Guidance document on Benzene in Gasoline Regulations: chapter 5

Questions on Part 1 of the Regulations

Part 1 - Requirements Pertaining to Benzene in Gasoline

Section 3: Benzene -- Prohibition

3.1 Why are there two prohibitions for benzene?

The first prohibition applies to the supply (i.e., producing, blending, and importation) of gasoline. A primary supplier has the option under section 15 of either meeting the per-litre limit for benzene of 1% by volume (as specified in section 3) or the limit of 0.95% by volume on its yearly pool with a never-to-be-exceeded cap of 1.5% by volume (as specified in section 16).

The second prohibition applies to the sale of gasoline at any point in the gasoline distribution system. This per-litre limit of 1.5% by volume is an upper cap that no gasoline for use in an automobile can exceed.

3.2 Why are there two different effective dates?

The prohibition on sales comes into effect three months after the prohibition on supply (i.e., producing, blending and importation) of gasoline. This is to allow gasoline supplied prior to July 1, 1999 to work its way through the gasoline distribution system and be sold to the final consumer. High-volume service stations (generally in urban areas) will be selling low-benzene gasoline within two weeks of the compliance date; whereas low-volume service stations (generally in rural areas) may take 2 to 3 months to sell the last of their "pre-regulation" gasoline. Remote northern sites, which tend to be infrequently supplied and are generally slow to turnover stock, are allowed one year to meet the composition requirement for benzene.

Section 4: Benzene Emissions Number -- Prohibition

4.1 Why are the limits different for gasoline supplied during the summer and winter?

The seasonal difference is due to the equations for calculating the BEN being based on those of the U.S. Complex Model, in which the equations for each pollutant are developed for summer and winter operating conditions and were therefore divided into summer and winter equations.

4.2 Why is there no prohibition on sales for the benzene emissions number?

Controls on the BEN were not extended downstream of the refinery, blending facility or point of importation, because of the non-linear behaviour of the equations for BEN.

Downstream controls on the BEN would be a problem when batches are co-mingled in the gasoline distribution system. It is possible that two batches that meet the BEN requirements might not meet the same requirements when they are mixed together. The seasonality of the BEN would also complicate downstream compliance. Therefore, the limits on BEN do not apply downstream of the refinery, blending facility or point of importation.

Section 5: Reference Methods for Sampling and Analysis

5.1 Why are reference methods required?

Reference methods are required to provide certainty and consistency in the enforcement of the compositional requirements.

5.2 What happens if a reference method is amended?

Any amendment to a reference method by the standards writing organization (e.g., the Canadian General Standards Board or the American Society of Testing and Measurements) is automatically incorporated into the regulations (refer to subsection 1(2)), and the amended method will thereafter be used in determining compliance with the regulations and for assessing the "equivalency" of alternative methods.

5.3 Why are there two reference methods for sulphur?

The existing method (ASTM D-2622) is expensive and not generally available in Canada. However, the method that is intended to replace it has not yet been finalized by the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB). It is anticipated that it will be published by the CGSB in 1998.

If Environment Canada is satisfied that a method gives equivalent results to the ASTM method, the new method will become an additional reference method. The equivalency must be demonstrated using the ASTM D-4855 method for comparing test methods.

5.4 Why does the method for vapour pressure specify Dry Vapour Pressure Equivalent?

The reference method (ASTM D-5191) can be used to measure total vapour pressure and compute Dry Vapour Pressure Equivalent. The latter is consistent with the CGSB standard for gasoline and is the one to determine for the purposes of the regulations.

Section 6: Equivalent Methods for Sampling and Analysis

6.1 Under what circumstances will it not be possible to use the sampling method described in the CGSB's standard for unleaded automotive gasoline?

There may be circumstances in which a sample of gasoline cannot be taken using the method described in the CGSB's standard. This may be because of special safety reasons or because of a conflict with provincial regulations. Further, the CGSB method is not appropriate for in-line blending operations, which have their own in-line analyzers.

6.2 Why is it necessary to allow equivalent methods for analyzing samples?

Reference methods may be more expensive or take longer to complete. To reduce administrative costs associated with the regulations, other less expensive or more efficient methods are allowed for record keeping and reporting requirements. This also allows for advancement in measuring technology and techniques, without having to continually revise the regulations.

