Overview of Solvent Degreasing Regulations

Disclaimer: This document is for information purposes only and does not in anyway supersede or modify the Solvent Degreasing Regulations or offer any legal interpretation of those Regulations.


  • These Regulations apply to solvent degreasing operations (cold and vapour degreasing) that use more than 1000 kilograms of trichloroethylene (TCE) or tetrachloroethylene (PERC) in a calendar year.
  • These Regulations also apply to sellers who will be required, starting in January 2004, to report their annual sales of TCE and PERC for the previous year to all degreasing operations regardless of quantity.
  • These Regulations do not apply to solvent degreasing operations that use less than 1000 kilograms of TCE or PERC in a calendar year.


  • Beginning January 1, 2004, affected solvent degreasing operations that wish to continue using TCE and PERC will require an allowance (consumption units) from Environment Canada. This allowance will be based on historical TCE and PERC use between 1994 and 2002.

Baseline - average annual consumption

  • Environment Canada will calculate a baseline (average annual consumption) quantity for affected solvent degreasers reflecting their historical use. The calculation will be based on average use for up to a maximum of three consecutive years between 1994 and 2002.
  • Affected solvent degreasers will need to provide Environment Canada by October 1, 2003 the appropriate data to allow a baseline to be set.
  • No allowance will be issued without a baseline.

Allowance - consumption units

  • Environment Canada will calculate and issue to each affected solvent degreaser an allowance based on their average annual consumption. The consumptions units issued for 2004, 2005, and 2006 will be frozen at this level. The consumption units issued for 2007 and thereafter will reflect a 65% reduction in the calculated average annual consumption.
  • Unexpended allowances can be transferred between users for use in the year for which they were issued and in the same degreasing process for which they were issued. Environment Canada will have to be notified of such transfers before they take place.
  • Any quantity of solvent recovered from a degreasing process and recycled on-site for reuse will not be considered as a quantity used under the allowance.

Reporting and record keeping

  • Affected solvent degreasing operations will be required to report the quantities of TCE and PERC used, sold or transferred every year to Environment Canada.
  • Every seller will be required to report annual sales of TCE and PERC for solvent degreasing to Environment Canada on a yearly basis.
  • Affected solvent degreasing operations and sellers are both required to maintain and keep records.
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