Multi-Sector Air Pollutants Regulations, response to comments: definitions

Definitions and Coverage-Related Comments

Interpretation

1.1 The Regulations state that an authorized official, in relation to a responsible person that is a corporation, is an officer of the corporation who is authorized to act on its behalf in ensuring and demonstrating compliance with regulatory requirements. Stakeholders asked that the definition of “authorized official” be changed to be clearer and adapted to their specific circumstances. For example, allow an “authorized official” to be an employee of a corporation as opposed to an officer of the corporation and recognize contractors as “certifying officials”.

Response: The Department did not change the regulatory text as a result of these comments. Broadening the definition to include individuals other than company executives would weaken the accountability of the persons affected by the Regulations. In addition, the definition of “authorized official” is consistent with the definition found in other federal regulations (e.g. Renewable Fuels Regulations SOR/2010-189).

1.2 Stakeholders suggested that the definition of “base metals facility” in the Regulations be changed to be consistent with definitions in other Department control instruments (e.g. a Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 - Notice Requiring the Preparation and Implementation of Pollution Prevention Plans in Respect of Specified Toxic Substances Released from Base Metals Smelters and Refineries and Zinc Plants).

Response: The Department did not change the regulatory text as a result of this comment. Definitions of base metals facility used in the above CEPA Pollution Prevention Plan Notice (Ref. Code P2BMS) and Environmental Code of Practice for Base Metals Smelters and Refineries (2006, EPS 1/MM/11 E) are more restrictive than the definition in the Regulations and may not cover some existing facilities and any installation built after the Regulations come into force. As such, the definition in the Regulations more clearly describes the application of the Regulations to existing and potential new facilities.

1.3 Several stakeholders commented on the definition of “boiler”, and proposed more exclusions and alternative language, such as for the description of heat transfer fluids.

Response: The Department did not change the regulatory text as a result of these comments. More exclusions and alternative language, as was proposed, would change the definition used to describe a “boiler”, and possibly exempt boilers that are intended to be regulated under the Regulations, thus compromising regulatory outcomes.

1.4  Stakeholders proposed clarifying the meaning of the word “conditioning” in the definition of “Continuous Emissions Monitoring System” which is defined in the Regulations to be “equipment for the sampling, conditioning and analyzing of emissions from a given source and the recording of data relating to those emissions”.

Response: The Department did not change the regulatory text as a result of this comment. The term "conditioning" in this definition is broadly understood to mean pre-processing of a sample to simplify its handling and/or analysis.

1.5 A diversity of suggested revisions to definitions were detailed within submitted comments including:

  • Provide details on the meaning of “preparations” and “ethylene facilities” within the definitions of “chemicals facility” and “nitrogen fertilizer facility”
  • Broaden the meaning of “grain ethanol production” to apply to both industrial and non-industrial applications, as well as remove the manufacture of “carbon black” from the definition
  • Remove the qualifier “purified” from the expression “purified terephthalic acid”
  • Change the expression “styrene monomers and polystyrene resins”
  • Remove facility types that are not covered by the Regulations
  • Remove the production of “esters of adipic acid, or amines of adipic acid” to exclude these activities from the Regulations
  • Change the production of nitric acid from the fertilizers facility definition to the chemical facility definition

Response: The Department has made some changes to the regulatory text as a result of these comments. The definitions for terephthalic acid, styrene or polystyrene, and nitric acid production were changed. The production of “nitric acid” is added to the definition of "chemicals facility" and removed from the definition of "nitrogen fertilizer facility" since this production can occur on its own and not only as part of nitrogen fertilizer production.

Changes were not made to address the other comments for the following reasons:

  • “Preparations” is commonly used by the chemicals industry when referring to a product ready for processing
  • Esters of adipic acid or amines of adipic acid are intentionally included in the definition of chemical manufacturing facility to better reflect the intent of the Regulations
  • Broadening the meaning of industrial grain ethanol production could result in the Regulations applying to laboratory work, beverage manufacture, etc., which is not the intent of the Regulations
  • The Regulations apply to many specialized facilities in the chemical sector (e.g. facilities for the manufacture of carbon black) even though they may currently not use equipment that is subject to the Regulations

1.6 Stakeholders proposed that the same definition of “facility” be used in the Regulations as the one used by the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) and that NPRI codes should be added to the the Regulations schedules to identify facilities.

Response: The Department did not change the regulatory text as a result of these comments. The NPRI definition for a facility is too broad and unsuited for the purposes of the Regulations. As for the NPRI codes, the Regulations require, with respect to the facility at which the engine, boiler or heater is located, its National Pollutant Release Inventory identification number and the provincial identification number.

1.7 Stakeholders proposed alternative values for the standard temperature, and values found in the definition of “gaseous fuel” to improve consistency with existing provincial or territorial requirements.

Response: The Department changed the regulatory text as a result of these comments. Gaseous fuel is now defined as a fuel that is gaseous at a temperature of 15.6 ° C. This corresponds to 60 F, which is a commonly used standard temperature for fossil fuels used in industrial processes.

As for adding “gaseous” to “fossil fuel” in the gaseous fuel definition, the Department did not change the regulatory text based on this comment. Gaseous fossil fuel may exclude by-product fuels (fuels that are a by-product of an industrial process or operation), which are different from gaseous fuels, but subject to the Regulations.

1.8 Stakeholders proposed a different definition for “heater” to clarify whether process heaters are regulated or not under the Regulations.

Response: The Department did not change the regulatory text as a result of this comment. The definition is consistent with that used in the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) National Emission Guideline for Commercial/ Industrial Boilers and Heaters (Initiative N306, March 1998; ISBN: 1-896997-16-3).

1.9 Industry stakeholders suggested changing the definition of equipment used in "Iron, Steel and Ilmenite facilities"; equipment found in foundries, or activities done after hot rolling steel into basic shapes should not be included in the “iron, steel and ilmenite facilities” definition.

Response: The Department did not change the regulatory text as a result of this comment. This issue is already addressed in the Boilers and Heaters Part of the Regulations. Section 5, subsection 3 specifically states that the Regulations do not apply to “a boiler or heater that is used exclusively for activities that are subsequent to the hot rolling of steel into basic shapes in an iron, steel and ilmenite facility”.

1.10 The Department received the suggestion to add a definition for the “Minister” in the Regulations.

Response: The Department did not change the regulatory text as a result of this comment. “Minister” is already defined as the Minister of the Environment in the Interpretation section of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act 1999 (CEPA).

1.11 A number of stakeholders requested changes to the definition of “NOX”. Stakeholders proposed to add N2O, add the molecular weight of N2O and to define NOX as NO2 while excluding all other gases.

Response: The Department did not change the regulatory text as a result of these comments. Oxides of nitrogen (NOX) are commonly understood to include both nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

1.12 For the definition of “oil and gas facility”, stakeholders suggested adding text to clarify whether terminals or engines used for underground local storage are included in the definition of an oil and gas facility, as well as additional clarity for the application of the Regulations to engine subgroups.

Response: The Department changed the regulatory text as a result of these comments. The revised text more clearly describes the exclusions and inclusions related to activities covered by the “oil and gas facility” definition. For example, the definition includes underground storage facilities for gaseous fuel and excludes facilities that are primarily engaged in the local distribution of natural gas (other than underground storage facilities).

1.13 For the “oil sands facility” definition, stakeholders proposed excluding CO2 sequestration or enhanced oil recovery as it relates to crude oil recovery.

Response: The Department made some changes to this definition for clarity as a result of this comment. The activities of CO2 sequestration and enhanced oil recovery are not used to define an oil sands facility. However, the equipment used for these activities at an oil sands facility will be considered as part of the regulated facility.  

1.14 Stakeholders proposed new wording to better describe or to extend the scope of the definitions of “operator” and “responsible person”. The question was raised of whether someone renting a boiler would be considered a “responsible person” and therefore required to comply with the Regulations. It was also suggested that the Department change the definitions of “operator” and “responsible person” to include potential future requirements in the Regulations.

Response: Minor changes were made to the regulatory text as a result of these comments, and included revisions to ensure that the regulatory text is consistent with other federal regulations (e.g., Reduction of Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Coal-fired Generation of Electricity Regulations, SOR/2012-167).

No changes were made to address future requirements of the Regulations. As part of the regulatory amendment process, the Department will review the regulatory text and propose modifications as necessary.

1.15 Provincial and industry stakeholders proposed adding language to the “petroleum refinery” definition to clarify the range of products made at these facilities, such as adding liquids, gaseous fuels and blended stocks to petroleum products.

Response: The Department made changes to the regulatory text as a result of these comments. The production of gasoline, blended stocks and lubricant base-stock are now used to, define “petroleum refinery”.

1.16 Stakeholders proposed adding text to exclude co-generation facilities from the definition of “power plant”.

Response: No changes were made to the regulatory text as a result of this comment. The reference to the sale of electricity via the electric grid as a primary activity is meant to   exclude co-generation equipment that is not primarily used to produce electricity for sale from application of the "power plant" definition.

1.17 Stakeholders proposed changing the definition of “pulp and paper facility” to exclude activities that occur after the pulp or pulping process. A new definition would exclude activities that transform products made by pulp and paper facilities into other paper products.

Response: The Department did not change the definition as a result of this comment, because the definition provides sufficient clarity to ensure that mills involved only in paper converting activities are not covered by the Regulations.

1.18 Stakeholders suggested the use of North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes to specifically identify industries affected by the Regulations and its Schedules.

Response: The Department has not changed the regulatory text as a result of this comment. The use of NAICS codes in the Regulations would not improve clarity, application, compliance or enforcement beyond that already provided in the Regulations and may have negative implications for its application.

1.19 Stakeholders were concerned that the incorporation of documents by reference in the Regulations would result in recommendations and options in those documents being considered mandatory.

Response: The Regulatory text has changed as a result of this comment. The regulatory text now more clearly specifies how recommendations and options that are contained in documents incorporated by reference are to be read. In some cases, recommendations and options are explicitly excluded. The Alternative rule provisions of the Regulations also permit industry to use other methods than the ones incorporated by reference. However, if an alternative rule is contemplated, an application must be submitted to and approved by the Minister prior to the use of an alternative rule to satisfy regulatory requirements.

1.20 Stakeholders proposed that the Department provide alternative methods, such as allowing an application to the Minister to allow for adjustments to methods and procedures that accommodate their particular situations, as is done by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Response: The Department did not change the regulatory text as a result of this comment. The Regulations provide sufficient opportunity to accommodate individual circumstances through the Alternative rule provisions. The Minister must approve the use of alternative rules.

1.21 The Department received a number of comments from stakeholders about the use of the word “original”, to describe engines, boilers and heaters manufactured before the date of registration of the Regulations. Comments indicated that “original” could be confused with expressions commonly used by industry and manufacturers.

Response: The Department has changed the text of the Regulations to address these comments. The word “original” is replaced by “pre-existing” to describe engines that were manufactured and boilers and heaters that were commissioned before the date of registration of the Regulations.

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