ARCHIVED — Chromium Electroplating, Chromium Anodizing and Reverse Etching Regulations

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Vol. 143, No. 13 — June 24, 2009

Registration

SOR/2009-162 June 4, 2009

CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT, 1999

P.C. 2009-863 June 4, 2009

Whereas, pursuant to subsection 332(1) (see footnote a) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (see footnote b), the Minister of the Environment published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on November 6, 2004, a copy of the proposed Chromium Electroplating, Chromium Anodizing and Reverse Etching Regulations, substantially in the annexed form, and persons were given an opportunity to file comments with respect to the proposed Regulations or to file a notice of objection requesting that a board of review be established and stating the reasons for the objection;

Whereas, pursuant to subsection 93(3) of that Act, the Minister of the Environment, before recommending the making of the Regulations, has given the National Advisory Committee an opportunity to advise the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Health;

And whereas, in the opinion of the Governor in Council, pursuant to subsection 93(4) of that Act, the proposed Regulations do not regulate an aspect of a substance that is regulated by or under any other Act of Parliament in a manner that provides, in the opinion of the Governor in Council, sufficient protection to the environment and human health;

Therefore, Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Health, pursuant to subsection 93(1) and section 97 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (see footnote c), hereby makes the annexed Chromium Electroplating, Chromium Anodizing and Reverse Etching Regulations.

CHROMIUM ELECTROPLATING, CHROMIUM
ANODIZING AND REVERSE ETCHING
REGULATIONS

INTERPRETATION

1. The following definitions apply in these Regulations.

“Act” means the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. (Loi)

“chromium anodizing” means the passage of an electric current through a solution containing a hexavalent chromium compound, in a tank connected to a rectifier, in order to produce an oxide layer on the surface of a metal or other substrate. (anodisation au chrome)

“chromium electroplating” means the passage of an electric current through a solution containing a hexavalent chromium compound, in a tank connected to a rectifier, in order to produce a layer of chromium on the surface of a metal or other substrate. (électrodéposition du chrome)

“control device” means equipment used to control emissions of hexavalent chromium compounds produced from or during chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing or reverse etching. (dispositif de contrôle)

“dilution air” means air that is introduced into emissions produced from or during chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing or reverse etching and that dilutes those emissions. (air de dilution)

“dscm” means a dry standard cubic metre of sample gas referenced to 25°C and 101.325 kPa. (dscm)

“evacuation device” means equipment that is attached to a tank cover that contains a HEPA filter and that is used to remove any hexavalent chromium compounds remaining in the volume of air beneath the closed tank cover at the completion of chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing or reverse etching and before the tank cover is opened. (dispositif d’évacuation)

“facility” means a place at which chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing or reverse etching is performed. (installation)

“HEPA filter” means a high-efficiency particulate air filter. (filtre HEPA)

“hexavalent chromium” means chromium in an oxidation state of +6. (chrome hexavalent)

“point source” means a stack or vent that is the outlet to the environment from the emission collection system connected to one or more tanks. (source ponctuelle)

“representative operating conditions” means the conditions for obtaining an electrical output from a tank’s rectifier while chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing or reverse etching is taking place that is equal to the average of the rectifier’s output for the 30 days of use before a release test is performed. (conditions d’exploitation représentatives)

“reverse etching” means the passage of an electric current through a solution containing a hexavalent chromium compound, in a tank connected to a rectifier, in order to produce an etch on a metal or other substrate. (gravure inversée)

“surface tension” means the molecular force, measured in dynes per centimetre (dyn/cm), that exists at the interface between the solution containing a hexavalent chromium compound and the air. (tension superficielle)

“tank” means the container in which chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing or reverse etching is carried out. (cuve)

“total chromium” means the sum of hexavalent chromium and all other species of chromium. (chrome total)

APPLICATION

2. These Regulations apply to any person that uses a solution containing a hexavalent chromium compound for chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing or reverse etching in a tank located at a facility where 50 kg or more of chromium trioxide (CrO3) is used per calendar year.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

3. (1) Every person referred to in section 2 must control the release of hexavalent chromium compounds from each tank by one of the following methods:

(a) using a point source in accordance with sections 4 to 6;

(b) limiting the surface tension of the solution in the tank in accordance with section 7; or

(c) using a tank cover in accordance with sections 8 to 10.

