Canada Gazette, Part I, Volume 152, Number 50: Regulations Amending the Chromium Electroplating, Chromium Anodizing and Reverse Etching Regulations

December 15, 2018

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.)

Issues

Since 2012, the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations (SJCSR) has raised some concerns regarding the Chromium Electroplating, Chromium Anodizing and Reverse Etching Regulations (the Regulations) and has requested that certain provisions be modified (e.g. inconsistencies between the English and French versions of the Regulations, a lack of clarity regarding laboratory accreditation).

Background

Chromium is widely used in the metal finishing industry for its performance characteristics related to engineering requirements, corrosion resistance and hardness. The chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing and reverse etching sector uses a chromic acid solution in tanks to coat metal parts and tools with a layer of chromium for hardening, protection against corrosion and wear, and decoration.

Hexavalent chromium compounds are harmful to the environment and a danger to human life and health in Canada. They were declared to be toxic and, in 1998, these substances were added to the List of Toxic Substances in Schedule 1 under the then Canadian Environmental Protection Act. The Regulations were later published under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA) in 2009 to limit emissions of hexavalent chromium compounds from facilities in the metal finishing industry and to help protect Canadians and the environment from the risks posed by these substances.

The Regulations aim to limit emissions of hexavalent chromium compounds during chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing and reverse etching processes at facilities that use more than 50 kg of chromium trioxide per calendar year. The Regulations prescribe three methods to limit releases of hexavalent chromium compounds: use of a point source control device for one or more tanks; limitation of the surface tension; or use of a tank cover.

Regulatees choosing to control their releases of hexavalent chromium compounds by limiting the surface tension of the solution containing those compounds must measure the surface tension of the solution in the tank daily. If the regulatee is measuring the surface tension using a tensiometer, the surface tension must be measured in accordance with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International method. The ASTM standard that is currently referenced by the Regulations has been superceded by a newer standard under a new title. Additionally, the ASTM standard includes requirements that are not applicable in the context of the Regulations.

The regulated community comprises approximately 160 facilities, of which the majority are considered to be small or medium-sized businesses.

Objectives

The objective of the proposed Regulations Amending the Chromium Electroplating, Chromium Anodizing and Reverse Etching Regulations (the proposed amendments) is to address the concerns raised by the SJCSR by improving consistency between the French and English versions of the Regulations, and improving the clarity of the regulatory text related to laboratory accreditation. The proposed amendments would also provide regulated parties with more flexibility to choose from various tensiometers available on the market by removing reference to an outdated technical standard.

Description

The proposed amendments would modify the Regulations in response to recommendations made by the SJCSR. The proposed amendments would resolve the following issues.

The paragraph 12(g) of the French version of the Regulations would be modified by adding the words “du rejet.” Furthermore, the heading before section 11 of the French version of the Regulations would be changed from “Rapports” to “Rapports et Avis” because section 13 has specific requirements for reports and notices. The heading before section 11 of the English version of the Regulations would be changed from “Reporting” to “Reporting and Notices.”

The issue mentioned by the SJCSR concerning what is meant by a laboratory “accredited by a Canadian accrediting body” would also be addressed. To address this issue, the Department of the Environment (the Department) has developed standard wording to be included in provisions relating to the accreditation of laboratories in all of the Department’s regulations, if relevant. Based on the wording, if these standardized elements are used in a regulation, a regulatory provision requiring laboratory analysis will require that the laboratory be accredited under standard ISO/IEC 17025 by an accrediting body that is a signatory to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation Mutual Recognition Arrangement (ILAC MRA). It would also require that the laboratory’s scope of accreditation include the parameters to which the analysis relates. The standard wording would be incorporated into the proposed amendments. The new provision would also allow for the alternate possibility that a laboratory be accredited under Quebec’s Environment Quality Act, and that the laboratory’s scope of accreditation include the parameters to which the analysis relates.