6.3 How do I apply for an equivalent method?

For an alternative sampling method: At least sixty days before the method is to be used, you must send to Environment Canada, by registered mail or courier, (i) an explanation of why the CGSB method cannot be used, (ii) a description of the proposed method, and (iii) evidence that demonstrates that the reliability and accuracy of the proposed sampling method is comparable to the CGSB method.

For an alternative analysis method: At least sixty days before the method is to be used, you must send to Environment Canada, by registered mail or courier, (i) a description of the proposed equivalent method, and (ii) evidence demonstrating that the proposed analysis method is "equivalent" to the applicable reference method.

6.4 How do I demonstrate that analysis methods are equivalent?

Only methods that have been demonstrated to provide "equivalent" results to that of the reference methods can be used. Equivalency is demonstrated by the use of one of two comparative methods published by the American Society of Testing and Measurements (ASTM D-4855 or D-3764). Data demonstrating this equivalency must be provided to Environment Canada as part of the primary supplier's application.

6.5 If an analysis method has been demonstrated to be equivalent by another primary supplier, can I use the same analysis method without having to demonstrate equivalency?

It is Environment Canada's intention to publish a list of the equivalent analysis methods. Once an analysis method has been demonstrated equivalent by a primary supplier, other primary suppliers may choose to use this method by advising Environment Canada and noting that the method has been accepted as equivalent by Environment Canada.

6.6 Under what circumstances will Environment Canada disallow an alternative method?

Environment Canada may reject an alternative method at any time if Environment Canada determines that the alternative method does not provide equivalent results to the applicable reference method. Environment Canada will notify primary suppliers if a method is disallowed.

6.7 Since U.S. sampling and analysis methods are acceptable for the U.S. records allowed under subsection 8(3), are they automatically equivalent under section 6?

No. As with any method, U.S. methods must be shown to be equivalent under section 6 in order to be used.

Section 7: Registration (Also refer to Schedule 2)

7.1 Why is registration required?

The purpose of registering with Environment Canada is to aid in the administration of the regulations. It also allows Environment Canada to identify primary suppliers and provides basic information needed to monitor primary suppliers.

7.2 Do I have to register?

If you refine gasoline within Canada or import gasoline into Canada, you must register with Environment Canada. If you blend gasoline in Canada, you must register unless your blending is restricted to only (i) mixing two or more complying gasolines, (ii) adding additives to complying gasoline, which do not materially affect the composition of gasoline, and (iii) blending a commercially pure oxygenate or commercially pure butane with complying gasoline.

You must register regardless of the type of gasoline (including aviation gasoline, racing gasoline, U.S. or California reformulated gasoline, gasoline-like blendstock and gasoline for use in scientific research) you deal with, even if that is the only type of gasoline you produce or import.

If you only export gasoline (e.g., a wholesaler who purchases gasoline from a Canadian refiner), you do not have to register.

7.3 How and when do I register with Environment Canada?

If you are a primary supplier, you must register with Environment Canada by submitting a completed Registration Form (refer to Schedule 2) to the applicable regional office of Environment Canada. The addresses of these offices are provided in Appendix A. You must register all the facilities that you operate (including mobile blending facilities) and all usual points of importation.

Registration forms must be submitted by November 1, 1998, for those primary suppliers currently supplying gasoline, or 15 days before a new primary supplier commences to supply gasoline. Any time there is a change to the information that was submitted (other than your typical annual volume), you must send an updated registration form to Environment Canada within 5 days of the change.

If you are not a primary supplier, you do not register with Environment Canada.

7.4 How are cargo tankers and other mobile blending facilities registered?

Mobile blending facilities are cargo tankers, railway cars, boats, barges, ships, etc. in which gasoline or gasoline components are blended. For the registration of mobile blending facilities, only the type, number and province of operation are required on the Registration Form. As noted above, blending does not include certain activities, most notably the blending of oxygenates (including ethanol) with complying gasoline, provided that the oxygenate meets the criteria for a commercially pure oxygenate.

7.5 What is the purpose of the registration number and how do I get one?

Environment Canada will use the registration number in the administration of the regulations. After you have submitted your Registration Form, Environment Canada will assign one or more registration numbers to you, based on the information that you provided when you registered, and notify you accordingly.

7.6 Why does Environment Canada need to give a primary supplier more than one registration number?

The ability to provide primary suppliers with more than one registration number gives Environment Canada discretion to deal with special circumstances.

