ARCHIVED — Vol. 148, No. 49 — December 6, 2014

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GOVERNMENT NOTICES

DEPARTMENT OF CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION

IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEE PROTECTION ACT

New Ministerial Instructions and Ministerial Instructions Respecting the Express Entry System

Notice is hereby given that the above-mentioned notices were published as Extra Vol. 148, No. 10, on Monday, December 1, 2014.

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DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT

CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT, 1999

Proposed notice of intent

Notice is hereby given that the Department of the Environment is initiating the development of proposed regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) to control the manufacture, import and use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The proposed controls will apply to HFCs as set out in Item 77 on Schedule 1 of CEPA 1999 and will include bulk HFCs and manufactured products containing HFCs.

Background

The Government of Canada is committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for Canadians. On September 23, 2014, at the United Nations Secretary General Climate Summit, the Minister of the Environment, Leona Aglukkaq, announced that the Government of Canada will publish a notice of intent to regulate HFCs.

Internationally, Canada has been advocating for global action on HFCs by promoting a North American Proposal to phase down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. While the Proposal has not yet been adopted by the international community, Canada is committed to addressing HFCs and their serious implications for our climate.

HFCs were introduced on the global market as replacements for ozone-depleting substances, such as chlorofluorocarbons (commonly known as CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (commonly known as HCFCs), being phased out under the Montreal Protocol.

Although HFCs do not deplete the ozone layer, many are powerful greenhouse gases that have global warming potential hundreds to thousands of times greater than that of carbon dioxide. HFCs are considered the fastest growing GHGs in most of the world, increasing at a rate of 10 to 15% per year.

While HFCs currently account for less than 2% of global GHG emissions, if left uncontrolled they could account for 9 to 19% of such emissions by 2050. In Canada, it is estimated that HFC emissions will increase from 2010 levels by about 150% by 2030.

HFCs are used as coolants in refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment in homes, buildings, industrial operations and vehicles, as blowing agents in the manufacture of insulating foams, and to a lesser extent, as aerosol propellants, fire suppression agents, and cleaning solvents.

On August 6, 2014, the United States (U.S.) Environmental Protection Agency announced proposed rule making under their Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. (see footnote 1) Under these proposed rules, various HFCs and HFC-containing blends that were previously listed as acceptable alternatives to ozone-depleting substances will be listed as unacceptable for some uses. This proposal is based on information showing that substitutes that pose lower risk overall to human health and/or the environment are available for the same uses. The sectors targeted in the proposal include consumer aerosols, foam blowing end uses, commercial refrigeration and motor vehicle air conditioning.

The Government recognizes the importance of regulatory alignment between Canada and the United States and of ensuring a level playing field for Canadian and U.S. companies and enterprises. Canada will therefore endeavour to align measures for HFCs with those of the United States to the extent possible and will work towards an approach that takes both our environment and our economy into account.

Although Canada has some measures in place to prevent HFC emissions, these domestic controls do not limit HFC consumption (i.e. manufacture and import).

Recognizing the need to curb HFC consumption (manufacture and import) and avoid future emissions and climate impacts of these powerful GHGs, Environment Canada is proceeding with the development of regulatory measures under CEPA 1999. Existing systems containing HFCs already in use in Canada would not be impacted by the proposed measures and would be allowed to continue to be serviced and operated.

Environment Canada is considering the following proposed measures for HFCs, which are based on the proposed U.S. measures published in August 2014. Recognizing that the Canada–U.S. market is well integrated, Environment Canada will take into account changes made by the United States as their regulatory measures are being finalized as well as stakeholder feedback.

