Multi-Sector Air Pollutants Regulations, response to comments


The Government of Canada announced its intention to regulate emissions from industrial sources in October 2006. Since then, the federal government has actively engaged with provincial and territorial governments, along with company representatives, industry associations, equipment manufacturers, retrofit companies, testing companies and non-governmental organizations (NGO) to explore and develop approaches to address air quality concerns across Canada.

In October 2012, the federal/provincial/territorial Ministers of the Environment, with the exception of Quebec, agreed to implement the Air Quality Management System (AQMS). Although Quebec supports the general objectives of AQMS, it will not implement the system because it considers the federal industrial emission requirements duplicative of its Clean Air Regulation. Quebec is, however, collaborating with other jurisdictions on developing some elements of the system, notably the Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards (CAAQs), air zones and airsheds.

In June 2014, the Government of Canada published the proposed Multi-sector Air Pollutants Regulations in Canada Gazette, Part I (herein referred to as CGI) for a 60-day public comment period. Stakeholders and interested parties were identified and advised of this publication and comment period through regular mail, email and telephone calls. A press release and other documents were published on the Department’s web site to inform and share documents with interested parties. Following the publication of the proposed Regulations, the Department held several consultation sessions, meetings and webinars with over 500 representatives from over 100 organizations to inform them of the proposed Regulations.

Since the requirements in the Regulations could have an impact on international trade practices, the Department notified the World Trade Organization’s Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade in June 2014, which included reference to the publication of the proposed Regulations in the CGI, and the associated public comment period. None of the comments received by the Department made reference to the notification to the Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade.

The Department received a total of 58 submissions during the 60-day public comment period from companies, industry associations, provinces, equipment manufacturers, engineering firms, equipment retrofit companies, environmental testing consultants, and the general public. Comments received by the Department addressed many elements of the proposed Regulations, as well as the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS). Several stakeholders commented on specific provisions, their intent and function. Several comments suggested improvements to the administration provisions in the proposed Regulations. Many of these comments did not impact the general policy intent of the Regulations, but were considered in the preparation of the final text of the Regulations. The Department subsequently followed up with several of these stakeholders to better understand their comments and give them an opportunity to provide further information.

The Department has made efforts to respond to all the comments received during the 60-day comment period. Whenever possible, similar comments were merged for response. The Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement for the Regulations provides a summary of key comments with departmental responses. This document provides a fuller account of the breadth of comments received and associated government responses.

Some important changes made to the regulatory text in response to comments received include:

Boilers and Heaters

  • Accommodation for technical difficulties associated with specialized boilers and heater equipment
  • Reduced testing and reporting requirements, and additional time to demonstrate compliance
  • Increased flexibility to classify pre-existing, low-emitting equipment, options for quantification, and increased eligibility of technical experts for certification
  • Removal of the design standard that had required large modern equipment to be designed to meet a more stringent emission limit than required for compliance
  • Increased clarity of definitions


  • Addition of an exclusion for pre-existing engines found in small businesses
  • Increased flexibility for low-use engines
  • Additional options for testing of rich burn engines and for determining the number of operating hours used in the yearly average calculation;
  • Additional testing requirements for lean burn engines
  • Additional time for compliance with requirements for newly acquired engines
  • Additional time to register pre-existing engines
  • Increased clarity of definitions


  • Improved precision to technical definitions

Common Elements and Part 4 - General

  • The Alternative rule provisions have been expanded to allow a responsible person to replace any rule set out in any document that has been incorporated by reference in the Regulations, with a few exceptions
  • Revised to be more explicit that all records used to demonstrate compliance, or copies thereof, are maintained on-site, within Canada; and,
  • Increased clarity of definitions

These changes do not substantively affect the Regulations in terms of health and environmental benefits or the ability of the federal government to ensure compliance, but do provide flexibility that reduces unnecessary economic impacts of the Regulations on industry.

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