7.7 If I have a blending facility on my refinery property, can I register the blending facility separately from the refinery?

No. A refinery includes all blending facilities on its property (refer to definition of "refinery" in subsection 1(1)).

Section 8: Report (Also refer to Schedule 3)

8.1 What information on gasoline do I have to report to Environment Canada?

You are required to provide the information specified in the Report on Composition of Gasoline (refer to Schedule 3). This includes identifying information (such as name, registration number, elected options, etc.) and information on the composition of gasoline supplied during the reporting period. Information on gasoline composition includes maximum and average values for the levels of benzene, aromatics, olefins, sulphur and oxygen, and the distillation fractions E200 and E300, the vapour pressure (RVP), and the benzene emissions number.

8.2 Where and when do I submit the reports to Environment Canada?

Reports are submitted to the applicable regional office of Environment Canada (addresses are listed in Appendix A). For the years 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002, this report is required quarterly within 45 days of the last day of the quarter (i.e., on or before February 14, May 15, August 14 and November 14). For the year 2003 and every year thereafter, this report is required annually on or before February 15.

8.3 For the purposes of the report, how do I sample and analyze the gasoline?

If you have elected to meet a yearly pool average, you must follow the procedures specified in section 19 of the regulations. The regulations define reference test methods that will be used for assessing compliance and provides for use of alternative test methods by companies for reporting and record keeping purposes, provided that the methods have been demonstrated to be equivalent.

If you have not elected for a yearly pool average, you are therefore required to meet per-litre limits. You are not specifically required to sample and analyze all gasoline. Nevertheless, you must report maximum and average composition of your gasoline.

8.4 Why are olefins required to be reported?

Olefins are the primary precursor to emissions of 1,3-butadiene from vehicles. 1,3-Butadiene is generally considered to have a higher cancer potency than benzene. It is currently being assessed jointly by Environment Canada and Health Canada under the second Priority Substances Assessment.

Information collected under these regulations will aid in determining control options for 1,3-butadiene if that substance is determined to be "toxic" under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. There is currently a voluntary program for refiners and importers to report levels of olefins in their gasoline (as well as levels of benzene and aromatics) to Environment Canada.

8.5 What records are suitable for imports of U.S. reformulated gasolines?

Records of composition required by the U.S. or California regulations are acceptable for providing the information required in the Report on Composition of Gasoline. These records are described in the U.S. regulations on gasoline composition in section 80.74 (for reformulated gasoline) and section 80.104 (for conventional gasoline) and in section 2270 of the California regulation for California Phase 2 gasoline.

8.6 What additional information is required in an annex to the report?

There are two instances where additional information is required to be provided in an annex to the report. These instances are when, during the reporting period, you (i) dispatch or import gasoline-like blendstock, or (ii) supply gasoline for which the composition was outside the specified range for the BEN equations (refer to questions on Schedule 1). The information is submitted as an annex to the report, rather than upon each instance of occurrence, in order to ease the administrative burden on primary suppliers. The specific requirements are set out in subsection 13(2) of the regulations and subsection 2(2) of Schedule 1 of the regulations.

8.7 Why do I have to report my gasoline composition prior to the implementation of the compositional requirements (i.e., between January and June 1999)?

Environment Canada will use this data to assess, in part, the effect of the regulations. Also, this reporting will provide timely data for Environment Canada's ongoing process to evaluate additional reformulation of gasoline for environmental purposes.

8.8 Do I have to report the maximum and average values of the benzene emission number during the first two quarters of 1999?

Yes. Refer to section 2 of Schedule 3.

8.9 If I do not supply gasoline during a reporting period, do I still have to submit a report?


Section 9: Records

9.1 Why must I keep track of ten different types of gasoline?

For the purposes of the regulations, ten types of gasoline are defined (as described in subsection 9(3)). These are:

  1. complying gasoline,
  2. northern winter complying gasoline,
  3. gasoline that is U.S. reformulated gasoline,
  4. gasoline that is California Phase 2 gasoline
  5. gasoline-like blendstock,
  6. gasoline for export,
  7. gasoline in transit through Canada,
  8. gasoline for use in aircraft,
  9. gasoline for use in competition vehicles, and
  10. gasoline for use in scientific research.