(2) The person must, for each facility, submit a notice to the Minister indicating, for each tank, the method used to control the release of hexavalent chromium compounds,

(a) in the case of a facility at which chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing or reverse etching is carried out on the coming into force of this section, within 30 days after the day on which this section comes into force; and

(b) in any other case, at least 30 days before beginning to carry out any of those activities.

(3) If the release of hexavalent chromium compounds from a tank is controlled by limiting the surface tension of the solution, the notice must state whether a tensiometer or a stalagmometer is or will be used to measure surface tension.

(4) Every person that intends to change either the method of controlling the release of hexavalent chromium compounds from a tank or the surface tension measurement method for a tank must notify the Minister of that intention at least 30 days before the day on which the change is to be implemented.

USE OF A POINT SOURCE

CONDITIONS

4. (1) Every person that controls the release of hexavalent chromium compounds from a tank by using a point source

(a) must use a control device in the emission collection system; and

(b) subject to subsection (2), must not release more than 0.03 mg/dscm of hexavalent chromium, if measured separately, or, in any other case, of total chromium, from any point source.

(2) If a point source is being used to control the release of hexavalent chromium compounds from a tank located at a facility at which chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing or reverse etching is carried out on the day on which this section comes into force, paragraph (1)(b) applies 30 months after that day.

RELEASE TEST

5. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), every person required to comply with paragraphs 4(1)(a) and (b) must, at each point source,

(a) perform a release test establishing compliance with paragraph 4(1)(b); and

(b) thereafter, perform a new release test at least every five years after the day on which the most recent test establishing compliance with paragraph 4(1)(b) was performed.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), if, within 24 months before the day on which this section comes into force, the person has performed a release test, they may perform a new release test every five years after the day on which that test was performed if the following conditions are met:

(a) the test performed before the coming into force of this section was conducted in accordance with subsection (4) at each point source;

(b) the average of three sampling runs from that test did not exceed 0.03 mg/dscm of hexavalent chromium, if measured separately, or, in any other case, of total chromium, from any point source; and

(c) within 60 days after the coming into force of this section, the person submits to the Minister a report of the results of that test together with the information required under paragraphs 11(1)(b) to (k).

(3) Every person that performs one of the following operations must, within 75 days after completing the operation, perform a release test at each point source establishing compliance with paragraph 4(1)(b) and thereafter, perform a new release test at least every five years after the day on which the most recent test establishing compliance with paragraph 4(1)(b) was performed:

(a) replacing a control device;

(b) increasing by more than 25% the total surface area of the solution in one or more tanks connected to a control device;

(c) installing one or more tanks to increase by more than 25% the total surface area of the solution in the tanks connected to a control device; or

(d) making changes to the ventilation system connected to a tank that affect the velocity or the flow rate of the ventilation other than a change that results from removing or isolating a tank from that system if the release of hexavalent chromium compounds from that tank is not controlled by using a point source.

(4) The following conditions apply in respect of every release test performed under this section:

(a) the test must be performed under representative operating conditions without using dilution air;

(b) the sampling must

(i) be performed in accordance with generally accepted standards of good scientific practice at the time of the sampling by a sampler trained to perform release sampling for chromium using a documented and validated method, and

(ii) consist of three two-hour sampling runs, each of which results in a minimum sample volume of 1.7 dscm;

(c) the analysis of the sample from each of the three sampling runs must be performed in accordance with generally accepted standards of good scientific practice at the time of the analysis by a laboratory located in Canada

(i) that is accredited by a Canadian accrediting body under the International Organization for Standardization standard ISO/IEC 17025: 2005 entitled General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, as amended from time to time, and

(ii) whose accreditation includes the analysis of chromium within its scope of testing;

(d) the analysis of the sample from each of the three sampling runs must be performed with an analytical method whose precision and accuracy are based on a minimum of seven replicate samples and that has

(i) a method detection limit of at least 8 µg/L of chromium,

(ii) a precision of 5% relative standard deviation at 10 times the method detection limit, and

(iii) an accuracy of 100% ± 5% based on analyte recovery at least 10 times the method detection limit; and

(e) the average of three sampling runs must not exceed the chromium release limit prescribed in paragraph 4(1)(b).

