Gasoline and Gasoline Blend Dispensing Flow Rate Regulations: questions and answers

Note: Information contained in this page is for compliance promotional purposes and has no legal status. For requirements under the regulations, refer to the actual regulations.

Questions and answers on the regulations

  1. Why is the dispensing flow rate of gasoline and gasoline blend being regulated?

    The regulations will protect the health of Canadians by reducing emissions of benzene and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the environment during the refuelling of on-road vehicles. This will be achieved by ensuring that in-use fuel dispensing flow rates do not exceed the design capacity of the filler pipes on the existing fleet of vehicles and of new on-board refuelling vapour recovery (ORVR) systems being introduced on Canadian vehicles since 1998. ORVR systems are designed to reduce vapour emissions of benzene and other VOCs during refuelling by 95% and to perform effectively with fuel dispensing flow rates up to 38 litres per minute (L/min).

  2. To whom do the regulations apply?

    The regulations apply to retailers and wholesale purchaser-consumersFootnote 1 of benzene-containing gasoline and gasoline blends who use, or offer for use, any nozzle to dispense those fuels into on-road vehicles. The regulations do not apply to any fuel dispensing nozzle that is dedicated exclusively to refuelling heavy-duty vehicles, as defined in the regulations.

  3. What is the dispensing flow rate limit under the regulations?

    The flow rate from the nozzle can not exceed 38 litres per minute.

  4. Do I have to use a particular flow rate control mechanism?

    The regulations allow the flow rate to be controlled by any mechanism(s) in the dispensing system, thereby giving parties the flexibility of limiting fuel dispensing flow rates in the manner that is best-suited for their facilities. Nonetheless, hardware is available in the Canadian marketplace that is designed specifically to comply with a 38 L/min flow rate requirement. This includes fuel dispensing nozzles which incorporate a flow-limiting device as well as separate flow-limiting devices to retrofit existing fuel dispenser systems.

  5. When did the regulations come into effect?

    The regulations came into effect February 1st, 2001.

  6. How can I measure the dispensing flow rate? (Section 4(2) of the regulations)

    To determine the flow rate, the time required to dispense 10.0 litres of gasoline or gasoline blend must be measured by respecting the following:

    • use a digital stopwatch that reads to at least 0.01 seconds to measure the dispensing time
    • use the dispenser's volume meter (pump) to measure the dispensed volume of gasoline or gasoline blend
    • start the stopwatch when the dispenser's volume meter indicates that 2.0 litres of gasoline or gasoline blend have been dispensed
    • use the following formula to calculate the dispensing flow rate of gasoline or a gasoline blend from the nozzle, in litres per minute:

      Flow rate = 60 X (final volume - initial volume) / (final time - initial time)
  7. Is compliance with the requirements of the regulations mandatory?

    Compliance is mandatory for every person to whom the regulations apply. Every person who contravenes a provision of the regulations commits an offence under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA), and is liable to the following under section 272 of the act,

    1. on conviction on indictment, to a fine of not more than $1,000,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than three years, or to both; and
    2. on summary conviction, to a fine of not more than $300,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both.
  8. Can enforcement officers conduct inspections of regulated facilities to verify compliance with the regulations?

    Yes. Under CEPA, enforcement officers are authorized to inspect, through scheduled or unscheduled visits, in order to verify compliance with the act and any regulations made under it. The act also requires that the owner or the person in charge give the enforcement officer reasonable assistance in their duties.

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