This page has been archived on the Web

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

Response to Comments on the Risk Management Approach and Consultation Document on Chlorinated Alkanes (previously called Chlorinated Paraffins)

The Risk Management Approach was posted on Environment Canada’s Website on August 30, 2008 for a 60-day public comment period. 

A Consultation Document on the proposed path forward for the risk management of chlorinated alkanes was posted on Environment Canada’s Website on October 14, 2009 for a 30-day public comment period, followed by a consultation meeting which was held on October 22, 2009.

As part of ongoing consultations with stakeholders on risk management actions for chlorinated alkanes, the Government of Canada has reviewed the comments received on the proposed Risk Management Approach and the Consultation Document. 

All comments have been considered. Comments may not be reported verbatim as similar comments may have been combined and paraphrased for brevity. The issues raised by stakeholders, and the Government of Canada’s responses, are summarized below. 

Comments on the Risk Management Approach

Comment:

The proposed Risk Management Approach is not the appropriate response to the chlorinated alkanes issue, a life-cycle Risk Management Approach based on Best Management Practices should be used in order to focus on uses and applications responsible for the risks.

Response:

The Government of Canada has concluded that chlorinated alkanes containing from 10 to 20 carbon atoms meet the criteria under paragraph 64(a) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) and that chlorinated alkanes containing from 10 to 17 carbon atoms meet the criteria under paragraph 64(c) of CEPA 1999. Therefore, the objective is to reduce releases of chlorinated alkanes containing from 10 to 20 carbon atoms to the lowest level possible from all sources. Moreover, the Government of Canada wants to prevent the re-introduction of their manufacture in Canada.

As such, a phased approach to the risk management of these substances is planned, with controls on chlorinated alkanes containing 10 to 13 carbon atoms proposed to be prohibited in the Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations, 2012 as a first step.

Comment:

Substitution of chlorinated alkanes of chain lengths >13 carbon atoms needs to be further discussed as effective alternatives are either not available, unable to match performance standards of chlorinated alkanes, economically/technically prohibitive, or may have unknown environmental impacts.

Response:

Stakeholders have been encouraged to provide additional information throughout the risk assessment and risk management process to facilitate informed decision-making.

In developing controls the Government of Canada considers socio-economic issues in addition to human health and environmental concerns. While the Risk Management Approach and the Consultation Document acknowledge the value of chlorinated alkanes in some limited but critical industrial applications, human health and environmental concerns are also carefully considered.

Comment:

Chlorine-free Metalworking fluids that work as well as or better than most of the chlorinated formulations on the market are being manufactured in Canada.

Response:

The Government of Canada is working with stakeholders to identify all potential alternatives. Besides human health and environmental issues, due consideration is being given to economic factors, including the performance and availability of alternatives.

Comment:

Forcing the substitution of medium-chain chlorinated alkanes and long-chain chlorinated alkanes will impose a significant economic burden on industry and put companies at a significant economic disadvantage with foreign manufacturers.

Response:

The Government of Canada will consider the availability of alternatives and any associated economic burden in the risk management of further controls, including those for medium-chain and long-chain chlorinated alkanes.

Specific permitted uses for some chlorinated alkanes may be proposed where alternatives are not technically or economically feasible while still ensuring the protection of human health and the environment.  

Comment:

The Government of Canada’s approach will have little impact on remaining uses of chlorinated alkanes and its introduction into Canada via imported products.

Response:

Controls being proposed on chlorinated alkanes containing 10 to 13 carbon atoms in the Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations, 2012 that would include a prohibition of the manufacture, use, import, sale and offer for sale of these  chlorinated alkanes as well as any products containing them. This will ensure that, for these substances, releases to the environment would be greatly curtailed.

Every effort will be made to ensure that future risk management of chlorinated alkanes containing 14 to 20 carbon atoms would also greatly curtail any releases, including those via imported products.

In addition, chlorinated alkanes will be added to the Government of Canada’s environmental monitoring plan, which will help identify whether any further risk management may be required.

Comment:

In order to fulfill the precautionary approach requirements of CEPA 1999, chlorinated alkanes with chain lengths >20 carbon atoms should also be subject to restrictions.

Response:

All steps involved in the development of a risk management instrument consider a number of issues, including the application of precaution. Socio-economic, environmental and human health considerations are also carefully weighed in prescribing regulatory action. The Government of Canada has concluded that chlorinated alkanes with chain lengths > 20 carbon atoms do not meet the criteria under section 64 of CEPA 1999. Therefore, the risk management of chlorinated alkanes with chain lengths from 10 to 20 carbon atoms is being considered.

Comment:

The Risk Management Approach should include educational efforts such as information on household dust.

Response:

Household dust has not been identified as a source of exposure to chlorinated alkanes. However, the Government of Canada would welcome the submission of any additional data on this issue.

The Risk Management Approach and Consultation Document focus on the main release sources of chlorinated alkanes to the environment.

Comments on the Consultation Document

Comment:

The chain length grouping used for the proposed actions does not reflect the standard grouping of chlorinated alkanes: short-chain chlorinated alkanes (C10-C13); medium-chain chlorinated alkanes (C14-C17) and long-chain chlorinated alkanes (C≥18). The actions proposed in the Consultation Document for chlorinated alkanes with chain lengths from 14 to 20 carbon atoms, overlap medium-chain chlorinated alkanes and long-chain chlorinated alkanes causing confusion as to what would actually be covered by the instrument.

Response:

The risk assessment concluded that short-chain chlorinated alkanes (C10-C13), medium-chain chlorinated alkanes (C14-C17) and long-chain chlorinated alkanes with chain lengths from 18 to 20 carbon atoms meet the criteria under section 64(a) of CEPA 1999. Any risk management action would clearly state what chlorinated alkanes would be the subject of controls, including the number of carbon atoms.

In addition, efforts will be made through compliance promotion activities to clarify which substances would be subject to the risk management actions taken by the Government of Canada.

Comment:

Regulatory actions discussed in the consultation document (e.g., allowing the import of manufactured items containing chlorinated alkanes or permitting the use of short-chain chlorinated alkanes for rubber applications) need to be revised to ensure the socioeconomic impacts and actual use of chlorinated alkanes in Canada are better considered.

Response:

All information received during the consultation on the Risk Management Approach and the Consultation Document will be taken into consideration as the risk management instrument is drafted. The actions proposed in the Consultation Document may be revised as further risk management controls are developed and as additional information becomes available.

Date modified: