Order Adding Toxic Substances to Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999: SOR/2018-67
Canada Gazette, Part II: Volume 152, Number 8
April 4, 2018
CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT, 1999
P.C. 2018-397 April 3, 2018
Whereas, pursuant to subsection 332(1) footnotea of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 footnoteb, the Minister of the Environment published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on April 1, 2017, a copy of the proposed Order Adding Toxic Substances to Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, in the annexed form, and persons were given an opportunity to file comments with respect to the proposed Order or to file a notice of objection requesting that a board of review be established and stating the reasons for the objection;
And whereas, pursuant to subsection 90(1) of that Act, the Governor in Council is satisfied that the substances set out in the annexed Order are toxic substances;
Therefore, Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Health, pursuant to subsection 90(1) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 footnoteb, makes the annexed Order Adding Toxic Substances to Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.
Order Adding Toxic Substances to Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999
1 Item 134 of Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 footnote1 is amended by striking out
“and” at the end of paragraph (z.17) and by adding the following after paragraph (z.18):
(z.19) petroleum gases, liquefied (a complex combination of hydrocarbons — obtained from the distillation of crude oil — consisting of hydrocarbons having carbon numbers predominantly in the range of C3 through C7 and boiling in the range of approximately -40°C to 80°C); and
(z.20) petroleum gases, liquefied, sweetened (a complex combination of hydrocarbons — obtained by subjecting liquefied petroleum gases to a sweetening process to convert mercaptans or to remove acidic impurities — consisting of hydrocarbons having carbon numbers predominantly in the range of C3 through C7 and boiling in the range of approximately -40°C to 80°C).
Coming into Force
2 This Order comes into force on the day on which it is registered.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Order.)
The Government of Canada (the Government) conducted a screening assessment of two liquefied petroleum gases footnote2 (LPGs) and determined that these LPGs meet the criterion set out in paragraph 64(c) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA). Therefore, the Government is adding these LPGs to the List of Toxic Substances in Schedule 1 of CEPA:
- Petroleum gases, liquefied (Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number [CAS RN] 68476-85-7); and
- Petroleum gases, liquefied, sweetened (CAS RN 68476-86-8).
On December 8, 2006, the Government launched the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) to assess and manage chemical substances that may be harmful to human health or the environment. footnote3 A key element of the CMP is the Petroleum Sector Stream Approach (PSSA), which addresses approximately 160 petroleum substances that were considered to be of priority for risk assessment, as they met the categorization criteria under subsection 73(1) footnote4 of CEPA and/or were considered a priority based on other human health concerns.
These petroleum substances were divided into five streams based on their production and use profiles. footnote5 Within each stream, the substances were further divided into groups according to similarities in production and physical and chemical properties. The LPGs subject to the Order Adding Toxic Substances to Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (the Order) are one of the groups in
“Stream 4” of the PSSA (substances that may be present in products available to consumers).
Substance description and use profile
The substances subject to the Order are petroleum and refinery gases (PRGs) that can be liquefied under pressurized or cooling conditions and are thus commonly known as liquefied petroleum gases. These LPGs are a category of light, predominantly saturated hydrocarbons and may contain unsaturated hydrocarbons, such as propene and butenes. The LPGs are produced at petroleum refineries or natural gas facilities. Their chemical composition varies depending on the source of the crude oil or natural gas, the process operating conditions, and the processing units used at facilities. These LPGs are therefore mixtures that are composed of numerous components and have varying composition. According to information submitted in response to a notice issued under section 71 of CEPA in 2010, the total quantity of the LPGs manufactured in Canada was between 1 million and 10 million tonnes and the total imported quantity was between 10 000 and 100 000 tonnes.
The common use of the LPGs for consumer applications is as a fuel (consisting primarily of propane and butane) for household heating and cooking (e.g. barbecue tanks) and automotive uses (e.g. commercial taxi fleets, front-line police vehicle fleets, para-transit service fleets, and mail courier company fleets). The LPGs are often stored in cylinders, as a convenient or mobile source of fuel for small domestic appliances such as portable space heaters, cookers, blow lamps, camping equipment, and cigarette lighters. They can also be used as aerosol propellants inside spray cans. Industrial uses of the LPGs include use as fuels in chemical plants and petroleum refineries, and as aerosol propellants (e.g. industrial blowing agents).
Screening assessment process
A screening assessment was conducted for the LPGs to determine whether they meet any of the toxicity criteria set out in section 64 of CEPA using information submitted by industry in response to a notice issued under section 71 of CEPA. Specifically, the assessment involves determining whether the substances are entering, or may enter the environment in a quantity or concentration or under conditions that
- a) have or may have an immediate or long-term harmful effect on the environment or its biological diversity;
- b) constitute or may constitute a danger to the environment on which life depends; or
- c) constitute or may constitute a danger in Canada to human life or health.
Human health assessment results
The LPGs are gases with high vapour pressures that can be released into the atmosphere from petroleum facilities, including refineries and natural gas processing facilities, at LPG cylinder tank filling stations (e.g. barbecue ‘propane’ tank filling stations), and through the use of consumer aerosol products. Thus, inhalation was determined to be the primary route of exposure for the general population. This approach is consistent with that used to assess the site-restricted (Stream 1) and industry-restricted (Stream 2) PRGs. It is recognized that fugitive emissions of the LPGs at petroleum refining facilities will also contribute to a portion of the previously estimated releases of PRGs.
The Government has solicited compositional data from industry stakeholders, including levels of 1,3-butadiene that may be present in the LPGs. Data relevant to the upstream natural gas processing industry were received and the assessment was updated based on this information. Compositional data from Canadian refineries was limited although there is evidence indicating the potential presence of 1,3-butadiene in petroleum and refinery gases (including LPGs). Therefore, it was assumed that petroleum and refinery gases (including the LPGs) produced by these facilities potentially contain 1,3-butadiene. Furthermore, modelling was used to estimate potential risks of exposure for general populations to the LPGs from nearby petroleum refineries. 1,3-butadiene is listed as a toxic substance under CEPA and is recognized as a carcinogen. footnote6 Available evidence concluded that it could be present in the LPGs released from petroleum refining facilities, therefore it was selected as a high hazard component of the LPGs, in order to characterize the potential exposure of the general population in Canada.
LPGs can be released into the air from a variety of sources, but most of the releases are so small and limited in duration that they are assessed as not posing a human health concern. The only source releases deemed large enough to pose human health concerns are fugitive releases from petroleum refinery facilities.
The assessment determined that any human exposure to LPGs from the use of, and filling of barbecue, or automotive cylinder tanks, would be low and of short duration. Similarly, exposure of individuals living in the vicinity of LPG filling stations was deemed to also be low. Exposure from these sources is not considered to pose an undue concern for human health.
Human exposure from LPGs released from the use of aerosol products was also determined to be low and of short duration, and does not pose a human health concern.
The assessment also determined that exposure to the general population during the loading, unloading, and transportation of the LPGs is not expected, given the nature of the transportation systems and current regulatory and non-regulatory measures in place in Canada. footnote7
The exposure source of concern is the fugitive emissions from petroleum refining facilities, which could result in exposure to 1,3-butadiene for those living in their vicinity. Analysis of recently received data on 1,3-butadiene concentration levels relevant to the upstream natural gas processing industry did not reveal any concerns about volatile emissions of PRGs, including these LPGs, from natural gas processing facilities.
Based on available information on the composition of the LPGs, the carcinogenic nature of 1,3-butadiene, and upper bound estimates of inhalation exposure, it was determined that potential exposure levels in Canada may pose a risk to human health for those living in the vicinity of petroleum refineries. Therefore, the screening assessment concluded that the LPGs meet the criterion in paragraph 64(c) of CEPA. footnote8
Ecological assessment results
The ecological assessment focused on the chronic effects to terrestrial organisms via inhalation of LPGs, including its most toxic component 1,3-butadiene. Considering exposures near petroleum facilities and filling stations, the results indicate that the LPGs are not expected to be harmful to terrestrial organisms. Therefore, the assessment determined that the LPGs did not meet the environmental criteria set out in paragraph 64(a) or (b) of CEPA.footnote9
Existing Canadian and international risk management activities
The following section provides a summary of existing risk management measures in Canada and in other jurisdictions. These measures were taken into account when deciding upon risk management actions for LPGs. In Canada, transportation of petroleum substances, including the LPGs, is regulated under the National Energy Board Act (for onshore pipelines), the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (for ship transport), the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992 (for truck and train transport), and the Canada Transportation Act (for train transport). footnote10
The National Energy Board (NEB) is responsible for pipelines that cross provincial and international boundaries. In 2013, federal regulations affecting pipeline damage prevention such as the National Energy Board Onshore Pipeline Regulations were amended to strengthen requirements for management systems regarding safety, pipeline integrity, security, environmental protection and emergency management.
The Pipeline Safety Act, which received royal assent on June 18, 2015, required that new regulations be in place by the Act’s entry into force on June 19, 2016. The updated National Energy Board Pipeline Damage Prevention Regulations – Authorizations and National Energy Board Pipeline Damage Prevention Regulations – Obligations of Pipeline Companies were published in June 2016 and included modernizing regulatory language, building in damage prevention best practices and clarifying safety practices. In addition, the National Energy Board Processing Plant Regulations govern the design, construction, operation and abandonment of certain facilities used for the processing, extraction or conversion of fluids, including the LPGs.
The Canada Shipping Act, 2001 deals with pollution prevention and response, including discharges of petroleum substances during marine transportation, response measures and penalties.
The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (the TDG Regulations), made under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992, prescribe how dangerous goods must be classified, the means of containment and safety marks that must be used as well as documentation and training requirements to increase safety during handling, offering for transport or transport. The TDG Regulations include requirements for reporting releases or anticipated releases of dangerous goods and dangerous goods that have been lost, stolen or unlawfully interfered with. The TDG Regulations also require an approved Emergency Response Assistance Plan (ERAP) before certain dangerous goods can be transported or imported.
Under the Railway Safety Act, the Railway Safety Management System Regulations, 2015 require companies to establish a safety management system for the purpose of achieving the highest level of safety in railway operations. Railway operations may include the transport of various products, including dangerous goods such as petroleum substances.
The Liquefied Petroleum Gases Bulk Storage Regulations, 2015, made under the Canada Transportation Act, set out standards for the placement of storage tanks, and additional requirements for storage equipment, inspection, safety considerations and emergency guidelines.
The Consumer Chemicals and Containers Regulations, made under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, contain information with regards to the labelling of pressurized containers, such as spray cans and LPG cylinder tanks. footnote11
Provincial requirements such as Alberta’s Directive 060: Upstream Petroleum Industry Flaring, Incinerating, and Venting, British Columbia’s Flaring and Venting Reduction Guideline, and Saskatchewan’s Upstream Petroleum Industry Associated Gas Conservation Directive regulate the intentional releases of petroleum gases (including the LPGs) through flaring, incinerating and venting activities at well sites, facilities and pipelines. In addition, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers’ Best Management Practice for Fugitive Emissions Management and the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment’s Environmental Code of Practice for Measurement and Control of Fugitive Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from Equipment Leaks are incorporated in some provincial facility operating permits for the control of fugitive emissions of petroleum substances.
While the United States has not conducted an assessment of LPGs under the Toxic Substances Control Act, several regulations pertaining to limiting the emissions from refineries and natural gas processing facilities have been developed under the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants program of the Clean Air Act. In September 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule that will further control air emissions from petroleum refineries, including a requirement for facilities to monitor emissions around their fence lines.
In Europe, the European Chemical Agency has identified petroleum and refinery gases (including the LPGs) containing 1,3-butadiene at concentrations greater than 0.1% as carcinogens. The Directive on Industrial Emissions (Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control), which entered into force in 2013, sets out the main principles for the permitting and control of installations based on an integrated approach and the application of best available techniques. Operators of industrial installations conducting activities covered by the Directive (including refineries) are required to obtain an environmental permit from the national authority in their country.
Publication and conclusions
On February 25, 2017, the final screening assessment for the LPGs was published on the Government’s Chemical Substances website. footnote12 On April 1, 2017, the proposed Order recommending the addition of the LPGs to Schedule 1 of CEPA was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I. footnote13, footnote14
The objective of the Order Adding Toxic Substances to Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 is to enable the Government to propose risk management instruments under CEPA, should such instruments be deemed necessary to manage the human health risks associated with the LPGs.
The Order adds the LPGs to Schedule 1 of CEPA (the List of Toxic Substances).
“One-for-One” Rule does not apply, as the Order will not impose any administrative burden on business.
Small business lens
The small business lens does not apply, as the Order will not impose any compliance or administrative costs on small business.
On October 11, 2014, the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Health published a summary of the draft screening assessment for the LPGs in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for a 60-day public comment period. footnote15 During the 60-day public comment period, submissions were received from industry associations and other stakeholders. The comments received focused on the methodology used to determine human exposure, data gaps and uncertainties in the assessment. All comments were considered during the finalization of the screening assessment; however, the conclusions of the assessment did not change. A table summarizing the complete set of comments received and the Government’s responses is available on the Chemical Substances website. footnote16
In addition, the proposed Order recommending the addition of the LPGs to Schedule 1 of CEPA and the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS), footnote17 providing a summary of the comments received on the draft screening assessment report and the Government’s responses, were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on April 1, 2017, for a 60-day public comment period. One comment was received from an industry association supporting the Government of Canada’s risk management approach for LPGs.
Prior to these publications, the Department of the Environment and the Department of Health had informed provincial and territorial governments through the National Advisory Committee of CEPA (CEPA NAC) of the release of these documents and public comment period. No comments were received from CEPA NAC. footnote18
Potential releases of the LPGs include releases within refineries from activities associated with their production and processing, transportation between industrial facilities, and consumer uses. The assessment determined that the exposure to the general population from activities related to their transportation and consumer uses are not a concern to human health. However, it was determined that a small proportion of the general population living in the vicinity of petroleum facilities may be exposed to the LPGs. Therefore, due to the carcinogenicity of high hazard components of the LPGs (e.g. 1,3-butadiene) and the potential exposure of those living in the vicinity of petroleum facilities, the screening assessment concluded that the LPGs met the human health criterion for a toxic substance under paragraph 64(c) of CEPA.
One of the following measures must be proposed after an assessment is conducted under CEPA:
- taking no further action with respect to the substance under the authority of CEPA;
- adding the substance to the Priority Substances List; or
- recommending that the substance be added to the List of Toxic Substances in Schedule 1 of CEPA, and where applicable, recommending the implementation of virtual elimination.
The addition of the LPGs to Schedule 1 of CEPA enables the Government to propose risk management instruments to manage the human health risks posed by the LPGs, and is therefore the preferred option among the three alternatives. The implementation of virtual elimination is not applicable for the LPGs.
The addition of the LPGs to Schedule 1 of CEPA will not result in any incremental impacts (benefits or costs) on the public or industry, since the making of the Order will not in itself impose any compliance or administrative requirements on stakeholders.
The proposed risk management measure in relation to the LPGs is a regulation under CEPA focusing on reducing fugitive emissions of volatile organic compounds from certain petroleum facilities. The proposed Regulations Respecting Reduction in the Release of Volatile Organic Compounds (Petroleum Sector) were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on May 27, 2017. footnote19
Should further risk management instruments be deemed necessary for the LPGs, the Minister will assess the costs and benefits of any risk management instrument and will consult with the public and other stakeholders during the development.
In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for the CMP was completed. footnote20 The detailed analysis that was completed as part of the SEA indicated that the CMP will have a positive effect on the environment and human health.
Implementation, enforcement and service standards
The Order will add the LPGs to Schedule 1 of CEPA, thereby allowing for developing and publishing regulations or instruments under CEPA if such actions are deemed necessary. Developing an implementation plan, a compliance strategy or establishing service standards are not considered necessary for this Order.
Program Development and Engagement Division
Department of the Environment
- Substances Management Information Line:
1-800-567-1999 (toll-free in Canada)
819-938-5144 (outside of Canada)
Risk Management Bureau
Department of Health