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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

Controls on Lead in Gasoline for Competition Vehicles in Other Jurisdictions

Canada has an approach of generally aligning environmental fuel requirements with those of the United States, while taking into consideration environmental standards developed by the European Union.8

United States

The U.S. 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) prohibit the use of leaded gasoline in on-road vehicles. The CAAA includes an on-going exemption from the restriction for fuels for competition use vehicles.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has worked in a voluntary partnership with the National Association for Stock Car Automobile Racing (NASCAR) to remove alkyl-lead from their racing fuels. NASCAR has announced that it will use unleaded racing fuel starting in the spring, 2007. NASCAR has also just recently bought the Canadian Association for Stock Car Automobile Racing (CASCAR). Beginning in 2007, NASCAR will launch a racing series in Canada, using current CASCAR teams and drivers. Due to the differences in engine design (non NASCAR stock engines may have higher compression ratios), it is expected that stock cars in Canada will continue running on leaded gasoline.

European Union

The European Union prohibits the marketing of leaded petrol as outlined in EU Directive 98/70/EC. The Directive does not provide an exemption for leaded gasoline to be used in competition vehicles, but does allow small quantities (up to 0.5% of total sales) to be marketed for use in "old vehicles of a characteristic nature".

The United Kingdom's (UK) Motor Fuel Regulations 1999, which implements the EU directive, allows up to 100,000 tonnes (equivalent to approximately 139 million litres) of leaded gasoline to be distributed or sold. Leaded gasoline continues to be used in competition vehicles in the UK.

8 Federal Agenda on Cleaner Vehicles, Engines and Fuels, Canada Gazette, Part I, Vol. 135, No. 7, February 17, 2001.

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