Vol. 152, No. 1 — January 6, 2018

Prohibition of Asbestos and Asbestos Products Regulations

Statutory authority

Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999

Sponsoring departments

Department of the Environment
Department of Health

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the regulations.)

Executive summary

Issues: Breathing in asbestos fibres can cause life-threatening diseases, such as asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer. It has been estimated that asbestos was responsible for approximately 1 900 lung cancer cases and 430 mesothelioma cases in Canada in 2011. These cases are heavily influenced by historical exposure from the 1970s to the 1990s. The use of asbestos has been steadily declining over the last 30 years, which has already led and will continue to lead to a reduction in the number of asbestos-related illnesses in Canada. There are also measures in place to limit Canadian exposure to asbestos in the workplace, but this occupational risk can only be fully eliminated by ensuring that asbestos is replaced by alternatives. To do so, Canada would need to prohibit the import and domestic use of asbestos. Canada would also need to implement controls on exports of asbestos to meet international obligations.

Description: The proposed Prohibition of Asbestos and Asbestos Products Regulations (proposed Regulations) would prohibit the import and uses of asbestos and products containing asbestos in Canada, with limited exclusions. In addition, the proposed amendments to the Export of Substances on the Export Control List Regulations (proposed ESECLR Amendments) would restrict the export of all forms of asbestos. Since the proposed Regulations are more comprehensive than the existing Asbestos Products Regulations (APR) made under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, it is proposed to repeal the APR.

Cost-benefit statement: The government administrative costs are estimated to be about $4 million, and the administrative and compliance costs for the construction and automotive sectors are estimated to be about $30 million. It is also estimated that preventing a single case of lung cancer or mesothelioma provides a social welfare benefit valued at over $1 million today. Given the latency effects of asbestos exposure, benefits would not be expected to occur until 10 to 40 years after the coming into force of the proposed Regulations in 2019; therefore, the present value of future benefits per case would be lower than the value of current cases. For example, $1 million per case in 2050 would be valued at about $380,000 per case today (discounted at 3% per year). Therefore, if the proposed Regulations can prevent at least five cases of lung cancer or mesothelioma each year (5.3 cases on average), for a period of at least 17 years, then the health benefits for these sectors ($34 million) would be expected to justify the associated administrative and compliance costs ($34 million).

The proposed Regulations are not expected to significantly reduce adverse asbestos-related health outcomes in the chlor-alkali sector, given that workers are subject to safety protocols and that the current risk of exposure is low. The cost-benefit analysis presents a high-cost scenario where Canadian chlor-alkali production currently using asbestos would shift production outside Canada, resulting in Canadian production losses estimated at $8 million per year. However, an analysis of an alternative low-cost scenario in which investments would be made to adopt asbestos-free technologies is also presented. It is estimated that this scenario would require a capital cost of $119 million, with average energy savings of $29 million per year after conversion. In this scenario, there would be net savings over time.

“One-for-One” Rule and small business lens: The proposed Regulations are considered to be an “IN” under the Government of Canada’s “One-for-One” Rule, while the proposed repeal of the APR is considered an “OUT”. It is projected that the regulatory changes would result in a net increase in annualized average administrative burden costs of around $20,000, or $72 per affected business.

It is estimated that the proposed Regulations and the proposed ESECLR Amendments would affect 292 businesses, including 191 small businesses. These businesses have generally expressed support for the proposed Regulations.

Domestic and international coordination and cooperation: The proposed Regulations would align Canada with over 50 countries that have already taken action to prohibit asbestos and its uses. In establishing the proposed Regulations and the proposed ESECLR Amendments, Canada would also be going beyond its commitment under the Rotterdam Convention by controlling the import and export of all forms of asbestos (including chrysotile) and products containing asbestos.

Background

On December 15, 2016, the Government of Canada announced a government-wide strategy to manage asbestos. (see footnote 1) One element of this strategy is the development of new regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA) to prohibit the manufacture, use, import and export of asbestos and products containing asbestos by 2018. Other elements include outreach efforts to raise awareness regarding asbestos risks, work to update the national building code to prohibit all uses of asbestos in new construction and renovation projects across Canada, and work to establish new federal workplace health and safety rules to limit the risk associated with people coming into contact with asbestos on the job.

Asbestos is a commercial term given to a group of naturally occurring fibrous forms of minerals that are incombustible and separable into filaments, including chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, anthophyllite, tremolite and actinolite. Asbestos has been reviewed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization (WHO) and was declared a human carcinogen (for all forms of asbestos). The health risks of asbestos are well established. Breathing in asbestos fibres can cause life-threatening diseases such as asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer. (see footnote 2)

Asbestos was mined in Canada until 2011 and was historically used mainly for insulating buildings and homes, as well as for fireproofing. Crocidolite asbestos had been used historically in cement, insulation, textiles and filters, though these uses have been phased out worldwide. While many uses have been phased out, asbestos may still be found in a variety of products, including cement and plaster products (such as cement pipe and cement flat board); industrial furnaces and heating systems; building insulation; floor and ceiling tiles; house siding; textiles; automotive brake pads; and vehicle transmission components such as clutches. (see footnote 3) Asbestos is also used in the chlor-alkali industry as part of cell diaphragms, which act as a filter in the manufacture of chlorine and caustic soda. These final products do not contain asbestos.

Existing federal regulatory measures

Asbestos and products containing asbestos are currently managed under various federal acts and regulations. In 1977, the Asbestos Mines and Mills Release Regulations were established as a precautionary measure to limit the concentration of asbestos fibres in gases emitted into the ambient air at asbestos mines or mills from crushing, drying, or milling operations. (see footnote 4) In 2000, crocidolite asbestos was listed on the Export Control List (ECL, Schedule 3 to CEPA), making it subject to export controls under the Export of Substances on the Export Control List Regulations (ESECLR) that require prior notification and, at times, a permit, before the export of any substance on the ECL takes place. (see footnote 5)

Prior to 2007, asbestos used in consumer and workplace products was addressed through the Hazardous Products Regulations made under the Hazardous Products Act (HPA). The HPA prohibits the sale and import of hazardous products intended for use, handling, or storage in a Canadian workplace, unless the product is labelled and accompanied by a safety data sheet that meets the requirements of the Hazardous Products Regulations. Since 2007, the manufacture, importation, advertisement and sale of consumer products made of asbestos and certain high-risk consumer products (e.g. insulation material) that are composed of, or contain, asbestos fibres have been prohibited, or strictly regulated under the Asbestos Products Regulations made under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act. (see footnote 6) Furthermore, in 2017, the Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Made Under the Canada Labour Code lowered limits of acceptable concentrations of all forms of asbestos fibres allowed in the air in federal workplaces such as the aviation and broadcasting sectors and certain oil and gas sectors.

Waste containing asbestos is managed through both provincial and federal legislation. In general, the federal role in waste management is restricted to waste management on federal lands and the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes.

Provincial regulatory measures

Asbestos and products containing asbestos are also managed under various provincial and territorial regimes. All provinces and territories have occupational health and safety (OHS) legislation that applies to workplaces as well as a set of acceptable limits for airborne asbestos fibres in workplaces. OHS legislation also sets out requirements to be followed when working with chemicals, including asbestos. (see footnote 7) Examples include Quebec’s Regulation respecting occupational health and safety and Ontario’s Regulation 833: Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical Agents.

For waste management, provincial legislatures have the power to legislate hazardous waste disposal (including waste containing asbestos), with the exception of the interprovincial movement of hazardous waste and waste that is generated as part of federal work or on federal or Aboriginal land. Examples of these regulations include the Hazardous Waste Regulation in British Columbia and R.R.O. 1990, Regulation 347: General - Waste Management under the Environmental Protection Act in Ontario.

Rotterdam Convention

The Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade (Rotterdam Convention) facilitates information exchange between Parties. For substances listed under the Rotterdam Convention, provisions ensure that exports of these substances are not sent to Parties who have stated they do not consent to their import. For exports of substances subject to a domestic prohibition or severe restriction that are not listed under the Rotterdam Convention, exporting Parties are obligated to send information and notification to the importing Party.

Issues

Breathing in asbestos fibres can cause life-threatening diseases, such as asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer. It has been estimated that asbestos was responsible for approximately 1 900 lung cancer cases and 430 mesothelioma cases in Canada in 2011. These cases are heavily influenced by historical exposure from the 1970s to the 1990s. The use of asbestos has been steadily declining over the last 30 years, which has already led and will continue to lead to a reduction in the number of asbestos-related illnesses in Canada. There are also measures in place to limit Canadian exposure to asbestos in the workplace, but this occupational risk can only be fully eliminated by ensuring that asbestos is replaced by alternatives. To do so, Canada would need to prohibit the import and use of asbestos and products containing asbestos. If Canada implements regulations to do this, then it must also implement controls on exports of asbestos to meet international obligations.

Objectives

The objective of the proposed Prohibition of Asbestos and Asbestos Products Regulations (the proposed Regulations) and the proposed amendments to the Export of Substances on the Export Control List Regulations (the proposed ESECLR Amendments) is to protect human health by reducing exposure of Canadians to asbestos, and to meet international obligations.

Description

The proposed Regulations would prohibit the import, sale and use of asbestos and the manufacture, import, sale and use of products containing asbestos, with a limited number of exclusions. The proposed Regulations would not prohibit mining activities where asbestos may be found. In addition, the proposed Regulations would not prohibit the use and sale of asbestos and products containing asbestos that were installed prior to the coming into force of the proposed Regulations (such as asbestos and products containing asbestos installed in buildings, civil engineering works, vehicles, ships, and airplanes).

As pest control products are regulated under the Pest Control Products Act (PCPA), the proposed Regulations would not apply to pest control products (as defined in subsection 2(1) of the PCPA).

In addition, the proposed Regulations would not apply to mining residues except for the following activities, which would be prohibited:

The proposed Regulations would include the following exclusions:

These excluded activities would be subject to notification, reporting and record-keeping requirements. In addition, the proposed Regulations would include labelling requirements for any asbestos imported for use in diaphragms at chlor-alkali facilities during the phase-out period.

The proposed Regulations would include permit provisions for unforeseen circumstances where asbestos, or products containing asbestos, would be required to protect the environment or human health and where there would be no technically feasible alternative. Any permit issued would be valid for one year and the permit holder would be subject to reporting requirements.

Furthermore, an asbestos management plan would need to be prepared and implemented by permit holders and by any person carrying out an excluded activity, such as the import and use of asbestos in the production of chlor-alkali, in museum displays, and in laboratories.

The proposed ESECLR Amendments would prohibit exports of all forms of asbestos and products containing asbestos with the following exemptions:

To meet international obligations under the Rotterdam Convention, exports allowed by the above exemptions may require a permit and be subject to requirements respecting labelling, record keeping, and inclusion of safety data sheets with the exports. Concurrently, separate amendments to the ECL are being proposed as a ministerial order, which would list all forms of asbestos to the ECL.

The proposed Regulations and proposed ESECLR Amendments would make related amendments to the Regulations Designating Regulatory Provisions for Purposes of Enforcement (Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999) [Designation Regulations]. (see footnote 8) The Designation Regulations designate the various provisions of regulations made under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA) that are linked to a fine regime following the successful prosecution of an offence involving harm or risk of harm to the environment, or obstruction of authority. Designated sections of the proposed Regulations and proposed ESECLR Amendments would be added to the Schedule of the Designation Regulations to reflect the specific provisions designated.

In addition, since the proposed Regulations would be more stringent than the current Asbestos Products Regulations, a repeal of these Regulations is being proposed as these would no longer be required.

Regulatory and non-regulatory options considered

Status quo approach

There are a variety of federal, provincial and territorial measures in place to help protect Canadians from asbestos exposure. While these measures aim to limit exposure and reduce impacts, Canadians, especially workers, may continue to be exposed to asbestos from uses that are currently allowed, and would remain at some risk of asbestos-related diseases. This would not meet the Government of Canada’s objective to reduce the risks that asbestos poses to the health and safety of Canadians. Therefore, this option was rejected.

Regulations prohibiting all asbestos including legacy and future uses

To meet the Government’s objectives, an approach to completely prohibit asbestos was considered. Historically, asbestos has been used in numerous applications, mainly for insulating buildings and homes, as well as for fireproofing. Asbestos has also been used historically in cement, insulation, textiles and filters. As a result of decades of use, many products and installations, including buildings and homes, still contain asbestos. For the most part, health risks are low if the products containing asbestos, such as insulation, are left in place. Requiring all asbestos to be removed from sources such as buildings and homes would be extremely costly and may actually lead to more harm to human health. Therefore, this option was rejected.

Regulations prohibiting future uses of asbestos with a limit number of exclusions

Another approach to meet the Government’s objectives, the approach that has been chosen, would be to prohibit the import, sale, and use of asbestos, and the manufacture, import, use and sale of products containing asbestos. This would prevent new asbestos and products containing asbestos from entering the Canadian market. At the same time, it would allow existing products, such as building materials installed in existing buildings, to reach the end of their useful life, reducing the risks over time. Therefore, this option was selected. Provincial health and safety requirements already in place would continue to be used to manage risks. As a result, certain exemptions and exclusions have been considered and are described below.

Chlor-alkali

Asbestos is used in the chlor-alkali industry as part of the diaphragm cell technology, which acts as a filter in the manufacturing of chlorine and caustic soda. The final products do not contain asbestos. The use of asbestos in the chlor-alkali sector in Canada is very limited. The risk of exposure for facility workers who handle the asbestos is expected to also be limited given information provided on the health and safety practices that are in place. While the risk of asbestos exposure is low at chlor-alkali facilities, a full exclusion would not align with the Government’s overall objectives of a prohibition on asbestos use. Therefore, a time-limited exclusion is proposed until 2025 for chlor-alkali facilities that use asbestos. Alternatives to the asbestos-based process do exist, and the exclusion until 2025 would provide seven years of lead time to comply with the proposed Regulations. This time-limited exclusion would also allow Canada to position itself as a global partner in phasing-out trade of asbestos.

Asbestos mining residues

Asbestos mining residues are a leftover legacy from decades of asbestos mining. It is estimated that there are 800 million tonnes of mining residues found in the province of Quebec. These mining residues can contain valuable metals such as magnesium. In addition, the redevelopment and rehabilitation of former mine sites, including the management of asbestos mining residue accumulation areas, is ongoing. To allow for their rehabilitation, the use of mining residues for construction and landscaping would need to be allowed by the proposed Regulations. Rehabilitation plans for mine sites and mining residue accumulation areas are authorized by provincial governments.

Risks of exposure from asbestos mining residues are addressed through provincial and territorial occupational and health legislation. While the potential risk of exposure remains, these activities would be expected to reduce asbestos mining residues over time. Thus, the proposed Regulations would generally exclude mining residues, and allow the continuation of these activities.

Benefits and costs

Between 2019 and 2035, reductions in asbestos imports attributable to the proposed Regulations are estimated to be about 4 700 tonnes. Approximately 99% of the workers who would potentially benefit from the proposed Regulations are currently employed in the construction and automotive industries. Using a high-cost scenario, the total cost of the proposed Regulations is estimated to be about $114 million over the time frame of analysis. The expected impacts are presented in the logic model (Figure 1) below.

Figure 1: Logic model for the analysis of the proposed Regulations

Industry compliance with the proposed Regulations

Reduced asbestos exposure/risk
(mainly for construction, trades and automotive workers)

Benefits from reduced adverse
health outcomes

       

Industry and government regulatory administration

Administrative costs

Substitution to asbestos-free products
(for cement, automotive and other sectors)

Substitution costs

Potential production shift
(for chlor-alkali sector)

Production losses

The analysis of the incremental benefits and costs was conducted by comparing base case and policy scenarios. The base case scenario assumes a status quo in which the proposed Regulations are not in place. This means that asbestos and products containing asbestos are imported, exported, used, manufactured and sold for activities that are not already regulated. While there are measures in place to address occupational exposure to asbestos in the workplace, there may still be some risk of exposure to workers. The policy scenario assumes that the proposed Regulations are in place and regulatees are compliant. This means the import, export, use, manufacture and sale of asbestos and products containing asbestos are prohibited, unless exempted. Exposure and adverse health outcomes are reduced over time and there are expected to be administrative and substitution costs, along with potential production losses associated with compliance.

Benefits are expected for workers in sectors covered by the proposed Regulations. The cement and automotive sectors import products containing asbestos, and are expected to comply by switching to imports of asbestos-free products. The chlor-alkali sector has two compliance options: switch to asbestos-free technology (low-cost scenario), or shift production to a jurisdiction outside of Canada that does not prohibit asbestos (high-cost scenario). The stakeholder is expected to choose the most profitable compliance strategy, which the analysis cannot confirm at this time. To be conservative, the central analysis presents the high-cost scenario. The low-cost scenario is also presented.

The health benefits of the proposed Regulations could not be easily quantified since it was not possible to accurately estimate the incremental risk reduction. Although substituting alternatives for asbestos should eliminate the risk of occupational exposure, it is difficult to estimate the risk of exposure in the absence of the proposed Regulations. However, these health benefits have been assessed qualitatively.

The analytical time frame begins in the first year of regulatory implementation, 2019, and runs through to 2035. The Department of the Environment (the Department) considers this time frame to be sufficient for analyzing key cost impacts of the proposed Regulations given the time needed to respond and switch to alternatives for different industries. Costs and cost savings are quantified and monetized in 2016 Canadian dollars, discounted at a 3% rate to 2017.

Industry and government administrative costs

The proposed Regulations and the proposed ESECLR Amendments would require regulatees to submit notifications and reports, request permits where necessary, maintain records, and develop an asbestos management plan. These industry administrative costs are estimated to be $560,000 between 2019 and 2035. (see footnote 9)

The Department would incur costs to enforce and administer the proposed Regulations and the proposed ESECLR Amendments and to conduct compliance promotion. In 2019, an estimated one-time cost of about $298,000 is expected to be required for the training of enforcement officers, $1,500 to meet information management requirements, and $102,000 for intelligence assessment work. The cost of annual inspections, measures to deal with alleged violations, investigations and prosecutions is estimated to be $236,000. Overall, enforcement costs are estimated at $4 million between 2019 and 2035.

Compliance promotion activities are intended to encourage the regulated community to achieve compliance. Compliance promotion costs include costs for distributing the proposed Regulations and ESECLR Amendments, developing and distributing promotional materials (such as a fact sheet and web material), advertising in trade and association magazines, and attending trade association conferences. This cost is estimated to be $123,000 between 2018 and 2022.

There would also be costs to Government for the review and approval of permits. The total cost of permit reviews is estimated to be $43,800 between 2019 and 2035. Table 1 below summarizes the administrative cost to ensure compliance for both industry and Government.

Table 1: Administrative costs for industry and Government (dollars)

Sectors

2019 to 2025

2026 to 2035

Total

Industry administrative costs

273,400

287,000

560,000

Government administrative costs

2,272,800

1,898,000

4,170,700

Total administrative costs

2,546,200

2,185,000

4,730,700

Note: Numbers may not add up due to rounding. Monetized values are discounted to present value using a 3% discount rate.

Industry substitution costs

The cement and automotive industries would carry compliance costs as they switch to asbestos alternatives. While the economy is expected to grow, historic trends in asbestos use have been declining. For this analysis, it is assumed that imports of products containing asbestos remain constant over time.

