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Completed Agreements

Environmental Performance Agreement Respecting the Use of Tin Stabilizers in the Vinyl Industry

Full Text of Agreement (PDF; 24 KB)

Annex 1: Guideline for the Environmental Management of Tin Stabilizers in Canada (PDF; 352 KB)
Annex 2: Participating Facility Commitment Form (PDF; 14 KB)

Responses to Comments Received on the Proposed Agreement

Progress Report for 2013


Purpose of Agreement

The purpose of the Environmental Performance Agreement Respecting the Use of Tin Stabilizers in the Vinyl Industry (the Agreement) is to prevent the release of mono- and di-organotin tin stabilizers to the environment, in quantities or concentrations above an acceptable level, through the full implementation of the Guideline for the Environmental Management of Tin Stabilizers in Canada (PDF; 352 KB) by all vinyl compounding facilities using tin stabilizers in Canada. This Guideline was prepared by the Vinyl Council of Canada (VCC), the Tin Stabilizers Association (TSA), and tin stabilizer industrial users. The objective of the Guideline is to prevent the release of tin stabilizers to the environment by ensuring that these substances and their packaging materials are handled, stored, used and disposed of in a responsible manner. As stipulated in section 5.3 of the Agreement, annual progress reports are to be published on Environment Canada's (EC) website.

Targets

As of March 2013, there were 33 signatories to the Agreement using tin stabilizers. It must be noted that there have been new signatories to the Agreement as well as some facility closures. The verification program to confirm that the Guideline is being implemented was conducted at each participating facility during the five-year period (March 10, 2008, to March 9, 2013). Corrective action plans were agreed upon for any deficiencies that were identified when the final site visit report was issued.

Reports

The companies were required to present their annual reports to the VCC by completing the Annual Report on Compliance with the Guideline for the Environmental Management of Tin Stabilizers in Canada by June 30 of each year. The VCC was to provide EC with a consolidated Annual Compliance Report referencing the status of compliance by September 30 of each year. EC was to publish on its website a yearly progress report on the site verifications. This is the fifth and last yearly progress report. The progress reports for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 are also available.

Results

Update for March 10, 2012, to March 9, 2013, Verification Period:

A team consisting of a representative from the VCC and an EC official undertook the verifications following which, site visit reports were prepared by the VCC with the concurrence of EC.

The following summarizes the verifications that were made during the verification period of March 10, 2012, to March 9, 2013, and during this period, seven site verifications were conducted in order to determine the Guideline implementation status of the facilities.

  • April 11, 2012 (Plastmo Ltd located in Brampton, Ontario): The verifiers found two areas for improvement as per the implementation of the Guideline for the Environmental Management of Tin Stabilizers in Canada. Following the verification period, confirmation was provided that the two areas for improvement were addressed before the final report was submitted; therefore, no corrective action plan was required.
  • April 12, 2012 (KP Building Products located in Acton, Ontario): The verifiers found five areas for improvement as per the implementation of the Guideline for the Environmental Management of Tin Stabilizers in Canada. Following the verification period, confirmation was provided that the five areas for improvement were addressed before the final report was submitted; therefore, no corrective action plan was required.
  • May 9, 2012 (IPEX located in Scarborough, Ontario): The verifiers found no areas for improvement as per the implementation of the Guideline for the Environmental Management of Tin Stabilizers in Canada; therefore, no corrective action plan was required.
  • May 10, 2012 (Clariant Masterbatches Division located in Toronto, Ontario): The verifiers found six areas for improvement as per the implementation of the Guideline for the Environmental Management of Tin Stabilizers in Canada. Following the verification period, confirmation was provided that the six areas for improvement were addressed before the final report was submitted; therefore, no corrective action plan was required.
  • June 20, 2012 (IPEX located in Saint Laurent, Quebec): The verifiers found one area for improvement as per the implementation of the Guideline for the Environmental Management of Tin Stabilizers in Canada. Following the verification period, confirmation was provided that the one area for improvement was addressed before the final report was submitted; therefore, no corrective action plan was required.
  • August 28, 2012 (Window City Industries Inc. located in Vaughan, Ontario): The verifiers found five areas for improvement as per the implementation of the Guideline for the Environmental Management of Tin Stabilizers in Canada. Following the verification period, confirmation was provided that the five areas for improvement were addressed before the final report was submitted; therefore, no corrective action plan was required.
  • October 3, 2012 (IPEX located in Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce, Quebec): The verifiers found no areas for improvement as per the implementation of the Guideline for the Environmental Management of Tin Stabilizers in Canada; therefore, no corrective action plan was required.

Update for March 10, 2008, to March 9, 2012, Verification Period:

During this verification period, 26 facilities were verified, all of which have fully implemented the Guideline. There is no facility requiring follow-up activities for this period of time.

Next Steps

The Agreement expired on March 9, 2013. Throughout the duration of the Agreement, site verifications were conducted at each of the 33 facilities subject to the Agreement, all of which have fully implemented the Guideline, thereby requiring no follow-up activities.

EC and the VCC are currently discussing options on how to ensure continued application of the Guideline by all vinyl compounding facilities using tin stabilizers in Canada.

Contact

Plastics Unit
Chemical Production Division
Environment Canada
351 St. Joseph Blvd., 11th Floor
Gatineau, QC  K1A 0H3
Email: pgpc-cmp.dppc-cpd@ec.gc.ca

Background

In 2004, the VCC and TSA introduced a voluntary tin stabilizer handling guideline to prevent the release of tin stabilizers to the environment by ensuring that these substances and their packaging materials are handled, stored, used and disposed of in a responsible manner. On November 18, 2005, EC proposed developing an Environmental Performance Agreement with the VCC and TSA to ensure full industry adherence with the Guideline.

On April 23, 2007, EC published a Draft Follow-up to the 1993 Ecological Risk Assessment of Organotin Substances on Canada's Domestic Substances List. The draft assessment report concluded that the actions implemented by the vinyl industry have reduced the potential for releases of mono- and di-organotins to levels that are not of concern to the environment. These actions are codified in the Guideline prepared and implemented by the VCC and TSA. On August 8, 2009, the final Follow-up to the 1993 Ecological Risk Assessment of Organotin Substances on Canada's Domestic Substances List concluded that mono- and di-organotins do not meet the criteria set out in section 64 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 and are therefore concluded to be not toxic.

EC worked with industry between 2006 and 2008 to establish an Environmental Performance Agreement. The purpose of the Agreement was to prevent the release of tin stabilizers to the environment in quantities or concentrations above an acceptable level.

Response to Comments

The draft Environmental Performance Agreement was posted on EC's Environmental Performance Agreements website for a 60-day public consultation period, which ended on June 22, 2007. The only comments received pertained to general questions of clarification (PDF; 17 KB). As a result, no revisions were made to the draft Agreement.

The Agreement was signed by representatives from Environment Canada, the Vinyl Council of Canada and the Tin Stabilizers Association on March 10, 2008.

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