The first two of these types (#1-2) may be sold for use in vehicles, and so must meet the compositional requirements of the regulation. The two reformulated gasolines (#3-4) may be sold for use in vehicles, and have been "deemed" to meet the compositional requirements of the regulations. Gasoline-like blendstock (#5) is gasoline that must be further blended to meet the compositional requirements of the regulations. The last five types of gasoline (#6-10) would not be used in ordinary vehicles in Canada, therefore are not required to meet the compositional requirements of the regulations (however there are record keeping requirements).

9.2 How and when do I identify the type for a batch of gasoline?

The type of gasoline must be identified in a record made by you (or a record that you obtain from your supplier) prior to the dispatch or importation of the fuel (subsection 9(2)). If no record is made, the gasoline is considered to have been identified as complying gasoline. (The latter provision was added for the convenience of primary suppliers who normally deal with complying gasoline, and asked not to be burdened with making a record for most of their batches.)

Any batch identified as complying gasoline, either in a record or by default, is required to meet the compositional requirements of the regulations. The identification of batches must occur prior to the dispatch or importation of the batch so that Environment Canada knows how to apply the regulations in the event of monitoring or enforcement action.

9.3 What records are required?

In addition to records identifying the type of gasoline, other records must be kept on:

  • general information regarding each batch dispatched or imported (subsection 9(4));
  • information on each batch of complying gasoline received at a refinery or blending facility (subsection 9(5));
  • written evidence that establishes that the batches of gasoline for use in aircraft, competition vehicles or scientific research or batches that were exported or in transit through Canada were sold or delivered for the appropriate use (subsection 9(6)); and
  • written evidence that batches identified as U.S or California reformulated gasolines meet the applicable U.S. or California compositional requirements (subsection 9(7)).

9.4 When do the records need to be made?

Record should be made as soon as possible, so that the record is available to an enforcement officer making an inspection of your facility. A record identifying the type of gasoline must be made prior to the dispatch or importation of a batch.

9.5 Why do I have to record the type of gasoline twice?

You must have a record of the type of gasoline under subsection 9(2) and under subsection 9(4). The first record is made prior to dispatch or import of the batch to identify the type of gasoline, while the second record is general information on the batch that can be made after dispatch or importation. The two records may be physically the same.

9.6 What evidence is required to establish the type of gasoline?

Written evidence is required establishing that the gasolines which do not need to meet the compositional requirements of the regulations were sold or delivered for the appropriate use.

9.7 What do I do if I identified a batch as "complying gasoline" and later, after the analysis was completed and long after the batch entered the pipeline, I discovered it did not meet the compositional requirements of the regulations?

You would be in violation of the regulations.

9.8 Can I identify a batch as "complying gasoline, pending completion of analysis" and then re-designate it as "complying gasoline" or "gasoline-like blendstock" depending on the results of the test?

No. You must identify batches as one of the 10 types of gasoline specified in subsection 9(3) prior to dispatch from your facility or importation. "Complying gasoline, pending completion of analysis" is not one of these 10 types of gasoline. If you are in doubt as to whether a batch is complying gasoline, you can identify it as gasoline-like blendstock. You must then comply with the requirements for gasoline-like blendstock.

9.9 What date should I record under subsection 9(5) if I receive a batch of complying gasoline at my refinery or blending facility that was originally supplied from another facility that I own?

You may record the date of receipt of the batch at your facility.

9.10 Are Bills of Lading or Pipeline Tickets acceptable written evidence under subsection 9(6) that establishes that a batch was sold or delivered for the use appropriate to the type identified for that batch?

It depends on what information is on these records. These records are acceptable if they include information that establishes that the batch was sold or delivered for the appropriate use.

Section 10: Retention of Records

10.1 How long are records required to be kept?

Records must be kept for 3 years after they are made.

10.2 Where are the records kept?

Records may be kept at the facility, at your offices or at a central filing location. All records must be kept in Canada, and enforcement officers must have ready access to them.

Section 11: Submission of Samples and Records

11.1 What is the reason for this section?

This section provides the authority for enforcement officers to obtain records and samples as necessary to monitor and enforce the regulations.

11.2 How will the records and samples be requested by Environment Canada?

Access to records would routinely be requested by Environment Canada officials inspecting a facility. During an inspection, these officials may also request samples of the gasoline. Requests for records and samples could also arise under other circumstances.

11.3 When must I provide the records to Environment Canada?

You must provide the records to Environment Canada as per the instructions of an enforcement officer.

11.4 Why do the regulations say Environment Canada can specify the address and the manner that samples must be delivered?

Under certain circumstances, Environment Canada may wish to send samples to an independent laboratory for analysis. To avoid any possible contamination and for safety reasons, the regulations provide for the specifications of the manner which the sample is transported (such as acceptable containers, packaging, compliance with the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations, etc.).

11.5 Why must I tell Environment Canada from whom I purchased my gasoline?

Retailers and wholesalers of gasoline generally do not have control of the composition of the gasoline that they sell. If a batch of gasoline is found at a retail or wholesale facility that does not meet the compositional requirements of the regulation, Environment Canada will want to trace the origin of the batch in question.

11.6 When must I provide the samples to Environment Canada?

You must provide the sample to Environment Canada as per the instructions of an enforcement officer.

11.7 Will I be told beforehand that a sample will be requested?

Generally, no.

Section 12: Additional Requirements for Importers

12.1 Why are there additional requirements for importers?

Gasoline can be imported into Canada at any time and at any one of hundreds of import point. As there are specific compositional requirements at the point of importation which are different than those downstream of the import point, it is necessary to have a mechanism in place for Environment Canada to know when and where gasoline will be imported.

12.2 Why is there a minimum volume specified for the notification?

Given the large number of small imports it is not practical to be notified of every batch of imported gasoline. The regulation therefore requires notification when volumes of gasoline larger than 100 m3 are imported. Note that a cargo tanker with a trailer can transport approximately 50 m3 of gasoline at one time.)

Please note that there is no minimum volume for the notification of imports of gasoline-like blendstock. This will allow for close monitoring of imports of gasoline-like blendstock, in order to ensure that such gasoline is not represented as complying gasoline or used or sold for use in spark ignition engines.

12.3 Why must records accompany imported gasoline to the point of delivery?

Without this requirement, it would be very difficult to identify gasoline that had been imported after it has entered Canada. The record must include type and volume of the batch along with information on the importer and the receiver of the batch. This basic information is required by Environment Canada in order to carry out compliance activities for imported gasoline.

12.4 Who do I notify of an imported shipment?

You should notify the appropriate regional enforcement office of Environment Canada. The addresses of these offices are listed in Appendix A of the guidance document dated May 27, 1998.

Section 13: Gasoline-like Blendstock -- Records and Requirements

13.1 What is "gasoline-like blendstock"?

"Gasoline-like blendstock" is a fuel that meets the definition for gasoline and that 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 for subsequent blending at a downstream blending facility.

13.2 What are the requirements for gasoline-like blendstock?

Gasoline-like blendstock cannot be dispensed for use in a spark ignition engine or be represented as complying gasoline. It must be further refined or blended to become complying gasoline, aviation gasoline, racing fuel or gasoline for use in scientific research, or it must be exported. There are record requirements for gasoline-like blendstock, both for the primary supplier and the receiver.

13.3 Can gasoline-like blendstock be sold?

Gasoline-like blendstock may be sold as gasoline-like blendstock. There is no limitation on who the gasoline-like blendstock can be sold to, provided that the applicable records be made and retained. Gasoline-like blendstock cannot be represented as complying gasoline nor can it be use in a spark ignition engine.

13.4 What records must I keep for gasoline-like blendstock?

In addition to the general record keeping requirements for all types of gasoline, a person must, prior to dispatch or importation of a batch of gasoline-like blendstock, record the name and address of the person purchasing or receiving the batch, along with the date of transfer and the volume of the batch.

A record of this information must also be kept by anyone who purchases or receives gasoline-like blendstock and subsequently sells or transfers ownership of it.

Anyone who purchases or receives a batch of gasoline-like blendstock must record the name, address and registration number of the primary supplier who originally supplied the batch and the name and address of the seller or provider of the batch, along with the date of transfer and the volume of the batch.

13.5 If I transfer a batch of gasoline-like blendstock from one facility that I own to another that I own, do I have to make the records required under section 13?

As the batch was dispatched from your facility, you would have to complete the record required under subsection 13(1). There is no requirement to complete the record required under paragraph 13(3)(b) for such a batch. Nevertheless in order to have a complete and clear records, you may wish to make such a record for such occurrences.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

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

Date modified: