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Environment Canada's Gasoline Regulations: A discussion paper on the potential extension of the exemption for leaded gasoline used in competition vehicles

The Gasoline Regulations

The Gasoline Regulations, promulgated under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), came into effect December 1, 1990. The Regulations, which assured the use of virtually lead-free gasoline in Canada, were enacted to address health concerns associated with low level exposure to lead.

Prior to the enactment of the Regulations, vehicular lead emissions, resulting from the combustion of lead-containing anti-knock agents, were the largest source of lead particulates in the Canadian atmosphere. The controls on lead in gasoline have significantly decreased airborne lead concentrations which, in turn, are thought to have resulted in reduced uptake and blood lead levels of Canadians.

The Gasoline Regulations prohibit the production, import or sale of leaded gasoline. There are exemptions allowing for leaded gasoline to be used in:

  • competition vehicles (until January 1, 2008),

  • aircraft, and

  • engines designed to use leaded gasoline that power
    • tractors, combines, swathers or other farm machinery,
    • boats, or
    • trucks with a gross weight rating greater than 3856 kg.

A copy of the current regulations can be downloaded from the CEPA registry.

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