Industry sector Proposed Measure
Consumer aerosols (excluding medical and certain technical aerosols) Prohibition of the manufacture and import of specific HFCs (134a, 227ea and 125) in non-essential aerosols Use will be phased out
Foam blowing agents (excluding spray foams) Prohibition of the manufacture and import of specific HFCs (245fa, 365mfc, 134a, 143a) in most foam end uses Use will be phased out
Commercial refrigeration
  • Condensing units and supermarket systems
  • Stand-alone units
  • Vending machines
Prohibition of the manufacture and import of specific HFCs (134a and those with a higher global warming potential, i.e. 507 series and 404a) Use will be phased out
Motor vehicle air conditioning Prohibition of the import and use of HFC-134a in motor vehicle air-conditioning systems
Actions in other jurisdictions

In addition to HFC measures being proposed in the United States, in May 2014, the European Commission updated its existing controls on fluorinated gases that include HFCs. The changes include a phase-down of HFC consumption to be in effect in January 2015. The phase-down will be achieved through a combination of a phase-down of bulk quantities of fluorinated gases, mainly HFCs, sold on the European Union market, and by effectively banning the placing on the market of equipment containing HFCs with global warming potential (GWP) above specified thresholds in key sectors.

In April 2013, Japan enacted a law updating its existing fluorocarbon regulation. The objective of the new legislation is to reduce HFC emissions through measures that cover the total life cycle of fluorocarbons from manufacture through disposal, as well as equipment using these gases. Among other requirements, the law requires that entities manufacturing and importing air-conditioning and refrigeration units transition to either non-fluorinated gases or low-GWP fluorocarbons by certain years.

Next steps

The Minister of the Environment will initiate a process to develop regulations under CEPA 1999 to control the manufacture, import and use of HFCs. This process will include consultations with representatives of provincial and territorial governments, industry, non-governmental organizations and other interested stakeholders. Input received during these consultations will be considered during the development of the proposed regulations.

Environment Canada will continue to work closely with the U.S. government to align its regulations to the extent possible with U.S. measures and will continue to engage with other international partners in global action to phase down HFCs that would complement the aforementioned proposed domestic measures.

As a first step in the consultation process, interested parties may submit comments on the approach set out above by mail or email before January 16, 2015, to

Director
Chemical Production Division
Environment Canada
Place-Vincent-Massey
351 Saint-Joseph Boulevard, 11th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0H3
Fax: 819-938-4218
Email: OzoneProtectionPrograms@ec.gc.ca

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DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT, 1999

Publication after screening assessment of cobalt and cobalt-containing substances, including those specified on the Domestic Substances List (section 68 or subsection 77(1) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999)

Whereas a summary of the draft Screening Assessment conducted on cobalt and cobalt-containing substances, pursuant to paragraphs 68(b) and (c) or section 74 of the Act, is annexed hereby;

Whereas the 50 substances identified in the annex below and included in the cobalt and cobalt-containing substances draft Screening Assessment are substances on the Domestic Substances List identified under subsection 73(1) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999;

And whereas it is proposed to conclude that cobalt and its compounds meet one or more of the criteria set out in section 64 of the Act,

Notice therefore is hereby given that the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Health (the ministers) propose to recommend to His Excellency the Governor in Council that cobalt and its compounds be added to Schedule 1 to the Act, and

Notice is furthermore given that the ministers have released a risk management scope document for cobalt and its compounds to initiate discussions with stakeholders on the development of a risk management approach.

Public comment period

Any person may, within 60 days after publication of this notice, file with the Minister of the Environment written comments on the measure the ministers propose to take and on the scientific considerations on the basis of which the measure is proposed. More information regarding the scientific considerations may be obtained from the Government of Canada’s Chemical Substances Web site (www.chemicalsubstances.gc.ca). All comments must cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice and be sent to the Executive Director, Program Development and Engagement Division, Environment Canada, Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0H3, 819-938-3231 (fax), substances@ec.gc.ca (email).

In accordance with section 313 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, any person who provides information in response to this notice may submit with the information a request that it be treated as confidential.

DAVID MORIN
Director General
Science and Risk Assessment Directorate

On behalf of the Minister of the Environment

VIRGINIA POTER
Director General
Chemicals Sector Directorate

On behalf of the Minister of the Environment

AMANDA JANE PREECE
Director General
Safe Environments Directorate

On behalf of the Minister of Health

ANNEX

Summary of the Draft Screening Assessment of Cobalt and Cobalt-containing Substances

Pursuant to section 68 or 74 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999), the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Health have conducted a screening assessment of cobalt and cobalt-containing substances, including the 50 substances set out in the table below, as part of the Substance Groupings Initiative of Canada’s Chemicals Management Plan (CMP). Fifty cobalt-containing substances were identified during the categorization of the Domestic Substances List as priorities for action because they met the criteria for persistence and inherent toxicity to aquatic organisms, and/or they were considered to pose the “greatest potential for exposure” (GPE) or an “intermediate potential for exposure” (IPE) of individuals in Canada. Some of these substances are classified by other agencies on the basis of carcinogenicity.

Identities of the cobalt-containing substances identified for further action during categorization

CAS RN (see note 1) Domestic Substances List name
71-48-7 Acetic acid, cobalt(2+) salt
136-52-7 Hexanoic acid, 2-ethyl-, cobalt(2+) salt
513-79-1 Carbonic acid, cobalt(2+) salt (1:1)
1307-86-4 Cobalt hydroxide
1307-96-6 Cobalt oxide
1317-42-6 Cobalt sulfide
1560-69-6 Propanoic acid, cobalt(2+) salt
6700-85-2 Octanoic acid, cobalt salt
7440-48-4 Cobalt
7542-09-8 Carbonic acid, cobalt salt
7646-79-9 Cobalt chloride
8011-87-8 C.I. Pigment Green 19
10124-43-3 Sulfuric acid, cobalt(2+) salt (1:1)
10141-05-6 Nitric acid, cobalt(2+) salt
10210-68-1 Cobalt, di-µ-carbonylhexacarbonyldi-, (Co-Co)
10393-49-4 Cobalt sulfate
10534-89-1 Cobalt(3+), hexaammine-, trichloride, (OC-6-11)-
12602-23-2 Cobalt, bis[carbonato(2-)]hexahydroxypenta-
13455-25-9 Chromic acid (H2CrO4), cobalt(2+) salt (1:1)
13455-36-2 Phosphoric acid, cobalt(2+) salt (2:3)
13586-82-8 Hexanoic acid, 2-ethyl-, cobalt salt
13586-84-0 Octadecanoic acid, cobalt salt
13782-01-9 Cobaltate(3-), hexakis(nitrito-N)-, tripotassium, (OC-6-11)-
21041-93-0 Cobalt hydroxide
27253-31-2 Neodecanoic acid, cobalt salt
27685-51-4 Cobaltate(2-), tetrakis(thiocyanato-N)-, mercury(2+) (1:1), (T-4)-
38582-17-1 Cyclohexanebutanoic acid, cobalt(2+) salt
61789-51-3 Naphthenic acids, cobalt salts
65997-18-4 Frits, chemicals
67711-89-1 Calcines, copper roasting
68186-89-0 C.I. Pigment Black 25
68187-11-1 C.I. Pigment Blue 36
68457-13-6 Cobalt, borate neodecanoate complexes
68608-93-5 C.I. Pigment Violet 48
68610-13-9 C.I. Pigment Violet 47
68988-10-3 Zirconium, dipropylene glycol iso-Bu alc. neodecanoate propionate cobalt complexes
69012-71-1 Leach residues, zinc ore-calcine, cobalt repulp
69012-72-2 Leach residues, zinc ore-calcine, zinc cobalt
72869-37-5 Zinc sulfide (ZnS), cobalt and copper-doped
91053-46-2 Leach residues, zinc ore-calcine, cadmium-copper ppt.
94246-88-5 Cobalt, (2-ethylhexanoato-O)(isooctanoato-O)-
121053-28-9 Electrolytes, cobalt-manufg.
121053-29-0 Slimes and Sludges, cobalt refining
121053-30-3 Slimes and Sludges, cobalt electrolytic
124222-14-6 Flue dust, cobalt-refining
124222-15-7 Residues, cobalt-refining
124222-18-0 Residues, precious metal-refining
129618-35-5 Electrolytes, copper-manufg.
129618-36-6 Solutions, copper hydrometallurgical
129618-39-9 Solutions, cobalt hydrometallurgical

Note 1 The Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number (CAS RN) is the property of the American Chemical Society, and any use or redistribution, except as required in supporting regulatory requirements and/or for reports to the Government when the information and the reports are required by law or administrative policy, is not permitted without the prior written permission of the American Chemical Society.

Information was reported under section 71 of CEPA 1999 for 22 cobalt-containing substances that were manufactured, imported or used above reporting thresholds in Canada in recent years (2006–2011). Four substances were reported to be in commerce in quantities greater than 1 000 tonnes, while others were in commerce in quantities ranging from tens to hundreds of tonnes. Activities and uses reported for substances whose quantities in commerce are the highest included intermediate products in metallurgical processes, non-ferrous metal smelting and refining, components in alloys and carbides, feed supplements and fertilizer, hard material tools, paints and coatings, plastic, rubber, and batteries.

There are natural and anthropogenic sources of cobalt in the environment. Anthropogenic sources include cobalt production (e.g. mining); the manufacture, import and use of cobalt- containing substances, products and manufactured items; and the incidental release of cobalt as a result of activities such as fossil fuel combustion, and mining activities disposal and waste management. This assessment considers combined exposure to the cobalt moiety, from natural or anthropogenic sources, whether it is present in environmental media (e.g. water, sediment, soil, air), food or products. The assessment focuses on the cobalt moiety, and thereby considers cobalt in its elemental form, cobalt-containing substances and cobalt released in dissolved, solid or particulate form. As such, it is not limited to the consideration of the substances having met the categorization criteria, which are listed above. All substances that have the potential to dissolve, dissociate and/or degrade to release cobalt through various transformation pathways can potentially contribute to the exposure of living organisms to bioavailable forms of cobalt.

Following releases to the environment, cobalt may enter the water, soil and air media. The water solubility of the substances ranges widely, from sparingly soluble to 106 mg/L. Therefore, to various extents, these substances will dissolve in contact with moisture in the aquatic and soil media and will yield a variety of dissolved cobalt species of varying proportions depending on the environmental conditions. Dissolved cobalt, as the bioavailable fraction, may be taken up by aquatic, soil and sediment-dwelling organisms and has been demonstrated to cause harm to aquatic, sediment-dwelling and soil organisms at very low concentrations. Survival, growth or reproduction of these organisms may be affected. The bioaccumulation potential of cobalt is relatively low, yet it may still lead to levels causing harm to sensitive species at body concentrations higher than required for essentiality.

Ecological exposure scenarios were developed for the various activities that may represent significant sources of release of cobalt or cobalt-containing substances to the environment. Exposure to cobalt was assessed based on modelled (predicted) or measured concentrations of total or dissolved cobalt in environmental media. Substance-specific exposure scenarios were developed to represent releases associated with the following sectors: rubber and chemical manufacturing; paints and coatings, plastics (polyester resin), and fertilizer manufacturing; animal feed manufacturing; alloys and superalloys manufacturing; and base metal smelting and refining. In addition, exposure was assessed for the following sectors based on their potential to release cobalt incidentally (as a by-product): metal mining, base metal smelting and refining, iron and steel, electricity (power generation), petroleum refining, oil sands, pulp and paper mills, electrical and electronic equipment, disposal and waste management, wastewater and biosolids. Risk quotient analyses were performed comparing exposure concentrations to effects concentrations of dissolved or total cobalt. As a result, a likelihood of harm to aquatic, sediment or soil organisms is identified mainly in the vicinity of some facilities for a number of sectors. The metal mining sector and the base metal smelting and refining sector are of relatively high concern with respect to cobalt. Liquid effluent releases and/or acid mine/rock drainage are the most important sources of exposure for aquatic organisms near these activities. Other sectors or sources found to be of concern were chemical manufacturing, pulp and paper mills, and leachate from landfills.

