Guidance document on Benzene in Gasoline Regulations: chapter 8


Questions on the Schedules to the Regulations

Schedule 1: Model for Calculating Benzene Emissions Numbers

S1.1 Where did the equations come from?

The equations are from the U.S. reformulated gasoline regulations. They are based on the Phase 2 equations for exhaust and non-exhaust emissions of benzene from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Complex Model for use in the northern half of the U.S. (i.e., Area C).


S1.2 Where did the acceptable range for the model parameters come from?

The BEN equations are non-linear and are based on data within the acceptable ranges. The acceptable ranges in these regulations for the model parameters are the same as those allowed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for conventional gasoline. The exception is the range for benzene, for which the maximum is 1.5% by volume (i.e., the limit set under the Benzene in Gasoline Regulations).


S1.3 Can I go outside the acceptable range for the model parameters?

For the purposes of these regulations, you are allowed to go outside the acceptable ranges for any of the model parameters, except for benzene. You must report any excursions in an annex to the report to Environment Canada required under section 8 of the regulations.


S1.4 What is the acceptable range for vapour pressure during the winter?

The regulations do not specify an acceptable range for vapour pressure during the winter (September 16 to April 14), since winter vapour pressure is not part of the winter BEN equations.


S1.5 What is the acceptable range for olefins?

The regulations do not specify an acceptable range for olefins, since the level of olefins is not part of the BEN equations.


S1.6 Why are the level of aromatics and the value of the distillation fraction E300 modified under section 3 of the schedule?

These modifications are part of the Complex Model, and are therefore included in Schedule 1 of the regulations.


S1.7 How is the yearly pool average for BEN calculated?

The yearly pool average for BEN is calculated by volumetrically averaging the BEN value of each batch supplied during the year. (It is not computed by calculating the average of each model parameter and then calculating the BEN using these average model parameters -- refer to Note C to Schedule 3 of the regulations.)


S1.8 In the annex required under subsection 2(2), during the first two quarters of 1999 do I have to report when benzene is outside the acceptable range?

Under subsection 2(1), the acceptable range for benzene is 0.0 to 1.5% by volume. However, prior to July 1, 1999, it is anticipated that there will be gasoline supplied in Canada that will be outside this range. For the purposes of the annexes associated with the first two quarterly reports for 1999, a primary supplier may indicate the reason to be "pre-benzene reduction gasoline" and note the affected volume.


S1.9 In the annex required under subsection 2(2), do I have to report when summer vapour pressure is outside the acceptable range?

Under subsection 2(1), the acceptable range for RVP during the summer is 44.1 to 75.8 kPa. However, a large number of batches supplied in Canada will be above this range, particularly during May and September and also in northern areas throughout the summer. For the purposes of the annex, a primary supplier may indicate the reason to be "shoulder-season high RVP gasoline" or "northern high RVP gasoline" and note the affected volume.


S1.10 If the actual summer vapour pressure of a batch is above the acceptable range, can I use the maximum acceptable value instead of the actual value to compute the benzene emissions number for the batch?

No. The actual value for the summer vapour pressure of the batch must be used.


Schedule 2: Registration Form

(Also refer to section 7)

S2.1 Do I have to register?

Refer to the questions in section 7.


S2.2 Where do I send this form?

The form is sent to the applicable regional office of Environment Canada (addresses are listed in Appendix A).


S2.3 How do I register cargo tankers and other mobile blending facilities?

For cargo tankers, railway cars, boats, marine vessel and other mobile blending facilities, only the type and number of mobile facilities and the province of operation are listed on the registration form.


S2.4 What is a "typical annual volume"?

You must provide information on your "typical annual volume" of gasoline produced at each refinery, blended at each non-mobile blending facility and imported into each province. Note that estimates of typical annual volumes are not required for mobile blending facilities.

For the purposes of registering, Environment Canada considers "typical annual volume" to mean the usual volume of gasoline supplied or expected to be supplied during a calendar year. This could be, for example, the average production of gasoline at a refinery over the last few years, excluding years in which the refinery experience any major shut-downs. Information on typical annual volumes is intended as an aid to the administration of the regulations. In cases where annual volumes vary considerably, typical annual volume should be provided as a range.


Schedule 3: Report on Composition of Gasoline

(Also refer to section 8)

S3.1 Where do I send this form?

The form is sent to the applicable regional office of Environment Canada (the addresses are listed in Appendix A).


