Solvent Degreasing Regulations

In 1993, Trichloroethylene (TCE) and Tetrachloroethylene (PERC) were assessed as toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), 1988. In 1994, an Issue Table was convened under the Strategic Options Process to make recommendations on options for reducing the release of these toxic substances. The Issue Table was comprised of representatives of the provincial and federal governments, environmental non-governmental organizations, and industry. The Strategic Options Report of stakeholders' consultations was released in 1996.

In February 1997, the federal Minister of the Environment announced that regulations would be developed under CEPA, as recommended in the Report, to reduce total Canadian consumption of TCE and PERC used in solvent degreasing operations.

On July 5, 2001, Environment Canada conducted a one-day information session on the proposed regulations. In exploring the issues of content, design and implementation, the views and concerns from stakeholders were noted and reported.

The solvent degreasing regulations will implement a freeze in consumption of TCE and PERC for three years, followed by a 65% reduction in consumption for the following years. The regulations will apply to persons involved in degreasing operations (vapour and cold degreasing) who use more than 1 000 kilograms of these solvents during a calendar year. An allowance system will set limits on the quantities of TCE and PERC that could be used each year, based on historical uses of these substances by the users. Allowance holders will be able to retire their allowance or to transfer it to other users. Sellers and users of TCE and PERC will be required to submit annual reports to Environment Canada.

The regulations were published in Part II of the Canada Gazette August 13, 2003.

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