Consultation document: proposed revisions to Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations, chapter 1

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Purpose

This consultation process is intended to give interested and affected parties an opportunity to review and provide comments on the proposed revisions resulting from previous consultations, specifically the proposed text to simplify the allowance system for hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), as well as on the proposed controls on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). These consultations may address both the nature of the proposed revisions and any ancillary concerns relating to their implementation (e.g. administrative practices or policy interpretations).

1.1.1 Hydrochlorofluorocarbons

In March 2008, Environment Canada consulted on proposed regulatory revisions to the Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations, 1998 (“ODSR 1998”)[1] to ensure Canada will be in a position to achieve the accelerated phase-out of HCFCs as decided by the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Montreal Protocol) at the 19th Meeting of the Parties. The proposed revisions establish the phase-out schedule and reduction steps up to their prohibition (manufacture and consumption) in 2020.

The revisions proposed in March 2008 also considered establishing requirements for prohibiting the import, manufacture and export of refrigerants in non-refillable containers, simplifying the consumption allowance system for HCFCs and added reporting requirements for the use of methyl bromide for quarantine applications and pre-shipment applications. Less substantive revisions, considered more administrative in nature, were also put forth to streamline and clarify provisions (i.e.:  removal of obsolete exemptions and the consolidation of changes made over time) and are considered not to have an impact on stakeholders.

Following the March 2008 consultations, stakeholders supported the proposal to simplify the consumption allowance system for HCFCs for both the cooling sector and any other sector. However, some stakeholders requested an opportunity to review the proposal in advance of its publication in Part I of the Canada Gazette. This document provides stakeholders that opportunity and to understand how Environment Canada has taken stakeholder feedback into account.

1.1.2 Hydrofluorocarbons

HFCs were introduced on the global market as replacements for ozone-depleting substances, such as chlorofluorocarbons, halons and HCFCs that are being phased out under the Montreal Protocol.

At the August 2009 North American Leaders Summit meeting, Canada, the United States (U.S.) and Mexico made a commitment to work together under the Montreal Protocol to phase down the global use of HFCs and agreed that taking action on HFCs could result in potentially significant reductions of these potent greenhouse gases. As a result, Canada co-sponsored and tabled, together with the U.S. and Mexico, a North American Proposal (“the NA Proposal”) to gradually phase down HFC production and consumption in both developed and developing countries, at the 21st Meeting of the Parties (MOP21) to the Montreal Protocol, in November 2009. The NA Proposal was again submitted in 2010 through 2012 and most recently in April 2013 by Canada, the U.S. and Mexico for the consideration of Parties. One element of the proposal is the establishment of a permitting and reporting regime for the import, manufacture and export of HFCs.

In addition to the revisions proposed and consulted on in March 2008, Environment Canada is also proposing to add controls on HFCs that include the following:

  • Adding HFCs to the list of controlled substances subject to the Regulations (see Annex 2 for proposed list of HFCs that would be subject to controls);
  • Introducing a permitting and reporting system for new and used, recovered, recycled and reclaimed (URRR) HFCs (similar to the existing system for URRR HCFCs); and
  • Prohibiting the import of HFC refrigerants in non-refillable containers.

This document also serves to consult on the additional proposed controls on HFCs and give stakeholders an opportunity to provide their perspectives before the draft regulations are pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part I for public comment.

Readers are asked to review the document carefully and provide their feedback in written format, as detailed in the section on submission of comments. Comments on any of the proposed texts are welcome.

1.2 Stakeholder Consultations

Environment Canada is committed to ensuring that all initiatives aimed at developing regulatory provisions include a process of meaningful and effective consultation with stakeholders.

The main purpose of the current document is to consult stakeholders and invite them to provide their comments on the proposed regulatory controls on HFCs and HCFCs. Stakeholders are also invited to raise their concerns, and contribute to the development of regulatory revisions that are based on a common understanding of the environmental benefits to be achieved through these revisions.

There is a possibility that these proposed revisions to the Regulations may cause the regulated community and/or governments to incur direct adjustment costs. There may also be benefits, especially in the form of improved environmental quality leading to better quality of life to all Canadians. They could also result in benefits to the economy by attracting knowledge-based investments, such as more environmentally friendly alternatives, as well as enhancing Canada’s performance in the area of ozone layer protection and climate change.

Economic costs and benefits will be shared with stakeholders and the public as part of the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement that will accompany the proposed regulations. These consultations are also an opportunity for Environment Canada to obtain information on the costs and benefits of the proposed revisions to Canadians and Canadian industries.

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

1.2.1 “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 show compliance 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 revisions 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.

The purpose of these consultations is to generate discussion and ideas on the proposed revisions and to solicit feedback from stakeholders and Aboriginal groups. Because no decisions have been made at this point, a full understanding of the administrative burden and impacts on small business is not currently available. Once the revisions have been finalized, Environment Canada will consult with affected stakeholders and Aboriginal groups before publishing draft revised regulations.

1.2.2 Submission of Comments

In soliciting input from stakeholders, Environment Canada has posted a copy of this document on Environment Canada’s Ozone website and distributed it by email to all known Canadian stakeholders, including representatives from other federal departments, provincial, territorial, industry, environmental groups and public advocacy groups.

Following the electronic consultations, the next opportunity for stakeholders to comment on the proposed regulatory revisions will be following the publication of the revisions in the Canada Gazette, Part I. Please send your comments on this discussion document in writing to one of the following addresses no later than July 5, 2013:

Manager
Ozone Protection Programs
Chemical Production Division
Environment Canada
Place Vincent Massey
351 St. Joseph Blvd., 11th Floor
Gatineau QC K1A 0H3
email: OzoneProtectionPrograms@ec.gc.ca

Please type “Consultations on ODSR Revisions” in the subject line.

[1] Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations, 1998

 
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