Considering all available lines of evidence presented in this draft Screening Assessment, there is a risk of harm to organisms from cobalt and its compounds. Therefore, it is proposed to conclude that cobalt and its compounds meet the criteria under paragraph 64(a) of CEPA 1999, as they are entering or may enter the environment in a quantity or concentration or under conditions that have or may have an immediate or long-term harmful effect on the environment or its biological diversity.

However, it is proposed to conclude that cobalt and cobalt from cobalt-containing substances do not pose a risk to the broader integrity of the environment and do not meet the criteria under paragraph 64(b) of CEPA 1999, as they are not entering the environment in a quantity or concentration or under conditions that constitute or may constitute a danger to the environment on which life depends.

For the human health assessment, general population exposure was characterized using nationally representative biomonitoring data collected from 2009 to 2011 as part of the Canadian Health Measures Survey. Cobalt concentrations in whole blood are representative of daily exposure to natural and anthropogenic sources of bioavailable cobalt from all sources including environmental media, food and the use of products. The results of the Canadian Health Measures Survey did not show statistically significant differences in the concentrations of cobalt in blood between the general population and subpopulations based on age or gender. Inhalation exposure to solid or particulate forms of the cobalt moiety was evaluated using concentrations of cobalt measured in personal air samplers and is considered most representative of typical daily exposures.

Based on the weight-of-evidence analysis, international agencies have classified cobalt-containing substances as carcinogens. These classifications are primarily based on the evidence from site-specific tumours observed in the respiratory tract of rodents exposed to cobalt sulphate via the inhalation route. Available short-term and subchronic oral studies in animals, or epidemiology studies in humans, do not provide evidence for potential systemic or site-specific carcinogenicity by the oral route. The genotoxicity of cobalt is likely mediated by indirect mechanisms, including generation of reactive oxygen species and inhibition of DNA repair enzymes. Lethal cardiomyopathy in malnourished individuals who consumed large quantities of beer containing cobalt sulphate was identified as a critical effect for risk characterization. The selection of this endpoint is considered conservative, as the affected population may have been more susceptible than the general population due to dietary insufficiencies and prior cardiac damage from excessive alcohol consumption. Polycythemia (the increase of red blood cells and hemoglobin) observed in humans was identified as another critical health effect for the risk characterization of the general population. The critical effect identified for inhalation exposure was reduced lung function reported in individuals occupationally exposed to dust containing cobalt in the diamond polishing industry.

These endpoints were considered conservative and protective of potential harmful effects observed in the animal database, including developmental, reproductive and carcinogenic effects. The margins of exposure between cobalt levels in whole blood of Canadians from a nationally representative survey or cobalt levels in personal air samples and conservative effect levels are considered adequate to address uncertainties in the health effects.

Therefore, it is proposed to conclude that cobalt and cobalt from cobalt-containing substances, including the substances identified in the table above, do not meet the criteria under paragraph 64(c) of CEPA 1999, as they are not entering the environment in a quantity or concentration or under conditions that constitute or may constitute a danger in Canada to human life or health.

Proposed conclusion

It is proposed to conclude that cobalt and its compounds meet one or more of the criteria set out in section 64 of CEPA 1999.

The draft Screening Assessment as well as the risk management scope document for these substances is available on the Government of Canada’s Chemical Substances Web site (www.chemicalsubstances.gc.ca).

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  • Footnote 1
    Details on the proposed U.S. measures on HFCs: http://www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/regulations.html.