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Consultation Document: Proposed Regulatory Measures on Hydrofluorocarbons

Chemical Production Division
Environment Canada
Winter 2015

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
    1. Objectives
    2. “One-for-one” rule and small business lens
    3. Submission of comments
  2. Background
    1. Why we need action
    2. Current uses
    3. Existing management of HFCs in Canada
    4. Other jurisdictions
      1. United States
      2. European Union
      3. Japan
  3. Proposed Risk Management
    1. Risk management objective
    2. Proposed Option 1: Sector-specific prohibitions
      1. Foam blowing
      2. Commercial refrigeration
      3. Motor vehicle air conditioning
      4. Aerosols
    3. Proposed Option 2: Phase-down approach
    4. “Hybrid” Approach
  4. Next Steps

I. Introduction

  1. Objectives
  2. “One-for-one” rule and small business lens
  3. Submission of comments

On September 23, 2014, at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York City, Canada announced that it would publish a “Notice of Intent to Regulate Hydrofluorocarbons” (HFCs). Following through on that commitment, on December 6, 2014, Environment Canada published the Notice of Intent in Part I of the Canada Gazette. Interested parties had until January 16, 2015 to provide their preliminary comments on the contents of the Notice.

This Consultation Document is intended to stimulate discussion and give stakeholders an opportunity to provide comments on the proposed regulatory measures on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) before they are published in the Canada Gazette, Part I.

Two proposed approaches are put forward for discussion to regulate HFCs:

  1. Prohibitions on specific HFCs by specific years depending on the sector; and
  2. a gradual phase-down of HFCs from a calculated baseline.

The first proposed approach would target the foam-blowing, commercial refrigeration, mobile air-conditioning and aerosol sectors, similar to the U.S proposal published in August 2014. Details of the proposals for each sector are outlined in Annexes 1-4 of this document. Requirements would apply to:

  • importers of specific HFCs to be used in the original equipment manufacture of certain products;
  • manufacturers of certain products that contain or are designed to contain specific HFCs; and
  • importers of certain products that contain or are designed to contain specific HFCs.

The second proposed approach was not included in the Notice of Intent published in December 2014. However, as Environment Canada received comments from several stakeholders on the Notice of Intent indicating a preference for a phase-down approach, this option is also being put forward for discussion and consideration.

The second option proposes a gradual phase-down modeled after the proposed amendment to the Montreal Protocol to include a phase-down of HFCs put forward by Canada, Mexico and the United States (i.e. North American ProposalFootnote1). Similar to the approach taken to phase-out ozone-depleting substances (i.e., chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)), requirements would apply to the production and consumption of HFCs in bulk.

Both options will take into consideration:

  • the objective of curbing the growth of HFC consumption and use, thereby avoiding future emissions; and
  • the availability of acceptable alternatives to HFCs.

Proposed regulatory measures on HFCs under both options will be made pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA, 1999).

Readers are asked to review this document carefully -- in particular, the detailed proposals for Options 1 and option2 outlined in Part III and Annexes 1 to 5. These options are not mutually exclusive. A “hybrid” approach combining elements of the two options may also be considered. Readers are invited to provide written feedback as described in section C of Part I.

A. Objectives

These consultations are intended to ensure that the proposed approach and regulatory measures are as effective and straightforward as possible and that protection of the environment and human health is enhanced.

Environment Canada is committed to ensuring that all initiatives aimed at developing regulatory measures include a process of meaningful and effective consultation with stakeholders. As such, stakeholders are invited to contribute to the development of regulatory measures.

The proposed regulatory measures may cause the regulated community and governments to incur direct adjustment costs. In addition to environmental benefits, the regulatory measures may also result in benefits to the economy by attracting knowledge-based investments, such as environmentally-friendly alternatives.

The consultations are an opportunity for Environment Canada to obtain information on the costs and benefits of the proposed regulatory measures to Canadians and to Canadian industry.  This feedback will inform economic costs and benefits that will be shared with stakeholders and the public as part of the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement that will accompany the publication of the final proposed regulatory measures.

B. “One-for-one” rule and small business lens

The federal government has implemented a “One-for-one” rule to reduce administrative burden on business (i.e., the time and resources spent by business to comply with government regulations). The “One-for-one” rule requires that regulatory changes that increase administrative burden on business be offset with equal administrative burden reductions from within existing regulations in the Environment portfolio. The rule further requires departments to consult affected businesses on the estimated administrative burden prior to seeking approval to publish draft Regulations.

If the proposed regulatory measures have a significant impact on small business, the federal government will take special care to ensure that small business needs and capacities are considered. This will be achieved through the analysis of small business realities and consultation at the earliest stages of regulatory design. Consideration will be given to approaches that minimize costs for small business.

Because the regulatory measures are not final at this point, a full understanding of the administrative burden and impacts on small business is not possible. Should these impacts materialize once the proposed regulatory measures have been finalized, Environment Canada will consult with affected businesses before publishing the proposed measures.

C. Submission of comments

A copy of this Consultation Document has been transmitted by e-mail to all known Canadian stakeholders, including representatives from other federal departments, provincial, territorial, industry, environmental groups, and public advocacy groups.

When formulating their comments, stakeholders are asked to consider both options and:

  • indicate a preferred option, including the possibility of a combination of the two approaches;
  • identify advantages and disadvantages, including environmental and economic considerations, of each option from their perspective; and
  • provide relevant information on the status of alternatives in relevant sectors.

Please send your comments on this Consultation Document in writing to either of the following addresses below no later than March 31, 2015:

Regular mail

E-mail

Manager
Ozone Layer Protection and Export Controls
Chemical Production Division
Environment Canada
Place Vincent Massey
351 Blvd St-Joseph, 11th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0H3

Fax: 819-938-4218

OzoneProtectionPrograms@ec.gc.ca

Please type “Consultations on Regulatory Measures for HFCs” in the subject line

Following this consultation process, the next opportunity for stakeholders to comment on the proposed regulatory measures will be following their pre-publication of the regulatory measures in Part I of the Canada Gazette.

 
I. Introduction
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