In addition, the proposed amendments would provide regulated parties with more flexibility to choose from various tensiometers available on the market by removing the requirement for obtaining the outdated ASTM standard. This change would allow the use of any commercially available tensiometers. Reference to the ASTM standard would be replaced by reference to the tensiometer device’s manufacturer’s instructions. This modification would not change the level of stringency set by the Regulations.

“One-for-One” Rule

The “One-for-One” Rule would not apply to the proposed amendments, as they are not expected to create any new administrative costs. It is possible that the proposed amendments would result in an overall reduction of administrative costs to businesses, including small businesses; however, these cost savings are neither significant nor quantifiable.

Small business lens

The small business lens would not apply to the proposed amendments, as they are not expected to result in additional new costs for small businesses. The proposed amendments are expected to result in a minor reduction of compliance costs to businesses, including small businesses; however, the amount of these cost savings (across all potentially impacted) is considered negligible.

Consultation

Pre-consultations via email and teleconference with stakeholders, including regulatees, sectoral associations, a provincial government, Indigenous peoples, and environmental non-governmental organizations, were held between September 2017 and March 2018 on the SJCSR’s recommendations and other proposed amendments to the Regulations. No concerns were raised about the changes proposed to resolve the issues raised by the SJCSR.

In order to fulfill the commitments the Department has made to the SJCSR, the proposed amendments (as initially presented to stakeholders) have now been divided into two separate amendments: those proposed amendments addressing the SJCSR’s recommendations and the other amendments, which aim to update and streamline the regulations in general. The Department intends to bring forward the second set of amendments for consideration (i.e. those not related to the SJCSR’s recommendations) at a later date. footnote 1 Any comments received during the 60-day public comment period following publication in the Canada Gazette, Part I, will be taken into consideration before the proposed amendments are finalized.

Rationale

The proposed amendments are not expected to create costs or quantified savings for stakeholders. The amendment to the surface tension measurement provision would provide greater flexibility to regulated parties as they would be permitted to use different instruments to fulfill the regulatory requirements.

The proposed amendments would improve consistency between the French and English versions of the Regulations, update surface tension measurement requirements and revise the laboratory accreditation provision in order to address comments received from the SJCSR.

Contacts

Matthew Watkinson
Director
Regulatory Analysis and Valuation Division
Department of the Environment
200 Sacré-Cœur Boulevard
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0H3
Email: ec.darv-ravd.ec@canada.ca

Nicole Foliet
Director
Chemical Production Division
Department of the Environment
351 Saint-Joseph Boulevard
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0H3
Email: ec.chrome-chromium.ec@canada.ca

PROPOSED REGULATORY TEXT

Notice is given, pursuant to subsection 332(1) footnote a of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 footnote b, that the Governor in Council, pursuant to subsection 93(1) and section 97 of that Act, proposes to make the annexed Regulations Amending the Chromium Electroplating, Chromium Anodizing and Reverse Etching Regulations.

Any person may, within 60 days after the date of publication of this notice, file with the Minister of the Environment comments with respect to the proposed Regulations or a notice of objection requesting that a board of review be established under section 333 of that Act and stating the reasons for the objection. All comments and notices must cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice, and be addressed to the Chemical Production Division, Department of the Environment, 351 St. Joseph Boulevard, Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0H3 (fax: 819-938-4218; email: ec.chrome-chromium.ec@canada.ca).

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

Ottawa, December 6, 2018

Jurica Čapkun
Assistant Clerk of the Privy Council

Regulations Amending the Chromium Electroplating, Chromium Anodizing and Reverse Etching Regulations

Amendments

1 Paragraph 5(4)(c) of the Chromium Electroplating, Chromium Anodizing and Reverse Etching Regulations footnote 2 is replaced by the following:

2 Subsection 7(4) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

(4) The surface tension must be measured in accordance with the instructions of the tensiometer or stalagmometre manufacturer, as the case may be.

3 The heading before section 11 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

Reporting and Notices

4 Paragraph 12(g) of the French version of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

Coming into Force

5 These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.