S3.2 For which facilities do I submit this report?

The report must be submitted separately for each refinery, non-mobile blending facility and province of import, or any combination of them as has been made under section 18 of the regulations.


S3.3 How do cargo tankers and other mobile blending facilities report?

Mobile blending facilities, such as cargo tankers, railway cars, boats and marine vessel, are grouped by province of operation or with their associated non-mobile facility (refer to Note B to Schedule 3 of the regulations). Only one report is required for each such group.


S3.4 What is the format for the two annexes to this report?

There is no prescribed format for the annex on the dispatch and importation of gasoline-like blendstock or the annex on exceedances of the acceptable ranges.


S3.5 Do I have to report the values for the Benzene Emissions Number for batches of California Phase 2 gasoline and U.S. Reformulated gasoline?

Yes. U.S. reformulated gasoline and California gasoline must comply with all reporting requirements. They are exempt only from certain compositional requirements.


Miscellaneous Questions

Other Questions

O.1 How were the limits for benzene determined?

For benzene, a primary supplier must meet either (1) a per-litre limit of 1% by volume, or (2) a yearly pool average limit of 0.95% by volume with an associated never-to-be-exceeded cap of 1.5% by volume. Any person selling gasoline must meet the never-to-be-exceeded cap of 1.5% by volume.

Benzene per-litre limit: In July 1995, the Minister of the Environment announced that benzene would be reduced to 1% by volume. In October 1995, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) endorsed a recommendation that benzene should be reduced to 1% by volume or a lower annual average. The per-litre value of 1% by volume is the same as the level required under the U.S. reformulated gasoline program and California Phase 2 gasoline program and proposed for the European Union for the year 2000.

Benzene yearly pool average limit: The value of 0.95% by volume is the same as the value required under the U.S. reformulated gasoline program and British Columbia's Cleaner Gasoline Regulation.

Benzene never-to-be-exceeded cap: The never-to-be-exceeded cap of 1.5% by volume allows testing for compliance of gasoline anywhere in the distribution system. Other enforcement provisions that apply only for those who have elected to meet a yearly pool average include compliance plans, sampling and analysis requirements, retention of samples, and annual third-party audits. The cap also ensures that there are no significant regional or local disparities in benzene levels. Both the California and the U.S. reformulated gasoline programs have caps.


O.2 How were the limits for the benzene emissions number determined?

For the BEN, a primary supplier must meet either per-litre limits (a different number for summer and winter), or a yearly pool average limit with associated seasonal never-to-be-exceeded caps. The yearly pool average limit and the seasonal caps are either the national limits specified in the regulations, or facility-specific limits.

The BEN per-litre limits and caps are different in summer and winter. This is because the Complex Model equations, which are the basis for the BEN equations, are divided into summer and winter equations. For the purpose of the regulations, summer is defined to be from April 15 to September 15 and winter is the rest of the year. These dates are the same as those in British Columbia's Cleaner Gasoline Regulation.

Because of the complexities introduced by the seasonality of the BEN and the possible non-linear behaviour of the equations for co-mingled batches, there are no requirements on downstream sellers of gasoline to meet never-to-be-exceeded caps for BEN.

BEN per-litre limits: The BEN per-litre limits are proportionally higher than those for benzene. The explanation for this difference is that the intent of controlling the BEN is to achieve a freeze, whereas the limits prescribed for benzene achieve a reduction. The BEN limits of 71 for gasoline supplied during the summer and 92 for gasoline supplied during the winter are 140% of the respective seasonal BEN averages.

The values of 71 and 92 for the summer and winter BEN limits are approximately equal to the BEN values of gasoline that has a benzene level of 1% by volume (the per-litre limit), a sulphur level of 500 ppm and an aromatics level of 45% by volume in the summer and 40% by volume in the winter. Alternatively, the levels are also approximately equal to the BEN values of a gasoline that has a benzene level of 1% by volume (the per-litre limit), a sulphur level of 900 ppm and an aromatics level of 35% by volume in the summer and 30% by volume in the winter.

National BEN yearly pool average limit: In October 1995, the CCME recommended that aromatics, or equivalent benzene tailpipe emissions, should be maintained at the 1994 average level (once the reduction in benzene is accounted for). The national yearly pool average limit of 59.5 is calculated using the benzene equations from the U.S. Complex Model (Phase 2 / Area C) (refer to Schedule 1 of the regulations) and the average Canadian 1994 baseline gasoline (which is presented below).

Canadian 1994 Baseline Gasoline
Parameter Summer Winter
Vapour Pressure (psi) 10.5 -
Benzene (%vol)- 1994 levels 1.7 1.6
Benzene (%vol)- Adjusted levels 0.95 0.95
Aromatics (%vol) 30.4 24.7
Sulphur (ppm wt) 371 348
Olefins (% vol) 10.3 11.2
Oxygen (% vol) 0 0
Distillation fractions    
E200(% vol) 49 58
E300(% vol) 83 87
Benzene Emissions Number (using adjusted benzene levels) 50.8 65.8

National BEN never-to-be-exceeded caps: The BEN caps are double the 1994 seasonal average BEN values, after adjusting for the reduction in benzene (that is, 102 for gasoline supplied during the summer and 132 for gasoline supplied during the winter). These values are approximately equal to the BEN values of a gasoline that has a benzene level of 1.5% by volume (the maximum allowed under the regulation), a sulphur level of 1000 ppm (the maximum allowed by the Canadian General Standards Board, and an aromatics level equal to the 95th percentile of 1994 aromatics levels (i.e., 46.2% by volume in the summer and 41.0% by volume in the winter).

The BEN caps at 200% of the average levels for BEN are proportionally higher than the cap set for benzene (~160%). As the intention for BEN is to freeze levels, not reduce levels as with benzene, a higher level is acceptable. (This would likely not be the case if BEN was being reduced.)

Alternative BEN limits: Refiners, importers and blenders can apply to use a yearly pool average limit for BEN and associated never-to-be-exceeded caps that are based on their own historical performance during 1994, 1995 or 1996 (once the reduction in benzene is accounted for). The method for determining historical limits is prescribed in subsection 17(3) of the regulations.


O.3 When will inspections take place?

Inspections by enforcement officers may be scheduled or surprise visits.


O.4 Do I have to submit to inspections?

Yes. Under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, designated inspectors are authorized to conduct routine inspections to verify compliance with the regulations and the Act. The Act also requires that the owner or the person in charge to give the inspector reasonable assistance in their duties.


O.5 What are the penalties if I do not comply with the Benzene in Gasoline Regulations?

Compliance with regulations is mandatory. Environment Canada's Enforcement and Compliance Policy sets out the criteria for enforcement responses. Under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, every person who is found guilty of contravening or failing to comply with the Act or its regulations is subject to fines, imprisonment or other court orders.

The Benzene in Gasoline Regulations also have two administrative penalties for those found guilty of contravening or failing to comply with the regulations: namely,

  • upon conviction, the Minister may revoke a primary supplier's election to meet the requirements on the basis of a yearly pool average (subsection 15(3)); and
  • upon conviction, a primary supplier can no longer use a statistical analysis program (paragraph 19(7)(c)).

In addition to financial and administrative penalties, if there is a contravention of the regulation, the Minister may require remedial measures, such as refunding or replacing product, a notice to customers, or publishing a public notice (refer to section 40 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act).

A copy of Environment Canada's Enforcement and Compliance Policy is available on request from the address listed below:

Director
Office of Enforcement
Environment Canada
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H3


O.6 Is the information that I submit to Environment Canada to be kept confidential?

Information submitted to Environment Canada is treated pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (in particular sections 19 to 24), the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.

As noted in the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement that accompanied the regulations, the alternative BEN limits are to be publicly available. Also, Environment Canada intends to prepare reports, on a regular basis, comparing the actual performance of each primary supplier's facilities and imports to its regulated limits for benzene and the benzene emissions number. The reports will be available to the public and will be distributed to interested parties.


O.7 How do I obtain a copy of the Benzene in Gasoline Regulations?

The regulations were published on November 26, 1997 in the Canada Gazette Part 2, pages 3148-3186. While supplies last, copies may be obtained from the address listed below (refer to Question N.1, below).


New Questions

N.1 How do I ask further questions on the Benzene in Gasoline Regulations?

Additional questions may be asked by sending your question, by mail or fax, to Environment Canada at the address or fax number listed below:

Manager
Oil and Gas Section
Environment Canada
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H3

Fax: 819-953-8903


Replies will be provided to the sender, either verbally or in writing. The question and reply may appear in any future versions of this guidance document.

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