Consultation document on risk management options for lead wheel weights: chapter 6

6. Proposed Risk Management Options

Even though voluntary industry actions have been implemented over the past years, evidence suggests that most of the reductions that could be achieved from industry initiatives have already occurred. However, lead wheel weights remain as the predominant product in the Canadian market.

The risk management objective is to encourage the use of alternatives by phasing out lead wheel weights in the Canadian market. To achieve this objective, the Government of Canada is proposing to consult on the following options:

  1. A proposed Environmental Performance Agreement with key players; and
  2. Proposed regulations to prohibit the manufacture and import of lead wheel weights in Canada.

The proposed risk management instrument would not apply to consumers and recyclers.

6.1. Elements of the Proposed Risk Management Instruments

6.1.1. Option 1 - Environmental Performance Agreement

An Environmental Performance Agreement (EPA) is an agreement with core design criteria negotiated amongst interested parties to achieve specified environmental results.Footnote 8 EPAs are voluntary risk management instruments that offer companies the flexibility in choosing suitable mechanisms for meeting objectives specified in the EPA. For the success of an EPA, it is important that all key players, including manufacturers, importers and retailers, adhere to the agreement in order to maintain a level playing field.


Environment Canada proposes to develop an agreement with the wheel weight manufacturers, importers, distributors and key downstream users to phase out lead wheel weights in Canada over a certain number of years.

Reporting and Record Keeping

In order to monitor the performance, the proposed agreement will require facilities to keep records and provide sale information on the quantity of lead wheel weights manufactured, imported and sold each year in Canada.

Coming into Effect

This proposed agreement will come into effect on the day that it is signed. It will include a phase-in period to allow signatory parties time to change their production process and liquidate their inventory.

Environment Canada will evaluate the effectiveness of the EPA with respect to the risk management objectives in order to determine whether other measures, including regulations, are needed.

6.1.2. Option 2 - Regulations

Regulations are instruments of legislative power and have the force of law.


Proposed regulations will be developed under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) and will restrict the manufacture and import of wheel weights that contain more than 0.1% bw of lead.

Reporting and Record Keeping

There are no anticipated reporting and record keeping requirements for these proposed regulations.

Coming into Force

Proposed regulations will come into force on the day that they are registered. There will also be a phase-in approach to allow manufacturers and importers time to change their production process and liquidate their inventory.

6.2. Important Factors

As part of its regulatory reform, the Government of Canada has introduced the “One-for-One” Rule and the Small Business Lens.Footnote 9 In moving forward with the proposed instrument, Environment Canada will apply these two requirements to ensure that the administrative burden is reduced where possible and that small businesses are taken into account with respect to any administrative and compliance challenges.

“One-for-One” Rule

The “One-for-One” rule is aimed at reducing administrative burden on business and limiting growth in the number of federal regulations. It requires regulators to remove a regulation each time they introduce a new regulation that imposes an administrative burden; and when a new or amended regulation increases administrative burden on business, the government will offset, from existing regulations, an equal amount of administrative burden and costs for business.

The “One-for-One” rule is intended to be implemented in a manner that does not compromise environmental protection objectives. The rule is one of several requirements that must be considered when deciding on the most appropriate risk management instrument for a given situation. If the chosen risk management instrument is a regulation, the “One-for-One” rule may apply. This rule does not apply to EPAs.

Small Business Lens

The purpose of introducing a small business lens is to ensure that the specific needs of small business are considered, and that the least burdensome but most effective approach to addressing these needs is identified. Small businesses are defined as any business, including its affiliates, that has fewer than 100 employees or between $30,000 and $5 million in annual gross revenues.

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