Canada-wide standards implementation plan benzene: phase 2


Phase 2 endorsed by Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) in September, 2001.

Numeric target/timeframes

Further 6 kilotonne reduction in emissions (See Annex A) by end of 2010 from continuing Phase 1 initial actions. (Link to Phase 1 Federal Implementation Plan).

Promotion and application of Best Management Practices to new and expanding facilities.

Sector linkages and co-benefits(multi-pollutant considerations)

Determine and track ancilliary emissions reductions achieved through other Canada-wide standards (CWS) initiatives.

Brief statement of problem

Benzene has been classified as carcinogenic to humans. It is a non-threshold toxicant - a substance for which there is considered to be some probability of harm for critical effects at any level of exposure. The main sources of benzene are:

  • wood combustion (including forest fires and residential wood combustion);
  • transportation;
  • natural gas dehydrators;
  • steel;
  • petroleum distribution and refining; and
  • chemicals. The primary air quality management goal for benzene is to reduce exposure to the substance.

Brief statement of federal responsibility/mandate

  • To reduce exposure to the extent possible and practical as benzene is a Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA)-toxic (Environment Canada and Health Canada).
  • Federal responsibilities are based upon the federal mandate to manage CEPA-toxic substances and include regulation of the transportation sector (including emission standards, content in fuel, fuel dispensing rates) and negotiation and follow-through of various sector-specific agreements to manage benzene releases.

Key dates in Agreement

Additional 6 kilotonne reduction by 2010.

First report to public September 30, 2002 (See Reporting).

Review of CWS in 2011.


While jurisdictions are to report annually, the 2001 national progress report shows a 30% drop in ambient benzene levels in 16 urban areas in Canada. In fact, the Phase 2 benzene emissions reduction target, originally set for achievement by 2010, has almost been reached at this date. The federal government will therefore continue to monitor progress in benzene emissions reduction in conjunction with provinces and territories, and evaluate the need for future annual reporting.

Federal action on existing facilities:

Follow through on applicable Phase 1 Initial Actions.

Initial action A: Best management practices for natural gas dehydrators in three western provinces

Environment Canada to continue to be an active participant on the Technical Advisory Committee and to provide 1/3 of the operating costs.

Environment Canada to continue to provide sample analysis, data storage and retrieval, and preparation of annual reports.

Initial actions B, C and D: Benzene in Gasoline, New Vehicle Emissions, and Gasoline and Gasoline Blend Dispensing Flow Rate Regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA)

Environment Canada to continue to administer and enforce the regulations.

Initial action E: Canadian Chemical Producers Association (CCPA) and governments of Canada, Ontario and Alberta Memorandum of Understanding for environmental protection through action under CCPA responsible care (February 2002)

Environment Canada to fulfill commitments as specified in the Memorandum of Understanding.

Initial action G: Environmental Management Agreement (EMA) with Dofasco Inc.

Environment Canada to fulfill commitments as specified in the Agreement.

Initial action H: Environmental Management Agreement (EMA) with Algoma Steel Inc.

Environment Canada to fulfill commitments as specified in the Agreement.

Federal action on new and expanding facilities:

Promote and apply best available pollution prevention and control technologies, Best Management Practices and regulations through participation in environmental assessment and regulatory processes, and compliance promotion programs.

Federal action on additional reductions:

Collaborate with other jurisdictions to track sector-specific benzene emissions reductions realized from control initiatives under the Particulate Matter (PM) & Ozone and Dioxins & Furans Canada-wide Standards (CWS), and incorporate tracking mechanisms into federal implementation plans for the PM & Ozone and Dioxins & Furans CWS.

Federal action on ambient monitoring, and reporting:

Annually monitor ambient benzene levels through National Air pollution Surveillance (NAPS) Network, in conjunction with emission data from the National Pollutant Release Inventory reports, and determine the need for and scope of reporting.

Annex A

Table 2 is from Part 2 of the Companion Document to the CWS for Benzene, Phase 2 (PDF, 31 KB). It provides estimates of further net benzene emissions reductions of 6.0 kilotonnes from year 2000 to year 2010 (emissions from petroleum distribution in the year 2010 are uncertain), achieved from continuing Phase 1 initiatives. This amounts to approximately 10-11% further reductions from 1995 levels.

Table 2: Estimated Emissions in Kilotonnes Adapted From Benzene Emissions Inventory for Canada (1990-2010)
  1995 2000 2010 2010 - 2000
Transportation 31 22 15 -7
Natural Gas Dehydrators 8.7 4 3.6 -0.4
Steel 1.2 0.4 0.1 -0.3
Petroleum Distribution 0.5 0.5    
Petroleum Refining 0.4 0.2 0.2 0
Chemicals 0.4 0.1 0.1 0
Residential Wood 11 11 12 1
Miscellaneous Combustion 4.7 4.8 5.5 0.7
Prescribed Burning 0.5 0.4 0.4 0
Forest Fires 58 27 27 0
Total (all) 116.4 70.4 63.9 -6.0
Total (no forest fires) 58.4 43.4 36.9 -6.0
Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Privacy statement

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: