Regulations Amending the Chromium Electroplating, Chromium Anodizing and Reverse Etching Regulations: SOR/2020-46
Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 154, Number 7
SOR/2020-46 March 16, 2020
CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT, 1999
P.C. 2020-138 March 13, 2020
Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Health, pursuant to subsection 93(1) and section 97 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 footnote a, makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Chromium Electroplating, Chromium Anodizing and Reverse Etching Regulations.
Regulations Amending the Chromium Electroplating, Chromium Anodizing and Reverse Etching Regulations
1 Paragraph 5(4)(c) of the Chromium Electroplating, Chromium Anodizing and Reverse Etching Regulations footnote 1 is replaced by the following:
- (c) any analysis of the sample must be performed by a laboratory that meets the following conditions at the time of analysis:
- (i) it is accredited
- (A) under the International Organization for Standardization standard ISO/IEC 17025, entitled General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, by an accrediting body that is a signatory to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation Mutual Recognition Arrangement, or
- (B) under the Environment Quality Act, CQLR, c. Q-2, and
- (ii) the scope of its accreditation includes the parameters that are analyzed;
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:
- (g) une description des mesures prises pour supprimer ou atténuer le danger résultant du rejet effectif ou pouvant résulter du rejet probable, ou pour y remédier;
Coming into Force
5 These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)
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).
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 superseded 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.
The objective of the Regulations Amending the Chromium Electroplating, Chromium Anodizing and Reverse Etching Regulations (the 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 Amendments also provide regulated parties with more flexibility to choose from various tensiometers available on the market by removing reference to an outdated technical standard.
The Amendments modify the Regulations in response to recommendations made by the SJCSR. The amendments resolve the following issues.
The paragraph 12(g) of the French version of the Regulations has been modified by adding the words “du rejet.” Furthermore, the heading before section 11 of the French version of the Regulations has been 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 has been 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” has also been addressed: 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 also requires that the laboratory’s scope of accreditation include the parameters to which the analysis relates. The standard wording has been incorporated into the Amendments. The new provision also allows 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 Amendments 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 allows the use of any commercially available tensiometers. Reference to the ASTM standard has been replaced by reference to the tensiometer device’s manufacturer’s instructions. This modification does not change the level of stringency set by the Regulations.
The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to the Amendments, as they are not expected to create any new administrative costs. It is possible that the Amendments will 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 does not apply to the Amendments, as they are not expected to result in additional new costs for small businesses. The 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.
Preconsultations 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 modifications 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 original regulatory proposal presented to stakeholders has been divided into two separate proposals: the provisions addressing the SJCSR’s recommendations and the other changes, which aim to update and streamline the Regulations in general. The Department intends to bring forward the second set of changes for consideration (i.e. those not related to the SJCSR’s recommendations) at a later date. footnote 2
During the 60-day public comment period following the publication of the proposed Amendments on December 15, 2018, in the Canada Gazette, Part I, no submissions were received.
The Amendments are not expected to create costs or quantified savings for stakeholders. The amendment to the surface tension measurement provision provides greater flexibility to regulated parties as they are permitted to use different instruments to fulfill the regulatory requirements.
The Amendments 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.
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