Costs to the cement pipe manufacturing industry

It is expected that cement stakeholders would comply with the proposed Regulations by switching from imports of cement products containing asbestos to cement products containing synthetic fibres. It is assumed that all cement products containing asbestos are cement pipes, and that there is a 15% volume of asbestos material in each cement pipe. (see footnote 10) Using average import data from 2013 to 2016 for articles of asbestos cement, it is estimated that 146 tonnes of asbestos is used in cement pipes containing asbestos on an annual basis. (see footnote 11) It is assumed that the incremental difference in price between asbestos fibres and synthetic fibres is about $4,300 per tonne. (see footnote 12) Given this, it is expected that the cement industry would carry operating costs of approximately $8 million over the time frame of analysis from switching to imports of asbestos-free products.

Costs to the automotive repair and maintenance industry

It is expected that automotive stakeholders would comply with the proposed Regulations by switching from imports of friction materials containing asbestos to asbestos-free friction materials, such as ceramic brake pads or materials with synthetic fibres. It is assumed that all friction materials containing asbestos are brake pads. Using average import data from 2013 to 2016 for friction materials containing asbestos, it is estimated that 333 000 brake pads containing asbestos are imported on an annual basis. (see footnote 13) Assuming that there is a $5 incremental difference in price between brake pads containing asbestos and asbestos-free brake pads, it is expected that the automotive industry would carry operating costs of approximately $21 million over the time frame of analysis. (see footnote 14)

Costs to other industries

Based on available import data, there may be costs to other industries such as the textile industry. These industries would be expected to carry some operating costs from switching to imports of asbestos-free products. However, the imported levels are so low that any reasonable price difference between asbestos and asbestos-free products is expected to have a negligible effect on costs relative to other industries.

Using average import data from 2013 to 2016 for products containing asbestos, it is estimated that there could be up to 7 tonnes of asbestos used per year in textiles and compressed fibre jointing products. (see footnote 15) There are also a number of other product categories that show that imports exist. However, it is unknown what exactly these products are. This makes it difficult to estimate the volume of asbestos material in products as well as the incremental difference in prices.

Summary of industry substitution costs

It is estimated that there would be industry substitution costs of about $29 million, most of which are attributed to the automotive repair and maintenance industry.

Table 2: Summary of industry substitution costs (millions of dollars)

Sectors

2019 to 2025

2026 to 2035

Total

Cement pipe manufacturing costs

4

4

8

Automotive repair and maintenance costs

10

11

21

Total substitution costs

14

15

29

Note: Monetary values are discounted to present value using a 3% discount rate. Numbers may not sum to total due to rounding.

Cost impacts in the chlor-alkali industry

There is one chlor-alkali facility in Quebec that uses asbestos diaphragms in its production. In order to comply with the proposed Regulations, this stakeholder would be required to switch to alternative technology. Otherwise, they could decide to shift production to a jurisdiction outside Canada. The stakeholder is expected to choose the most profitable compliance strategy, which the analysis cannot confirm at this time. To be conservative, the central analysis presents the high-cost scenario. The low-cost scenario is also presented.

If the stakeholder chooses to switch to alternative technology, it is assumed that they would switch to membrane technology in this scenario. It is expected that they would carry capital costs of approximately $119 million between 2019 and 2025 (before the coming into force by the end of December 2025). (see footnote 16) Membrane technology uses less energy than asbestos diaphragm technologies, and it is estimated that the incremental difference in energy consumption between an asbestos diaphragm and the membrane technology is about 0.5 million MWh per year. (see footnote 17), (see footnote 18) Therefore, the stakeholder would see energy cost savings from converting to asbestos-free technologies of $29 million per year on average (after 2026). (see footnote 19) Given this, it is expected that the chlor-alkali industry would see operating cost savings of approximately $287 million between 2026 and 2035, with total net cost savings of about $168 million over the time frame of analysis.

If the stakeholder elects to shift production outside Canada, there would be a loss in terms of net forgone production, measured as revenue minus production inputs. The difference represents the loss in direct economic activity of the facility. The analysis assumes that the stakeholder would shift production in 2026, which would result in a total net forgone production estimated at $80 million over the time frame of analysis (about $8 million per year on average). (see footnote 20)

In the absence of detailed information, and to be conservative, the high-cost scenario from a societal viewpoint ($80 million in production losses) was presented as the central analysis (see summary in Table 5). The low-cost scenario ($168 million in net savings) was also presented (see summary in Table 6).

Health benefits

The proposed Regulations are expected to reduce the amount of future asbestos and products containing asbestos being imported and used in Canada. It is estimated that over 4 700 tonnes of asbestos would be reduced between 2019 and 2035. As a result, exposure to asbestos would decline over time and health benefits would be generated from avoided adverse health outcomes. Table 3 shows estimates of the amount of asbestos reduced by industry.

Table 3: Summary of expected asbestos reductions by industry (tonnes)

Asbestos Reductions

2019 to 2025

2026 to 2035

Total

Chlor-alkali (see footnote 21)

105

150

255

Construction

1 020

1 458

2 478

Automotive

815

1 164

1 978

Total reductions

1 940

2 772

4 712

Note: Numbers may not sum to total due to rounding.

For the automotive industry, it is assumed that each brake pad weighs one kilogram (kg) and that there is a 35% volume of asbestos material in each brake pad. (see footnote 22) As shown in Table 3 above, about 94% of the reductions in asbestos would come from the construction and automotive industries.

The proposed ESECLR Amendments are not expected to result in direct health benefits to Canadians. Though it is possible that benefits could occur outside Canada to countries where products containing asbestos are exported, exports in the base case are minimal given that Canada no longer exports asbestos in its raw form. In addition, the proposed Regulations overlap with, and cover more activities than, the Asbestos Products Regulations. Therefore, the proposed repeal of the Asbestos Products Regulations is not expected to have impacts.

Figure 2 illustrates the analytical framework to assess the incremental benefits of the policy scenario as compared to the base case scenario from a societal perspective. Due to uncertainties in estimating risk levels in both the base case and policy scenarios, it is not possible to estimate the magnitude of incremental risk reductions. As a result, health benefits have been assessed qualitatively.

Figure 2: Analytical framework for assessing the proposed Regulations

Fewer workers exposed to asbestos

Reduction in risk of adverse health outcomes

Value of avoided adverse outcomes

Valuation of avoided health outcomes

Asbestos has been reviewed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization (WHO) and was declared a human carcinogen for all forms of asbestos. The health risks of asbestos are well established. Breathing in asbestos fibres can cause life-threatening diseases, such as asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer. The expected value of avoiding these adverse health outcomes is society’s total willingness to pay (WTP) to reduce the risks and severity of asbestos exposure and thereby reduce the number of adverse health outcomes. This WTP would encompass the value of avoided treatment costs, lost productivity, and decreased quality of life (e.g. avoided pain, suffering, discomfort, and a reduced risk of premature death). (see footnote 23)

One study using this approach estimated that occupational and para-occupational asbestos exposure in Canada costs society about $1 million per case of mesothelioma and $1 million per case of lung cancer. (see footnote 24), (see footnote 25) These estimates considered direct costs (primarily health care products and services), indirect costs (primarily output and productivity in paid work and home production), and quality of life costs.

Additional analysis suggests the social costs per case of mesothelioma and lung cancer could be significantly larger if the full social cost of premature mortality risks is considered. Lung cancer, for instance, proves fatal within one year of diagnosis for 70% of patients, with fewer than 10% of patients surviving for more than five years. (see footnote 26) If the estimated reductions in the risk of premature death are multiplied by an estimate of the average willingness to pay for small reductions in the risk of premature death, the social costs may be closer to $8 million per case. (see footnote 27) However, for the purpose of this analysis, the lower value of $1 million per case of lung cancer and mesothelioma are used to reflect a lower end estimate of the potential benefits of the proposed Regulations.

In order to apply these values, it is necessary to estimate the expected incremental reduction in the number of adverse outcomes, which depends on estimating the reductions in health risks attributable to asbestos exposure in the absence of the proposed Regulations.

Reduction in risk of adverse health outcomes

Worker compensation data indicates that there were about 2 500 accepted lost time claims and 5 600 accepted fatality claims due to asbestos-related injury or disease between 1996 and 2014 in Canada. In 2014, there were about 400 accepted fatalities attributed to asbestos-related injury or disease. (see footnote 28) One study estimates that about 70% of compensated death claims in Canada from occupational exposure (between 1997 and 2010) were attributed to asbestos exposure, and that most of these claims were for lung cancer and mesothelioma. (see footnote 29) However, the number of asbestos-related injuries or diseases could be higher, given that the workers’ compensation data does not account for individuals who did not make a claim or for those who made a claim but did not receive compensation. Another study found that asbestos was responsible for approximately 1 900 lung cancer cases and 430 mesothelioma cases in Canada in 2011, accounting for 8% of lung cancers and 81% of mesothelioma cases diagnosed. (see footnote 30), (see footnote 31)

The latency period between the time of exposure and the time of diagnosis of asbestos-related diseases can vary from 10 to 40 years, depending on the type of diagnosis. For example, the latency period for lung cancer is between 20 and 30 years, while the latency for mesothelioma is usually 30 to 40 years. (see footnote 32) Thus, if there were 1 900 lung cancer cases and 430 mesothelioma cases attributed to asbestos in 2011, this would not be a reflection of the amount of exposure that actually occurred in 2011. Rather, it would be a reflection of the amount of exposure that occurred between the 1970s and the 1990s.

The situation with asbestos from the 1970s to the early 2000s was very different from what it is today. The use of, and exposure to, asbestos in Canada has decreased over time since the 1970s. It has been estimated that use in Canada went down from 4.4 kg per capita per year in the 1970s to 0.3 kg per capita per year in the early 2000s. (see footnote 33) Before 1990, asbestos was mainly used for insulating buildings and homes. Canada was also a major exporter of mined asbestos prior to 2011. (see footnote 34) There are also a number of federal, provincial and territorial policies (such as occupational health and safety legislation) that have been established from the 1970s to the early 2000s to reduce the risk of asbestos exposure.

In the base case scenario, it is expected that the risks and severity of asbestos exposure would continue to decrease over time due to the previous phase out of many uses of asbestos, as well as more stringent worker occupational health and safety measures that have been put in place in the last few decades. There are also a number of new federal measures that have been announced in addition to the proposed Regulations (see “Background” section). For example, in 2017, regulations were established to lower limits on acceptable concentrations of asbestos allowed in the air in federal workplaces. Therefore, it would not be possible to attribute all observed reductions in asbestos exposure to the proposed Regulations.

In the policy scenario, it is expected that the proposed Regulations would reduce asbestos exposure from future imports, and certain uses of asbestos and products containing asbestos. It is expected that reductions in risk would start in 2019, gradually increasing over time as products containing asbestos reach their end of life and are replaced with asbestos-free products. However, legacy asbestos (such as materials containing asbestos found in older homes and buildings) is not covered by the proposed Regulations, so there would be no effects on risk for workers who deal with legacy asbestos. In addition, the risks of alternative substances used to replace asbestos are not known in all cases, and could vary depending on the product or use. (see footnote 35)

In order to estimate the reductions in adverse health outcomes due to controlling asbestos exposure, it would be necessary to calculate the dose-response relationships between exposure levels and rates of adverse health outcomes. This information would have to be combined with the number of workers exposed both with and without the proposed Regulations, along with their levels of exposure, in order to determine the reduction in avoided adverse outcomes. However, given uncertainties in estimating risk levels, particularly in the base case scenario, it is not possible to estimate the magnitude of incremental risk reduction and associated health benefits.

Overall, the proposed Regulations are expected to result in incremental reductions in risk of asbestos exposure. Due to latency effects, the health benefits from reductions in risk of exposure are expected to be generated at least 10 to 40 years after the coming into force of the proposed Regulations in 2019. Although the incremental risk reductions for each industry cannot be fully quantified, they can be described qualitatively.

Exposure and risks of workers covered by the proposed Regulations

Currently, about 140 000 Canadians may be exposed to asbestos in sectors expected to be affected by the proposed Regulations, and over 99% of these workers are in the construction, trades, and automotive repair and maintenance industries. Table 4 shows the number of workers potentially exposed to asbestos by industry, where incremental reductions in exposure are expected to occur due to the proposed Regulations. (see footnote 36)

Table 4: Number of workers potentially exposed by industry

Industry

Estimated Number of Workers Exposed

Percentage of All Exposed Workers

Chlor-alkali

5

<1%

Waste
disposal

1 700

1%

Automotive

4 300

3%

Construction

134 000

96%

Total

140 000

100%

Note: Numbers may not sum to total due to rounding.

The likelihood of developing asbestos-related diseases can vary depending on the concentration of asbestos, the length of exposure, and the frequency of exposure. (see footnote 37) Since the proposed Regulations do not cover legacy asbestos, these numbers represent an upper bound estimate for potential reductions in exposure.

Construction and trades workers: Workers in the construction industry may be exposed to asbestos through the handling, installation, demolition or maintenance of materials containing asbestos. For example, cutting into cement pipes containing asbestos could release asbestos fibres into the air, which could then be inhaled by workers. Construction and trades workers may not be aware of the presence of asbestos or products containing asbestos in the workplace. This could put them at risk for exposure if the necessary safety precautions are not taken.

The proposed Regulations would reduce asbestos exposure for these workers from future imports of asbestos and products containing asbestos that are currently used in the construction industry (such as cement pipes containing asbestos). It is estimated that about 134 000 workers (or 14%) in the construction/trades industry in Canada could be exposed due to asbestos in the workplace. However, this estimate would include workers who are exposed to legacy asbestos. The number of exposed workers that would be covered by the proposed Regulations would be lower than these estimates since the proposed Regulations would not address legacy asbestos.

Automotive repair and maintenance workers: In the automotive industry, most brakes, clutches, and other friction materials used in new and recent model vehicles do not contain asbestos. However, asbestos present in old or replacement brakes and clutches has not been totally eliminated. Many mechanics and employees in automotive repair shops, as well as home mechanics, are unaware that asbestos may be present in old or replacement parts. Consequently, automotive technicians and mechanics who repair and replace brakes and clutches may not be taking the proper precautions when working with products containing asbestos. Brake and clutch dust is released when a brake disk, drum, clutch cover, or wheel is removed from a car, truck, or other equipment. Therefore, if these products contain asbestos, the dust may contain asbestos fibres that could be released and inhaled. (see footnote 38)

It is estimated that about 4 300 workers (or <5%) in the automotive repair and maintenance industry could be exposed to asbestos due to the removal of friction materials containing asbestos (e.g. brake pads and clutches). In the first few years after the proposed Regulations come into force, exposure could still occur due to asbestos friction materials that may have been installed before the coming into force of the proposed Regulations. However, health benefits would be realized relatively quickly, since the useful lifespan of friction materials containing asbestos is fairly short (around five years). The proposed Regulations would reduce exposure from friction materials containing asbestos within the first few years after their coming into force in 2019.

Chlor-alkali workers: Workers in the chlor-alkali facility may be exposed to asbestos when transporting or handling asbestos to make diaphragms. It is estimated that there would only be five to six workers per year that would be handling asbestos, and workplace health and safety procedures are in place to protect against exposure risks. As a result, potential worker exposure in this industry is expected to be low under current operating procedures. Therefore, the proposed Regulations are not expected to significantly reduce the risk of asbestos exposure to chlor-alkali workers, since the base case level of risk is already low.

Waste disposal workers: Waste disposal workers would continue to be exposed, since the proposed Regulations do not cover legacy asbestos. Exposure may increase in the waste disposal industry in the short term due to the disposal of stockpiles of products containing asbestos that would be prohibited after the coming into force of the proposed Regulations. However, the amount of stockpiles containing asbestos that would need to be disposed of as a result of the proposed Regulations is expected to be negligible compared to legacy asbestos in building materials that require disposal. Over time, it is expected that future exposure would eventually decrease. However, given that waste disposal workers are more likely to follow strict occupational health and safety measures, the base case level of risk is assumed to be relatively low and, incrementally, it is expected that there would not be a substantial reduction in risk due to the proposed Regulations. Therefore, benefits for waste disposal workers are expected to be negligible.

Summary of health benefits

It has been estimated that asbestos was responsible for approximately 1 900 lung cancer cases and 430 mesothelioma cases in Canada in 2011. These cases are heavily influenced by historical exposure from the 1970s to the 1990s. The use of asbestos has been steadily declining over the last 30 years, which has already led and will continue to lead to a reduction in the number of asbestos-related illnesses in Canada. There are also measures in place to limit Canadian exposure to asbestos in the workplace, but this occupational risk can only be fully eliminated by ensuring that asbestos is replaced by alternatives.

It may be reasonable to expect that the proposed Regulations would prevent at least five lung cancer or mesothelioma cases per year, given that coverage would extend to more than 140 000 workers primarily in the construction and automotive sectors. There are estimates that the societal costs of mesothelioma or lung cancer attributable to asbestos exposure are approximately $1 million per case. Given the latency effects of asbestos exposure, benefits would not be expected to occur until 10 to 40 years after the coming into force of the proposed Regulations in 2019; therefore, the present value of future benefits per case would be lower than the value of current cases. For example, $1 million per case in 2050 would be valued at about $380,000 per case today (discounted at 3% per year). Thus, if the proposed Regulations prevented approximately five cases of lung cancer or mesothelioma in 2050, the monetized benefits would be worth about $2 million today (5.3 cases in 2050 would be worth $2,014,000 today).

Summary of benefits and costs

Between 2019 and 2035, the proposed Regulations would result in administrative costs to industry and the Government of $5 million, and substitution costs of $29 million for the cement and automotive industries. The high-cost scenario presents a shift in production in the chlor-alkali sector, resulting in net production losses of about $80 million between 2025 and 2035. In this scenario, the total costs of the proposed Regulations are estimated to be $114 million. The costs and benefits associated with the proposed Regulations are summarized in Table 5.

Table 5: Summary of costs and benefits

Monetized Impacts (Millions of Dollars)

2019 to 2025

2026 to 2035

Total

Costs (central analysis)

Administrative costs

3

2

5

Substitution costs

14

15

29

Production losses

0

80

80

Total costs

16

97

114

Quantitative health benefits

Amount of asbestos reduced (tonnes)

1 940

2 772

4 712

Qualitative health benefits

  • The proposed Regulations are expected to generate health benefits from avoided adverse health outcomes estimated at $1 million per case of mesothelioma or lung cancer today, or about $380,000 if the outcomes occur in 2050.
  • Due to latency effects, reductions in adverse health outcomes would not occur until 10 to 40 years after the coming into force of the proposed Regulations in 2019.
  • Approximately 99% of the workers who would potentially benefit from the proposed Regulations are employed in the construction and automotive industries.

Note: Monetary values are discounted to present value using a 3% discount rate. Numbers may not sum to total due to rounding. The amount of asbestos reduced includes asbestos contained in products.

The government administrative costs are estimated to be about $4 million, and the administrative and compliance costs for the construction and automotive sectors are estimated to be about $30 million. It is also estimated that preventing a single case of lung cancer or mesothelioma provides a social welfare benefit valued at over $1 million today. Given the latency effects of asbestos exposure, benefits would not be expected to occur until 10 to 40 years after the coming into force of the proposed Regulations in 2019; therefore, the present value of future benefits per case would be lower than the value of current cases. For example, $1 million per case in 2050 would be valued at about $380,000 per case today (discounted at 3% per year). Therefore, if the proposed Regulations can prevent at least five cases of lung cancer or mesothelioma each year (5.3 cases on average), for a period of at least 17 years, then the health benefits for these sectors ($34 million) would be expected to justify the associated administrative and compliance costs ($34 million).

The proposed Regulations are not expected to significantly reduce adverse asbestos-related health outcomes for chlor-alkali workers, since few of these workers handle asbestos and their current risk of exposure is expected to be low given current safety protocols. The cost-benefit analysis presents a high-cost scenario where Canadian chlor-alkali production currently using asbestos would shift production outside Canada, resulting in Canadian production losses estimated at $8 million per year.

