Follow up on decision on assessment of releases of used crankcase oils: chapter 4

4. Summary and conclusions

Based on evaluation against the five criteria that represent the sources of exposure of concern for used crankcase oils (UCOs), results indicate that the provinces and territories have adequate risk management measures in place.

All provinces and territories have designated UCOs as a hazardous waste and disposal is prohibited to land, landfill and sewers under that designation. The accessibility of recovery programs across the country reduces the likelihood of illegal disposal to land, landfills and sewers.  All provinces and territories ban the use of used oil as a dust suppressant, with the exception of Alberta. Permission must be granted for use in Alberta by the provincial government. Open burning of UCOs is prohibited across the country, with burning as a fuel restricted in each jurisdiction under air quality regulations. Provinces with re-refineries and re-processing facilities have regulations in place requiring operating permits which control air quality issues. Used oil collection programs exist in all the provinces, and in some communities in the territories.

The five provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Québec, and Ontario), who have reported on recovery rates, represented 94% of domestic sales of lubricating oils and greases in 2009Footnote 3 while the territories and the Atlantic Provinces represented 6%. A minimal national recovery rate for UCOs of 77% was achieved in 2009 (assuming the Ontario recovery rate for 2009 is the same as in 2004) even without taking into account the quantities of UCOs recovered in Atlantic provinces and the territories. The national recovery rate exceeds the only legislated recovery target in Canada: Québec’s target of 75% for 2009.

Therefore, in light of the fact that the provinces and territories continue to have in place risk management measures for UCOs, which include prohibitions for land, landfill and sewer disposal of used oils; permits or approval systems to control burning of used oils; prohibitions or guidelines for use of used oils in dust suppression; controls for used oil re-processing and re-refinery operations; and programs to collect and manage used oil, Environment Canada maintains the position that no further action is needed on the management of UCOs.

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