332(1) (see footnote a) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (see footnote b), that the Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Health, pursuant to section 90 of that Act, proposes to make the annexed Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.

Any person may, within 60 days after the date of publication of this notice, file with the Minister of the Environment comments with respect to the proposed Order or a notice of objection requesting that a board of review be established under section 333 of that Act and stating the reasons for the objection. All comments and notices must cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice, and be sent by mail to the Director, Products Division, Department of the Environment, Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0H3, by fax to 819-938-4480 or by email to products.produits@ec.gc.ca.

A person who provides information to the Minister of the Environment may submit with the information a request for confidentiality under section 313 of that Act.

Ottawa, April 23, 2015

JURICA ČAPKUN
Assistant Clerk of the Privy Council

ORDER AMENDING SCHEDULE 1 TO THE CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT, 1999

AMENDMENT

1. Section 65 of Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (see footnote 2) is amended by striking out “and” at the end of paragraph (z.17) and adding the following after paragraph (z.18):

  • (z.19) 1,1,1,2,2,3,3-heptafluoro-3-methoxy-propane (HFE-7000);
  • (z.20) 3-ethoxy-1,1,1,2,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,6-dodecafluoro-2-(trifluoromethyl) hexane (HFE-7500);
  • (z.21) 1,1,1,2,3,3,3-heptafluoropropane (HFC-227ea);
  • (z.22) methyl formate (HCOOCH3);
  • (z.23) tertiary butyl acetate;
  • (z.24) 1,1,1,2,2,3,4,5,5,5-decafluoro-3-methoxy-4- trifluoromethyl-pentane (HFE-7300);
  • (z.25) propylene carbonate;
  • (z.26) dimethyl carbonate;
  • (z.27) trans-1,3,3,3-tetrafluoropropene (HFO-1234ze);
  • (z.28) HCF2OCF2H (HFE-134);
  • (z.29) HCF2OCF2OCF2H (HFE-236cal2);
  • (z.30) HCF2OCF2CF2OCF2H (HFE-338pcc13);
  • (z.31) HCF2OCF2OCF2CF2OCF2H;
  • (z.32) 2,3,3,3-tetrafluoropropene (HFO-1234yf);
  • (z.33) trans 1-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene; and
  • (z.34) 2-amino-2-methyl-1-propanol.

COMING INTO FORCE

2. This Order comes into force on the day on which it is registered.

[18-1-o]

  • Footnote 1
    For further information, visit http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2005-247/index.html.
  • Footnote a
    S.C. 2004, c. 15, s. 31
  • Footnote b
    S.C. 1999, c. 33
  • Footnote 2
    S.C. 1999, c. 33