Cutback and emulsified asphalt: code of practice overview
The code of practice for the reduction of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from cutback and emulsified asphalt has been in effect since February 25, 2017.
This code of practice recommends best practices and VOC content limits during and outside the ozone season for cutback and emulsified asphalt. The objective of the code of practice is to reduce VOC emissions from the asphalt sector by at least 40 percent over a 6-year period from 2017 to 2023.
If you are involved in manufacturing, importing, selling or using cutback asphalt or emulsified asphalt, you are encouraged to adopt the code of practice. This includes:
- procurement enablers
- end-users (paving companies)
Adopting the code of practice
If the code of practice applies to your facility or operations, you are encouraged to:
- conform with the VOC content limits outlined in the code of practice:
- during the ozone season (May 1 to September 30)
- outside the ozone season (October 1 to April 30)
- consider using low-VOC-emitting alternatives to replace cutback asphalt
- provide a product technical specification sheet with the asphalt product when manufacturing, importing, offering for sale or selling cutback or emulsified asphalt products
- include a commitment to follow the code of practice in contracts for paving or maintenance operations
- train staff who use asphalt products about this code of practice
- keep a record of information listed in section 3 of the code of practice for at least 6 years
Read the code of practice
If you manufacture cutback asphalt or emulsified asphalt, you are encouraged to submit a report every two years containing information about your activities relevant to the year prior to the report submission, including:
- name of the product(s)
- type(s) and quantity of asphalt you manufactured and/or sold
- percent of VOCs contained in the asphalt
- whether the asphalt was manufactured and/or sold during the ozone season
Reports should be submitted every two years by March 31 of those years, after the initial report was submitted in 2018.
Consult the following documents if you need help submitting your report:
- detailed user guide to help you navigate the report form
- reporting forms are available on the cutback asphalt and emulsified asphalt substance page
You should submit your report by mail or email.
Performance results to date
We have published the second cutback and emulsified asphalt progress report, based on the 2019 activity data. A comparison with the results from the 2017 reporting year indicates that the liquefied asphalt sector in Canada is slowly making progress towards reducing VOC emissions from the use of liquefied asphalt. However, to achieve the code’s objective, there must be an increase in the use of lower emitting products, such as emulsified asphalt.
- Report form: Code of practice for the reduction of volatile organic compound emissions from cutback and emulsified asphalt
- Information on the asphalt code of practice
- Volatile organic compounds in consumer and commercial products
- Discussion paper and considerations (2012)
- Proposed code of practice (2016)
- Response to comments on the proposed code
Environment and Climate Change Canada
351 St-Joseph Boulevard
Gatineau QC K1A 0H3
Telephone: 1-888-391-3426 (toll free) or 819-938-4483
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