Analysis for the low-cost chlor-alkali compliance scenario

There is uncertainty around the most likely compliance option that would be taken by the chlor-alkali industry. In the analysis of the high-cost scenario (see Table 5 above), the proposed Regulations would result in costs due to a shift in production outside Canada. Alternatives to the asbestos-based process for chlor-alkali do exist, and the exclusion to the end of 2025 would provide seven years of lead time to comply with the proposed Regulations. In this scenario, the chlor-alkali facility could choose to switch to membrane technology, which would enable the continued operation of the plant. An analysis in which the necessary investments would be made to adopt asbestos-free technologies is also presented. It is estimated that this compliance option would require a capital cost of $119 million between 2019 and 2025, with average energy savings of $29 million per year beginning in 2026. In this analysis, the proposed Regulations would result in net compliance cost savings of $139 million over the time frame of analysis. Table 6 illustrates the cost and cost savings impacts of the low-cost scenario.

Table 6: Summary of the low-cost chlor-alkali compliance scenario (millions of dollars)

Monetized Impacts

2019 to 2025

2026 to 2035

Total

Capital costs

119

0

119

Energy costs (savings)

0

(287)

(287)

Total net costs (savings)

119

(287)

(168)

Note: Monetary values are discounted to present value using a 3% discount rate. Numbers may not sum to total due to rounding.

The likelihood of a shift in production (the analysis of the high-cost scenario) could vary depending on the magnitude of the capital costs and energy savings that would result from a switch to asbestos-free technology (the analysis of the low-cost scenario). Table 7 below shows how the net savings vary depending on the magnitude of the capital cost and energy savings in the low-cost analysis.

Table 7: Sensitivity analyses of chlor-alkali impacts (millions of dollars)

Scenarios

Net Costs (Savings)

Analysis of the high-cost scenario

Main analysis (from Table 5)

80

Analysis of the low-cost scenario

Higher cost savings (50%)

(312)

Lower capital costs (50%)

(228)

Main analysis (from Table 8)

(168)

Higher capital costs (50%)

(109)

Lower cost savings (50%)

(25)

Note: Monetary values are discounted to present value using a 3% discount rate.

The chlor-alkali facility would likely face a trade-off in terms of the value of energy savings versus the associated capital costs. However, this would depend on a variety of factors, such as expected energy prices and the marginal cost of production at plants.

Cost-effectiveness analysis

In the high-cost scenario there are net costs and in the low-cost scenario there are cost savings. The costs (and cost savings) per tonne have been calculated for both scenarios. It is estimated that about 4 700 tonnes of asbestos use would be reduced between 2019 and 2035. Table 8 below shows the costs (or savings) per tonne for each sector.

Table 8: Costs (or savings) per tonne of asbestos reductions (2019 to 2035)

Sector

Costs/Savings (Dollars)

Asbestos Reductions (Tonnes)

Cost per Tonne

Cement pipe manufacturing

8,000,000

2 478

3,228

Automotive repair and maintenance

21,300,000

1 978

10,766

Chlor-alkali
(high-cost scenario)

80,000,000

255

313,725

Chlor-alkali
(low-cost scenario)

(168,000,000)

255

(658,824)

Note: Monetary values are discounted to present value using a 3% discount rate.

These costs (or cost savings) per tonne results reflect expected economic costs, compliance costs and cost savings to reduce imports, and certain uses of, asbestos and products containing asbestos. These results do not account for when reductions occur, their relative contribution to incremental health risk reductions or for the value society may place on avoided adverse health outcomes.

It has been estimated that about 140 000 workers may be exposed to asbestos. Table 9 below shows the costs (or savings) per potentially exposed worker for each sector.

Table 9: Costs per worker (2019 to 2035)

Sector

Costs/Savings (Dollars)

Number of Workers

Cost per Worker

Cement pipe manufacturing

8,000,000

134 000

60

Automotive repair and maintenance

21,300,000

4 300

4,953

Chlor-alkali
(high-cost scenario)

80,000,000

5

16,000,000

In the low-cost scenario there would be cost savings per worker.

Note: Monetary values are discounted to present value using a 3% discount rate. The waste disposal industry is not included because it would not bear any costs.

The results of the costs per potentially exposed worker reflect expected compliance costs and production losses to reduce the risk of exposure for workers in each sector. As shown above, 99% of potentially exposed workers would be covered by the proposed Regulations at a cost per worker of about $5,013. To cover the remaining 1% of potentially exposed workers, a cost per worker of $16 million would be required. These estimates do not account for when workers might be exposed, or their relative risk of exposure.

The costs per worker in the chlor-alkali sector are much higher than any estimate of potential health benefits per worker. However, under the low-cost scenario, the chlor-alkali cost savings would lead to a more favourable result: net cost savings per potentially exposed worker in this sector.

Distributional analysis of regulatory impacts

The impacts of the proposed Regulations are not uniformly distributed across society, so the analysis has considered a range of distributional impacts. Most of the costs are carried by the chlor-alkali sector, specifically at a facility located in Quebec.

Competitiveness and consumer impacts

For the cement and automotive industries, the proposed Regulations would result in substitution costs of $29 million that could affect their profitability. It is also expected that some of the costs to industry would be passed on to consumers. A breakdown of these costs by industry is presented below in Table 10.

Table 10: Monetized impacts by industry per year (millions of dollars)

Industry

Costs per Year

Annual Sales (2015) (see footnote 39)

Cement pipe manufacturing

<1

70

Automotive repair and maintenance

1

17 071

Note: Costs per year calculated using a 3% discount rate.

These costs constitute less than 1% of annual industry sales for the cement pipe manufacturing sector and the automotive repair and maintenance sector. Impacts on the international competitiveness of the Canadian industry are anticipated to be negligible.

Consumers purchasing products (such as consumers that purchase aftermarket parts that are sold to them upon vehicle repairs and maintenance) would be directly affected by the proposed Regulations, and are likely to see some costs passed on to the prices of final goods. The extent to which businesses are able to pass on the incremental costs to consumers through higher prices would determine the ultimate distribution of costs between businesses and consumers.

For the chlor-alkali industry, manufacturing sales in Canada were about $350 million in 2016. In the high-cost scenario, it is assumed that one chlor-alkali facility may choose to shift production outside Canada. In this scenario, there may be $8 million in net forgone production per year after 2026. This represents about 2% of annual industry sales in Canada.

Alternatively, this facility may comply with the proposed Regulations by maintaining production in Canada and investing in alternative technology. In this analysis, there are expected to be minimal production impacts for the chlor-alkali sector should the facility need to partially reduce production to make the necessary capital upgrades.

Regional impacts

There is one chlor-alkali facility in the Trois-Rivières region of Quebec that currently uses asbestos in its processes. In the high-cost scenario, the facility is assumed to shift production outside Canada. As a result, there would be adverse regional impacts in terms of net forgone economic production. The facility’s projected reduction in production is about $8 million per year on average. The Trois-Rivières region of Quebec had an estimated GDP of $5.5 billion in 2013. This suggests that net forgone production could be 0.1% of regional GDP.

In this analysis, changes in chlor-alkali production would also result in labour market impacts for the region. In 2016, approximately 10 000 people were directly employed in manufacturing in the Trois-Rivières region, representing approximately 14% of the region’s total employment. Between 2013 and 2016, employment in the Trois-Rivières region has grown by about 3% per year. (see footnote 40) If the stakeholder shifts production, it is possible that jobs could be lost as a result of the proposed Regulations. If 100 jobs were lost, this would represent approximately 1% of manufacturing jobs in the region.

Alternatively, this facility may choose to comply with the proposed Regulations by maintaining production in Canada and investing in alternative technology. In this analysis, there would be no expected regional impacts for the chlor-alkali sector.

Gender-based analysis impacts

Canadian worker compensation data indicates that, on average, about 96% of asbestos-related injury and fatality claims are made by men. (see footnote 41) Asbestos exposure primarily occurs in the construction, trades and automotive sectors. These fields are male dominated, and as a result young men working in these industries are most likely to be exposed and become sick when they get older due to latency effects of asbestos-related diseases. (see footnote 42) In 2011, about 90% of lung cancer/mesothelioma cases occurred in individuals aged 60 years or older. (see footnote 43) Individuals working in these industries are expected to benefit the most from the proposed Regulations. However, there are still significant numbers of women working in the construction, trades and automotive industries. Women are susceptible to asbestos-related diseases just as men are, though there are some cancers specific to women that may be caused by asbestos exposure, such as ovarian cancer. (see footnote 44) Given that the proposed Regulations would reduce adverse health outcomes attributed to asbestos exposure, there would be no adverse impacts from a gender perspective.

In the high-cost scenario, it is assumed that the one chlor-alkali facility located in Quebec would shift production outside Canada, leading to possible job losses. Given that more men work in manufacturing jobs than women, it is expected that more men would lose their jobs than women. (see footnote 45) However, average data for the industry may not necessarily be representative of the employees at this facility and no related facility level data was available. Therefore, it is unknown who would actually be affected from a gender-based perspective.

Alternatively, this facility may choose to comply with the proposed Regulations by maintaining production in Canada and investing in alternative technology. In this analysis, there would be no expected job losses or gender-based impacts for this sector.

“One-for-One” Rule

The proposed Regulations are considered to be an “IN” under the Government of Canada’s “One-for-One” Rule, while the proposed repeal of the Asbestos Products Regulations is considered an “OUT.” It is projected that the regulatory changes would result in an increase in annualized average administrative burden costs of around $20,000, or $72 per business. (see footnote 46)

The proposed Regulations would increase the administrative burden. It is expected that 75 stakeholders would need three hours to familiarize themselves with the administrative requirements of the proposed Regulations. These stakeholders include laboratories and chlor-alkali facilities. If these stakeholders wish to import and/or use asbestos or products containing asbestos, they would be required to submit a notification to inform the Minister of the Environment of their intent. They would also have to report on their actual import or use of asbestos, or products containing asbestos, to the Minister by March 31 of the following calendar year. For the chlor-alkali sector, it is assumed that notifications would continue until 2025 when the time-limited exclusion for this specific use would expire and reporting would continue until the following year. It is estimated that notifications and reporting would take 3.5 hours each per year.

It is estimated that there would be one permit application for the use of asbestos or products containing asbestos for unforeseen circumstances where asbestos or products containing asbestos would be required to protect the environment or human health and where there would be no technically feasible alternative. This stakeholder would be subject to the same reporting requirements and is estimated to take 3.5 hours to complete a permit application.

The proposed ESECLR Amendments would require 60 potential asbestos exporters to familiarize themselves with the administrative requirements (one hour), and provide a prior notification of export for each export (half an hour). It is also estimated that 10 of these potential exporters would apply for permits for the authorization to export (one hour).

Small business lens

It is estimated that the proposed Regulations and proposed ESECLR Amendments would affect 292 businesses, of which 191 are estimated to be small. Therefore, the proposed Regulations would trigger the small business lens.

The proposed Regulations and proposed ESECLR Amendments would not provide specific flexibilities for small businesses. Small businesses have generally expressed support of the proposed Regulations. Most small businesses are laboratories or are in the automotive industry. Use of asbestos in laboratories is allowed under the proposed Regulations. As well, the auto industry has indicated that automotive mechanics and their employers may not be aware that asbestos could be contained in brake pads and may not be taking the necessary precautions needed when working with products containing asbestos. Thus, the auto industry is supportive of the proposed Regulations.

The cement industry, where there are also a number of small businesses, has raised concerns about the coming-into-force date of the proposed Regulations. Some representatives from the industry have raised concerns about the lack of adequate phase-out time to move to asbestos-free products, and the time it would require to obtain certification for new products coming to market. In consideration of these concerns, the proposed Regulations could delay the coming-into-force date for the cement industry by a year (flexible option), to allow sufficient time to transition to asbestos-free products. The comparison of the proposed Regulations (initial option) and the flexible option is presented in the Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Statement below.

Table 11: Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Statement

 

Initial Option

(Proposed Regulations and Proposed ESECLR Amendments)

Flexible Option

(Coming into Force for
the Cement Industry
Would Be 2020)

Number of small businesses impacted

191

191

Annualized Value

Present
Value

Annualized Value

Present
Value

Compliance costs

$517,000

$7,017,000

$514,000

$6,976,000

Administrative costs

$28,000

$385,000

$28,000

$385,000

Total costs

$546,000

$7,403,000

$543,000

$7,361,000

Total cost per small business

$2,858

$38,758

$2,842

$38,542

Note: Monetary values are discounted to 2017, using a 3% discount rate. Numbers may not sum to total due to rounding.

Overall, the flexible option results in an estimated reduction of total costs to small business of about $41,000 between 2019 and 2035 relative to the initial option under consideration, or an annual cost of about $16 per small business. In addition, the flexible option would provide small businesses in the cement sector additional time to sell off inventory and to confirm alternatives.

However, this would also delay the reduction of risk for workers in the construction sector, which would not meet the objective of the proposed Regulations. Furthermore, asbestos-free certified products exist on the market and the proposed Regulations would not require reformulation of mixtures or redesigning of products. For these reasons, the flexible option was rejected.

Consultation

Following the December 2016 announcement, the Department organized public consultations on the proposed regulatory approach. A total of 70 submissions were received between December 2016 and June 2017. Comments were received from municipal and regional (Quebec) representatives; industry and industry associations (chlor-alkali, automotive, cement, construction/trades, and others); non-governmental and labour organizations; provincial ministries; crown corporations; and individuals. A summary of the key comments is provided below.

Industry
Chlor-alkali industry

The chlor-alkali industry requested a full exemption under the proposed Regulations to continue the import and use of asbestos in their industrial process.

The Department acknowledges these concerns, as well as the measures in place to protect the health and safety of workers. While some U.S. facilities still use asbestos diaphragms, most of the Canadian and global chlor-alkali industry has already converted to asbestos-free technology. The proposed Regulations include a time-limited exclusion until the end of 2025, providing seven years of lead time for the sector to fully comply. Stakeholders are invited to provide comments on the time-limited exclusion during the consultation period. Comments and information received on the proposed Regulations will be considered when finalizing the phase-out date. Consideration will be given to the resources required to comply with a phase-out date that is both strict and realistic.

Automotive industry

Stakeholders in the automotive industry are supportive of the regulatory approach. Automotive mechanics are at risk of asbestos exposure and associated adverse health outcomes. Stakeholders indicated that most automotive mechanics and their employers may not be aware that asbestos could be contained in brake pads. Finally, stakeholders indicated that importers of aftermarket parts also may not be aware that they are importing or selling brake pads containing asbestos, since companies are not required to identify asbestos content on product labels. As a result, workers and/or their employers may not be taking the necessary precautions when working with products containing asbestos, which leaves these workers vulnerable to the health risks associated with asbestos exposure.

Construction/trades industry

One stakeholder in the cement industry has expressed concern that the regulatory time frame does not provide enough time to move to asbestos-free products. This stakeholder also stated that new products coming to market would require time to obtain certification.

The Department acknowledges these concerns. However, given that cement pipes are imported by the industry and that asbestos-free equivalent products exist on the market, a time-limited exemption was not considered.

Asbestos mining residue industry

Industry associations and regional representatives are supportive of the non-application for asbestos mining residues. Industry associations expressed that this exemption would provide long-term regulatory certainty for projects such as the extraction of magnesium from asbestos mining residues.

Provincial governments

The Quebec government is supportive of a regulatory approach that would exclude asbestos mining residues from a prohibition on asbestos. Specifically, government representatives had requested that the proposed Regulations not prohibit the extraction of metals and other valuable material from asbestos mining residues. These representatives also requested an exemption for operations involving asbestos mining residues related to the redevelopment and rehabilitation of mine sites. However, they are opposed to any prohibition of asbestos in the chlor-alkali process and have expressed support for a full exemption for facilities using asbestos in their operations.

The Department has taken these comments into consideration when developing the proposed Regulations.

Municipal governments and regional groups

Municipal governments and regional groups in Quebec are somewhat supportive of the regulatory approach but have requested that asbestos mining residues used in construction and landscaping activities be excluded from the proposed Regulations. They also commented that asbestos mining residues have been used for road construction. Therefore, they are concerned that the proposed Regulations would prevent any road restoration work that may be required. The city of Bécancour, Quebec, does not support the proposed Regulations and has requested an unlimited exemption for the continued import and use of asbestos in the production of chlor-alkali products for the facility located in its community.

In response, the Department has designed the proposed Regulations to exclude asbestos mining residues, with the exception of the sale of mining residues from an asbestos mining site for use in construction and landscaping (unless authorized by the province). This is intended to provide regulatory certainty for future economic development related to asbestos mining residues. In addition, mining residues already found in existing roads, infrastructure, and landscaped areas would not be subject to the proposed Regulations. The proposed Regulations also include a time-limited exclusion until the end of 2025, providing seven years of lead time for the chlor-alkali sector to fully comply.

Comments were also received stating that asbestos is naturally present in several regions in Canada and that a prohibition on construction and landscaping activities would impact the residential sector (for example, private households may not be permitted to do home repairs or construction where asbestos is present in the soil). As stated above, mining residues already found in existing applications would not be subject to the proposed Regulations.

Labour and non-governmental organizations

Labour unions, health, safety, research, women’s and environmental organizations are generally supportive of the regulatory approach. Many safety organizations want to ensure that the use of asbestos is maintained, but in a safe manner, while research organizations requested assurance that the prohibition would not infringe on their analyses. Other organizations wanted to ensure that asbestos, where use is maintained, is handled with proper safety measures.

Labour organizations are generally supportive of the regulatory approach, although they have reservations regarding the exclusions, as they take a zero-tolerance stance with regard to asbestos. Some labour organizations were opposed to allowing stockpiles of products containing asbestos to be sold indefinitely on the Canadian market after the proposed Regulations come into force.

The Department acknowledges the concerns regarding stockpiles. Information collected through mandatory surveys indicates that there are minimal stockpiles of products containing asbestos. The proposed Regulations would prohibit the use or sale of any asbestos, or product that contains asbestos, not yet installed (i.e. found in inventory). Therefore, any remaining stockpiles would need to be disposed of or destroyed.

Some comments submitted by labour unions also stated that Canada should use both a hazard-based and a risk-based regulatory approach to asbestos, as was done by the European Union, which granted a time-limited exemption for chlor-alkali.

The proposed Regulations would include a time-limited exclusion until 2025 for the chlor-alkali industry in Canada, which should provide adequate time for the sector to comply and to align itself with industries in the European Union and other countries that have prohibited asbestos.

A health and safety research institute from Quebec advocated for the elimination of the exclusions for asbestos mining residues, mining activities, naturally occurring traces of asbestos, and pest control products. This institute contended that exempting asbestos mining residues prevents the efficient control of exposure to asbestos fibres in the air. They were concerned that if mining activities are excluded, the development of an export market could arise in the future, depending on the demand and prices in the mineral market. They also stated that exclusion for pest control products containing asbestos was unacceptable, as alternatives to asbestos are readily available.

While the Department acknowledges these concerns, the industrial use of asbestos mining residues would be subject to provincial authorization. In addition, the proposed Regulations would prohibit the import, use, sale and export of asbestos. Therefore, there would be no expected market for asbestos in the future, even though mining activities would not be prohibited by the proposed Regulations. In regard to pest control products, there are currently no pesticides containing asbestos registered in Canada. The proposed non-application reflects the fact that pesticides are regulated under the authority of the PCPA. Health Canada registers pesticides after a stringent, science-based evaluation and regularly re-evaluates pesticides that are present on the market, to ensure the products meet current health and environmental standards.

Regulatory cooperation

International cooperation

On December 15, 2016, the Government of Canada announced a set of measures to implement a comprehensive ban on asbestos by 2018. These measures include the proposed Regulations, updates to national building codes (to prohibit the use of asbestos in new construction and renovation projects across Canada), as well as new federal workplace health and safety rules (to limit the risk of people coming into contact with asbestos on the job).

The proposed Regulations would align Canada with over 50 countries that have already taken action to prohibit asbestos and its uses (including the member states of the European Union, Australia and New Zealand). (see footnote 47) In establishing the proposed Regulations and the proposed ESECLR Amendments, Canada would also be going beyond its commitment under the Rotterdam Convention by controlling the import and export of all forms of asbestos (including chrysotile) and products containing asbestos.

The European Union currently prohibits the manufacture, placement on the market, and use of asbestos, as well as articles and mixtures containing intentionally added asbestos fibres. However, member states could exempt the placement on the market and use of asbestos diaphragms containing chrysotile fibres for existing (as of July 13, 2016) electrolysis installations (provided that such use is carried out in compliance with the conditions of a permit). (see footnote 48) This exemption is time-limited and will be ending on July 1, 2025. Similarly, the proposed Regulations would include a time-limited exclusion until 2025 for the chlor-alkali industry in Canada. This time-limited exclusion would also be aligned with the European Union’s approach for its chlor-alkali facilities.

The United States and Canada currently have similar regulatory measures on asbestos and, therefore, similar ongoing uses of asbestos (e.g. imports of asbestos- containing brake pads, use of asbestos diaphragms in chlor-alkali production). On November 29, 2016, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) announced that asbestos will be one of the first 10 chemicals that will be evaluated for potential risks to human health and the environment under the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) reform. (see footnote 49) 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 is recognized. The United States is expected to publish a Problem Formulation document in December 2017 that will refine the scope of the risk evaluation for asbestos; a public consultation will follow. The risk evaluation is expected to be complete by 2019. If it is determined that asbestos poses an unreasonable risk, the U.S. EPA must mitigate the risk within two years following the risk evaluation.

Domestic cooperation

The proposed Regulations would not apply to mining activities, since they are covered under existing regimes. The mining of asbestos in Canada ceased in 2011. Mining activities are currently subject to federal, provincial, and territorial laws, regulations, and requirements. Since the proposed Regulations would prohibit the import, use, sale and export of asbestos, there would be no expected market for asbestos in the future and no incentive to mine asbestos.

For waste management, the responsibility is shared by federal and provincial governments. Provincial legislatures have the power to legislate in certain areas, including activities on provincial public lands, which include waste disposal. Consequently, waste management is primarily a provincial concern. Waste containing asbestos is already managed through both provincial and federal legislation. In general, the federal role in waste management is restricted to waste management on federal lands and the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes. Therefore, the proposed Regulations do not apply to waste management activities.

Regarding pest control products, Health Canada is responsible for pesticide management in Canada, under the authority of the PCPA. Pesticides are only registered after a stringent, science-based evaluation, and Health Canada re-evaluates pesticides on the market on a regular basis to ensure that products meet current, scientific standards (i.e. that there are no unacceptable risks to human health or the environment and that the product has value). Currently, there are no pesticide products containing asbestos registered in Canada.

Rationale

Breathing in asbestos fibres can cause life-threatening diseases, such as asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer. It has been estimated that asbestos was responsible for approximately 1 900 lung cancer cases and 430 mesothelioma cases in Canada in 2011. These cases are heavily influenced by historical exposure from the 1970s to the 1990s. The use of asbestos has been steadily declining over the last 30 years, which has already led and will continue to lead to a reduction in the number of asbestos-related illnesses in Canada. There are also measures in place to limit Canadian exposure to asbestos in the workplace, but this occupational risk can only be fully eliminated by ensuring that asbestos is replaced by alternatives. To do so, Canada would need to prohibit the import and use of asbestos. If Canada implements regulations to do this, then it must also implement controls on exports of asbestos to meet international obligations.

On December 15, 2016, the Government of Canada announced a government-wide strategy to manage asbestos, including the development of new regulations to prohibit asbestos and products containing asbestos by 2018. The proposed Regulations would prohibit future imports, sale and uses of asbestos and the future manufacture, import, sale and use of products containing asbestos, with a limited number of exclusions. In addition, the proposed ESECLR Amendments, together with the proposed ECL Order, would limit the export of asbestos and products containing asbestos. They would also ensure Canada’s continued compliance with the Rotterdam Convention.

Following the December 2016 announcement, a total of 70 submissions were received between December 2016 and June 2017. Stakeholders are generally supportive but certain stakeholders have requested exemptions for specific uses of asbestos. The Department has taken these comments into consideration when developing the proposed Regulations. For example, the proposed Regulations exclude mining residues to allow for redevelopment and rehabilitation of former mine sites. The proposed Regulations would also include a time-limited exclusion for the import and use of asbestos in chlor-alkali facilities until 2025.

The government administrative costs are estimated to be about $4 million, and the administrative and compliance costs for the construction and automotive sectors are estimated to be about $30 million. It is also estimated that preventing a single case of lung cancer or mesothelioma provides a social welfare benefit valued at over $1 million today. Given the latency effects of asbestos exposure, benefits would not be expected to occur until 10 to 40 years after the coming into force of the proposed Regulations in 2019; therefore, the present value of future benefits per case would be lower than the value of current cases. For example, $1 million per case in 2050 would be valued at about $380,000 per case today (discounted at 3% per year). Therefore, if the proposed Regulations can prevent at least five cases of lung cancer or mesothelioma each year (5.3 cases on average), for a period of at least 17 years, then the health benefits for these sectors ($34 million) would be expected to justify the associated administrative and compliance costs ($34 million).

The proposed Regulations are not expected to significantly reduce adverse asbestos-related health outcomes for chlor-alkali workers, since few of these workers handle asbestos, and that their current risk of exposure is expected to be low given current safety protocols. The cost-benefit analysis presents a high-cost scenario where Canadian chlor-alkali production currently using asbestos would shift production outside Canada, resulting in Canadian production losses estimated at $8 million per year. However, an analysis of an alternative low-cost scenario in which investments would be made to adopt asbestos-free technologies is also presented. It is estimated that this scenario would require a capital cost of $119 million, with average energy savings of $29 million per year after the conversion. In this scenario there would be net savings over time.

Strategic environmental assessment

The proposed Regulations have been developed under Canada’s Chemical Management Plan (CMP). A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) of the CMP was completed. (see footnote 50) This SEA concluded that activities under the CMP would support the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) goal of safe and healthy communities. The 2017 FSDS further indicates that a comprehensive ban on asbestos is a key priority towards meeting this goal.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

The proposed Regulations and the proposed ESECLR Amendments would come into force 90 days following the date on which they are published in the Canada Gazette, Part II. The proposed Regulations and the proposed ESECLR Amendments would be made under CEPA, so enforcement officers would, when verifying compliance, apply the Compliance and Enforcement Policy for CEPA. (see footnote 51)

The Department would undertake outreach activities to raise potential stakeholder awareness of the proposed Regulations, the proposed ESECLR Amendments and the associated requirements. The compliance promotion approach for the proposed Regulations would include maintaining a stakeholder database, preparing and delivering compliance promotion materials and events, such as information sessions, as well as responding to specific inquiries from stakeholders, and reviewing notifications, reports, and permit applications for completeness and accuracy.

The Department has an existing compliance promotion program associated with the current Export of Substances on the Export Control List Regulations (ESECLR) to control exports, which helps exporters determine whether their export activity is subject to the current Regulations and what their obligations would be. The approach for the proposed ESECLR Amendments would include updating the existing guidance document, updating forms for export notifications and permit applications, updating the existing stakeholder database, responding to and tracking inquiries from stakeholders, and reviewing notifications and permit applications for completeness, accuracy and compliance with the regulations and international conventions.

These outreach activities would be complemented by a campaign blitz to verify the degree of awareness/ understanding of the regulations, and performance measurement, to advertise in trade and association magazines, and to hold information sessions. Promotional materials such as fact sheets and Web materials may be developed, posted, and distributed (email/mail-out to stakeholders).

The proposed Regulations include reporting and notification requirements. The receipt of the report or notification would be acknowledged within 10 working days. The proposed Regulations also include provisions for regulatees to apply for permits issued by the Minister of the Environment. The applications for permits would be reviewed by the Department. The administrative procedure may take up to 60 working days from the receipt of the completed permit application.

When the necessary conditions are met, an exporter should expect approval and issuance of an export permit under the proposed ESECLR Amendments within 10 working days of the receipt of the completed permit application. An exporter should expect acknowledgment of a prior notification of export within 10 working days of the receipt of the completed prior notification of export. The Department would track its performance against the aforementioned service standards.

Performance measurement and evaluation

The expected outcomes of the proposed Regulations are directly related to the commitment made in December 2016 by the Government of Canada to prohibit asbestos and products containing asbestos by 2018. The performance of the proposed Regulations in achieving the outcomes described below would be measured and evaluated.

Specific outcomes (immediate, intermediate, and final) have been developed as part of the implementation strategy for the proposed Regulations. The expected immediate outcomes are awareness and understanding of the proposed Regulations and its requirements by the regulatees. Expected intermediate outcomes of the proposed Regulations are that regulatees comply with the regulatory requirements and do not import, sell and use of asbestos nor manufacture, import, sell and use of products containing asbestos (excluding non-applications, exclusions, and permit holders), and that non-compliant regulatees become compliant with the regulatory requirements. The expected final outcome is that Canadians’ exposure to asbestos from the ongoing import and use of asbestos and products containing asbestos is reduced over time.

Quantitative performance indicators have been defined for each outcome and will be tracked through reporting requirements and enforcement activities. These indicators include evaluating the percentage of regulatees who are aware of, and understand, the proposed Regulations, and measuring the decrease in the quantity of asbestos or products containing asbestos that are imported, used and sold. These outcomes would also be evaluated by the number of inspections uncovering non-compliance where an enforcement action was taken, and the percentage of follow-up inspections verifying a return to compliance.

The performance of the proposed Regulations would be assessed annually according to the program evaluation plan. Regular review and evaluation of these performance indicators would allow the Department to evaluate the performance of the proposed Regulations in reaching the intended targets.

Contacts

Gwen Goodier
Executive Director
Chemicals Management Division
Department of the Environment
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0H3
Telephone: 819-938-4506
Email: ec.amiante-asbestos.ec@canada.ca

Matthew Watkinson
Director
Regulatory Analysis and Valuation Division
Department of the Environment
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0H3
Telephone: 873-469-1452
Email: ec.darv-ravd.ec@canada.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, pursuant to subsection 93(1) and sections 102 and 286.1 (see footnote c) of that Act, proposes to make the annexed Prohibition of Asbestos and Asbestos Products Regulations.

Any person may, within 75 days after the date of publication of this notice, file with the Minister of the Environment comments with respect to the proposed Regulations or, within 60 days after the date of publication of this notice, file with that Minister 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 addressed to the Executive Director, Chemicals Management Division, Environmental Protection Branch, Department of the Environment, Place Vincent Massey, 351 Saint-Joseph Boulevard, 10th Floor, Gatineau, Quebec, K1A 0H3 (email: ec.amiante-asbestos.ec@canada.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, December 14, 2017

Jurica Čapkun
Assistant Clerk of the Privy Council

Prohibition of Asbestos and Asbestos Products Regulations

Non-application

Mining residues, product or mixture

1 These Regulations do not apply

Integrated asbestos

2 (1) These Regulations do not apply to asbestos that was integrated into a structure or infrastructure before the day on which these Regulations come into force.

Installed asbestos product

(2) These Regulations do not apply to a product that contains asbestos and that was installed in a product, structure or infrastructure before the day on which these Regulations come into force.

Prohibitions

Importation, sale or use

3 Subject to sections 6 to 9, a person must not import, sell or use processed asbestos fibre or a product that contains asbestos.

Manufacture

4 A person must not manufacture a product that contains asbestos.

Mining residues — landscaping or construction

5 (1) A person must not sell, for use in construction or landscaping, asbestos mining residues that are located at an asbestos mining site or accumulation area unless the use is authorized by the province in which the construction or landscaping is to occur.

Mining residues — products containing asbestos

(2) A person must not use asbestos mining residues to manufacture a product that contains asbestos, including a product in which asbestos is incidentally present.

Exclusions

Museum display

6 (1) A person may import, sell or use asbestos, or a product that contains asbestos, that is intended for display in a museum.

Notification, report and management plan

(2) A person who displays processed asbestos fibre in a museum must

Required elements

(3) The notification or report must include the following elements:

Laboratory use

7 (1) A person may use asbestos or a product that contains asbestos in a laboratory in scientific research, for sample characterization or as an analytical standard and may import or sell it for such use.

Asbestos management plan

(2) A person who uses processed asbestos fibre in a laboratory in scientific research or as an analytical standard must prepare and implement an asbestos management plan that meets the requirements of Schedule 1.

Notification

(3) A person who imports processed asbestos fibre or a product that contains asbestos for use in a laboratory in scientific research or as an analytical standard must submit to the Minister, 60 days before the day on which the processed asbestos fibre or product that contains asbestos is to be imported, a notification that includes the elements referred to in subsection (6).

Report

(4) A person who uses, in a laboratory, processed asbestos fibre or a product that contains asbestos that was imported after the coming into force of these Regulations in scientific research or as an analytical standard must submit to the Minister, before March 31 of the calendar year following the calendar year in which the asbestos fibre or product is used, a report that includes the elements referred to in subsection (7).

Previously reported asbestos

(5) Subsection (4) does not apply in respect of processed asbestos fibre or a product that contains asbestos for which the elements referred to in subsection (7) have been submitted to the Minister in a previous report.

Required elements — notification

(6) The notification must include the following elements :

Required elements — report

(7) The report must include the following elements:

Chlor-alkali facilities

8 (1) A person may use processed asbestos fibre in diaphragms used in a chlor-alkali facility that is in operation on the day on which these Regulations come into force, and may import it for that use, until December 31, 2025.

Notification and report

(2) A person who imports processed asbestos fibre for use in diaphragms to be used in a chlor-alkali facility must

Required elements

(3) The notification or report must contain the following elements:

Labelling

(4) A person who imports processed asbestos fibre for use in diaphragms used in a chlor-alkali facility must ensure that each container of asbestos fibre is labelled in accordance with Schedule 2.

Asbestos management plan

(5) A person who uses processed asbestos fibre in diaphragms used in a chlor-alkali facility must prepare and implement an asbestos management plan that meets the requirements of Schedule 1.

Permit — authorized use

9 (1) A person may use processed asbestos fibre or a product that contains asbestos for a purpose that is specified in a permit issued under subsection 10(1) and may import or sell it for that purpose.

Permit application

(2) An application for a permit referred to in subsection 10(1) must be submitted by the importer of the processed asbestos fibre or the product that contains asbestos and include the following elements:

Issuance of permit

10 (1) The Minister must issue a permit that authorizes the import of processed asbestos fibre or a product that contains asbestos if

Refusal

(2) The Minister must refuse to issue a permit if

Term of permit

(3) A permit expires on the first anniversary of the day on which it was issued.

Asbestos management plan

11 A person that imports processed asbestos fibres or a product that contains asbestos for a purpose specified in their permit application must prepare and implement an asbestos management plan that meets the requirements of Schedule 1.

Report

12 The holder of a permit issued under subsection 10(1) must submit, within 90 days after the day on which their permit expires, a report to the Minister that includes

Revocation of permit

13 (1) The Minister must revoke a permit if the Minister has reasonable grounds to believe that the permit holder has submitted false or misleading information to the Minister.

Conditions

(2) The Minister must not revoke a permit unless the Minister has provided the permit holder with

Presentation of Documents

Certification

14 (1) Every notification, report and application for a permit that is submitted to the Minister under these Regulations must bear the signature of the interested person or of the person who is authorized to act for them and be accompanied by a certification dated and signed by the interested person or their authorized representative stating that the information is accurate and complete.

Writing or electronic format

(2) Any information or document submitted under these Regulations may be submitted either in writing or in an electronic format that is compatible with the electronic systems that are used by the Minister.

Record Keeping

Records — notifications and reports

15 (1) Any person that is required to submit a notification or report to the Minister under these Regulations must keep a record containing a copy of the information submitted, of the asbestos management plan and of any supporting documents, for a period of at least five years from the day on which the notification or report is submitted.

Records — permits

(2) A person that has been issued a permit under subsection 10(1) must keep a record containing a copy of the permit and permit application, of the asbestos management plan and of any supporting documents, for a period of at least five years from the day on which the permit is issued.

Location of records

(3) The records must be kept at the civic address of the person’s principal place of business in Canada or, on notification to the Minister, at any other place in Canada where the records can be inspected.

Moved records

(4) If the records are moved, the person must notify the Minister in writing of the civic address in Canada of the new location within 30 days after the day of the move.

Related Amendments

Regulations Designating Regulatory Provisions for Purposes of Enforcement (Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999)

16 The schedule to the Regulations Designating Regulatory Provisions for Purposes of Enforcement (Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999) (see footnote 52) is amended by adding the following in numerical order:

Item

Column 1

Regulations

Column 2

Provisions

32

Prohibition of Asbestos and Asbestos Products Regulations

  • (a) section 3
  • (b) section 4
  • (c) section 5

35

Export of Substances on the Export Control List Regulations

  • (a) subsection 4.1(2)
Export of Substances on the Export Control List Regulations

17 Section 2 of the Export of Substances on the Export Control List Regulations (see footnote 53) is replaced by the following:

Purpose

2 The purpose of these Regulations is to prohibit the export of substances specified in the Export Control List, or to establish regulatory conditions applicable to the export of those substances, and to implement the Stockholm Convention, Rotterdam Convention and Minamata Convention in relation to the export of those substances.

18 Section 3 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

Notice

3 (1) These Regulations set out the content of the notice of proposed export that is required under subsection 101(1) of the Act for substances specified in the Export Control List, and the period within which and manner in which the notice must be provided.

Conditions of export

(2) These Regulations also set out

19 The Regulations are amended by adding the following after section 4:

Prohibitions

Definition of asbestos

4.1 (1) In this section, asbestos means the types of asbestos specified in the Export Control List.

Prohibition

(2) Subject to subsections (3) to (6), a person must not export asbestos or a product that contains asbestos.

Hazardous waste or material

(3) A person may export asbestos or a product that contains asbestos that is, or is contained in, hazardous waste or hazardous recyclable material the export of which is regulated by the Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations.

Asbestos products

(4) A person may export asbestos that is contained in a product

Laboratory use

(5) A person may export asbestos for use in a laboratory for analysis, in scientific research or as an analytical standard

Museum display

(6) A person may export asbestos, or a product that contains asbestos, that is intended for display in a museum

Coming into Force

90th day after registration

20 These Regulations come into force on the 90th day after the day on which they are registered.

SCHEDULE 1

(Paragraphs 6(2)(c) and (3)(g) and (h), subsection 7(2), subparagraph 7(6)(d)(ii) and (7)(d)(ii), paragraphs 8(3)(e) and (f), subsection 8(5), paragraph 9(2)(f), section 11 and paragraph 12(b))

Contents of Asbestos Management Plan

1 An asbestos management plan must include

SCHEDULE 2

(Subsection 8(4))

Labelling Requirements

1 The following requirements apply to asbestos that is imported for use in diaphragms used by a chlor-alkali facility:

Item

Column 1

Area of main display panel
on container or attached
label (cm2 )

Column 2


Minimum size of letters (mm)

1

≤ 250

2

2

> 250 but ≤ 1 000

3

3

> 1 000 but ≤ 3 500

12

4

> 3 500

24

[1-1-o]