Guidance document on Benzene in Gasoline Regulations: chapter 3

Questions on Section 1 of the Regulations

Section 1: Interpretation

1.1 What is a "batch" of gasoline?

A batch is a quantity of gasoline that is distinct and can be characterized by one set of the properties which are used to compute the benzene emissions number. A batch will depend on the circumstances of its dispatch from a facility or import into Canada. For example, under some circumstances, each compartment of a cargo tanker might be a separate batch; in other circumstances, the entire cargo tanker might be a batch (the latter circumstances might include where all compartments of the cargo tanker were filled from one storage tank at one time). Similarly, a pipeline shipment, part of a pipeline shipment, one hold of a ship, or the entire ship might each be batches depending on the circumstances.

1.2 Why does the definition of "gasoline" have two parts?

The first part of the definition means that any fuel generally known, sold or represented as gasoline is treated as gasoline for the purposes on the regulations. This part of the definition will usually suffice to distinguish whether or not a fuel is gasoline. The second part of the definition has measurable physical properties, and can be used to distinguish gasoline from other fuels in order to cover circumstances where the fuel is not readily identifiable as "gasoline".

Note that a fuel is considered to be gasoline under the regulations if it meets either of the parts of the definition; the fuel is not required to meet both parts.

1.3 Why does the definition of "gasoline" include sub-octane gasoline (i.e., a "road" octane of less than 86)?

The second part of the definition of gasoline includes a specification for the antiknock index (the average of Research and Motor octane number and often referred to as road octane). The lowest antiknock index allowed in Canada under the Canadian General Standards Board for unleaded automotive gasoline is 86. At the request of industry, the definition of "gasoline" includes a limit at 80. This is to allow refiners, importers and blenders the flexibility to produce or import unfinished gasoline destined for subsequent blending at a downstream facility as "gasoline-like blendstock" (see below).

1.4 What is "gasoline-like blendstock"?

"Gasoline-like blendstock" is a fuel meeting either parts of the definition for gasoline which has been identified as gasoline-like blendstock by the primary supplier under section 9. The concept of gasoline-like blendstock provides flexibility to dispatch or to import unfinished gasoline intended to be subsequently blended at a downstream blending facility. The requirements for gasoline-like blendstock are set out in section 13 of the regulations.

1.5 What is "complying gasoline"?

Complying gasoline" is gasoline that meets the compositional requirements of the regulations and is identified as complying gasoline by the primary supplier under section 9 of the regulations.

1.6 What are "commercially pure oxygenate" and "commercially pure butane"?

Commercially pure oxygenates and commercially pure butane are oxygenates and butane that do not exceed the contaminate levels specified by the regulations. The contaminate levels for butane are the same as those in the U.S. Reformulated Gasoline Program; the contaminate levels for oxygenates were proposed by the Canadian Fuels Association. These maximum contaminate levels are:

pure butane
pure oxygenate
Benzene (% by volume) 0.03 0.25
Aromatics (% by volume) 2.0 2.5
Sulphur (% by weight) 0.014 0.017

1.7 What do I need to do if I blend gasoline with an oxygenate or butane that does not meet the applicable contaminate levels?

Any person who blends an oxygenate or butane that does not meet the applicable contaminate levels with complying gasoline or any other type of gasoline is considered a primary supplier. Therefore, this person must comply with the requirements placed upon a primary supplier by the regulations.

1.8 What are "model parameters"?

Model parameters are the properties of gasoline that are required to compute the benzene emissions number. These are:

  • the concentration of oxygen, in percent of the gasoline by weight,
  • the concentration of sulphur, in percent of the gasoline by weight,
  • the vapour pressure, in kPa, of the gasoline at 37.8°C or 100°F (often referred to as Reid vapour pressure or RVP),
  • the evaporative fraction of the gasoline at 93.3°C or 200°F (often referred to as E200), in percent by volume,
  • the evaporative fraction of the gasoline at 148.9°C or 300°F (often referred to as E300), in percent by volume,
  • the concentration of aromatics, in percent of the gasoline by volume, and
  • the concentration of benzene, in percent of the gasoline by volume.

1.9 Why does "scientific research" exclude marketing research?

Scientific research is intended to mean research that furthers scientific understanding. It includes research into the physical and chemical characteristics of gasoline and their effects on vehicles, the health of people, the environment, etc. It does not include any research undertaken by or for the seller of the gasoline into the preferences of the consumer or any other type of market research.

1.10 What is the difference between "supply" and "dispatch"?

"Supply" is defined in the regulations as meaning the act of manufacturing, blending or importing gasoline for use or sale in Canada. The term "dispatch" is not defined in the regulations, but is used in the regulations as it is commonly defined. In the regulations, "dispatch" means the act of sending a batch out from a refinery or blending facility. This includes batches that are for export (hence not for sale or use in Canada) and batches that are intended to be blended at a facility downstream of a refinery.

1.11 What is a "northern supply area"?

The regulations use the term "northern supply area" to denote remote northern locations of Canada. Northern supply area is those locations described in the Canadian General Standards Board's standard for unleaded automotive gasoline as areas VII and VIII and that portion of area V north of latitude 49°N. This includes, the Northwest Territories, most of Yukon, northeast Manitoba, northern Quebec, Labrador and northern Newfoundland. Generally, it is difficult to supply these locations, especially in the winter. Refuelling facilities in these areas are generally slow to turnover their gasoline stock. For these reasons, the regulations include a late implementation date with respect to the per-litre cap on benzene of 1.5% by volume on sales of gasoline in these areas.

1.12 Why is "year" defined differently for the year 1999?

Since the compositional requirements do not come into force until July 1, 1999, the yearly pool average for 1999 is computed using only gasoline supplied during the last half of the year. Therefore the definition of "year" has been written so that the last half of 1999 is treated as a year.

1.13 Can an officer of a corporation delegate a senior official of the corporation to act on his/her behalf for the purposes of being an "authorized official"?

No. The regulations require that an officer of the corporation sign the relevant forms.

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