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Environment Canada's Response to Comments Received on the Consultation Document on the Draft Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations, 2008

A consultation document that summarized proposed regulatory and administrative changes to the Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations, 2005 was posted on the Environment Canada web site on December 18, 2007 and was also mailed to interested parties. The comment period closed on January 25, 2008.

This document responds to the comments submitted by stakeholders on the consultation document. All comments have been noted and considered, however they may not be reported verbatim as similar comments have been combined and paraphrased for brevity.

Changes that will be made in response to comments received are reflected in the proposed Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations, 2012, published in Part I of the Canada Gazette subject to a 75-day public comment period.

Comment:

Requiring that specific quantities of the toxic substance sold to customer(s) be reported as proposed in Schedule 5, section 3 would seem to be an unnecessary proliferation of detail that will also give rise to a greater concern about the risk for the potential release of sensitive confidential business information. The current approach should be maintained and additional detailed information be sought only when needed, on a case-by-case basis.

Response:

Reporting for quantities sold to customers will not be required under Schedule 5; however, the total quantity of the substance sold in Canada and its unit of measurement will remain.

It is also important to note that only those substances listed in the Reporting Thresholds table (Part 4 of Schedule 2 of the proposed Regulations) of the proposed Regulations are required to submit the information set out in Schedule 5.

Comment:

An importer may not have access to information about the country of origin due to the global nature of chemicals trade.

Response:

In an effort to reduce the reporting burden on stakeholders, this requirement has been removed from the proposed Regulations.

Comment:

Define the term “weighted average” within the Regulations. 

Response:

In order to clarify the term within the proposed Regulations, the word “annual” has been added to ensure that it is clear that the weighted average concentration is to be calculated on an annual basis.  

The meaning of annual weighted average concentration is based on the common meaning which can be expressed by the following equation, where w represents the mass of the product that was imported or manufactured in a given year, x represents the concentration of the toxic substance in the product, and n represents the number of data points.

Formula required to determine the annual weighted average concentration

Comment:

Re-consider the proposal to add the words “solvent” and “solution” to Schedule 2, Part 1.  This addition narrows the application of the Regulations. 

Response:

This comment has been considered and the wording has since been removed in the proposed Regulations.

Comment:

Proposed wording of Section 5 could be interpreted to mean that products other than those set out in Schedule 2, Part 1 would be prohibited

Response:

The revised wording ensures that it is explicit that the prohibition applies to the toxic substances listed in column 1 of Schedule 2, Part 1 (Part 3 in the proposed Regulations).

Comment:

Section 3 of the current regulations (laboratory reporting) has been misinterpreted to mean that annual reporting is required.

Response:

The proposed Regulations clarify that one time reporting is required under section 3

Comment:

Re-consider the removal of the term “mixture”. Certain stakeholders had concerns about the removal of the word “mixture” as they felt that this may reduce the scope of the regulation.

Response:

The term “mixture” was removed in the proposed Regulations in response to the recommendations of the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations.

It is important to note that while the word mixture has been removed, controls in both the current and proposed Regulation apply to both substances and products containing the substance. Mixtures that contain a toxic substance are included within the scope of products, which are subject to controls in the proposed Regulations.

Comment:

The Regulations should include a provision whereby if the Department has received the same data year after year for a particular application or substance, its reporting requirement would no longer be required. This would lessen the reporting burden on Industry. 

Response:

Reporting requirements provide Environment Canada with information that is crucial to effectively manage controls on toxic substances using the Regulations; however areas for reducing the reporting burden on industry were identified and have led to changes to the reporting requirements in the proposed Regulations. The most significant change is the removal of hexachlorobenzene from Part 3 of Schedule 2 (Part 4 in the proposed 2012 Regulations), thus eliminating the need to report on this substance.

Comment:

The consultation document proposed the addition of the total quantity of a substance exported and its unit of measurement to Schedule 5, section 2. This new information is redundant because the amount exported can be calculated from existing data reporting requirements. As one of the mandates of the 2008 Regulations is to modify the reporting requirements to ease unnecessary burden on industry, this new export reporting requirement would be inconsistent with the stated goal.   

Response:

Consistent with the Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations, which do not cover exports, the proposed Regulations do not require reporting of the total quantity of a substance exported. Exports are covered under other regulations.

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