(5) Every person that intends to perform a release test under this section must notify the Minister at least 30 days before performing the test, specifying the civic address of the facility at which and the three-day period within which the test will be performed.

INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE OF CONTROL DEVICES

6. (1) Subject to subsection (3), in relation to each control device used, every person referred to in section 4 must prepare and implement an inspection and maintenance plan requiring an inspection at least every three months to verify that

(a) the control device’s internal and external surfaces and its external components, including its control panel, are free from any fracture or deformation;

(b) the ductwork between the control device and any tank does not leak and is not broken;

(c) the filtering media within the control device are free of any blockage and there is no buildup that would affect the operation of the device; and

(d) there are no visible signs of hexavalent chromium compounds at the exit of the control device.

(2) In relation to each control device used with a composite mesh pad system, the inspection and maintenance plan must also include the following tasks:

(a) verifying that there is no buildup on the mesh pads; and

(b) if the mesh pads are not continuously washed, washing the mesh pads for at least 20 minutes

(i) if the manufacturer’s recommendations provide for less frequent washing than twice during every eight hours of operation, in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations, or

(ii) in any other case, at least twice during every eight hours of operation with an interval of at least three hours between washes.

(3) If a point source is being used to control the release of hexavalent chromium compounds from a tank located at a facility at which chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing or reverse etching is carried out on the day on which this section comes into force, subsection (1) applies 30 months after that day.

(4) Every person implementing the inspection and maintenance plan must

(a) if they identify any defect in the course of implementing the plan, cease any chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing or reverse etching, correct the defect and verify that the defect has been corrected before resuming any of those activities; and

(b) keep a record that contains the following information:

(i) the date on which each inspection and maintenance task was performed,

(ii) a description of each inspection and maintenance task performed,

(iii) the date on which each defect was identified, and

(iv) a description of the measures taken to correct the defect.

LIMITING THE SURFACE TENSION

7. (1) Subject to subsection (2), every person that controls the release of hexavalent chromium compounds from a tank by limiting the surface tension of the solution containing a hexavalent chromium compound must maintain that surface tension in the tank at a value of less than

(a) 35 dyn/cm if the surface tension is measured with a tensiometer; or

(b) 45 dyn/cm if the surface tension is measured with a stalagmometer.

(2) If surface tension limiting is being used to control the release of hexavalent chromium compounds from a tank located at a facility at which chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing or reverse etching is carried out on the day on which this section comes into force, subsection (1) applies three months after that day.

(3) Every person referred to in subsection (1) must measure and record, for each tank, the surface tension of the solution containing the hexavalent chromium compound once every day during which the tank is used, and the measurements must be taken at least 16 hours apart.

(4) The surface tension must be measured in accordance with

(a) the ASTM International method ASTM D 1331-89 (Reapproved 2001), Standard Test Methods for Surface and Interfacial Tension of Solutions of Surface-Active Agents, except Method B, as amended from time to time, if measured with a tensiometer; or

(b) the manufacturer’s instructions, if measured with a stalagmometer.

(5) If a tank is unused for more than 24 consecutive hours, every person referred to in subsection (1) must, before resuming chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing or reverse etching, measure the surface tension of the solution containing the hexavalent chromium compound in the tank and, if necessary, reduce the surface tension to less than the value prescribed in paragraphs (1)(a) or (b), as applicable.

USE OF A TANK COVER

CONDITIONS

8. Every person that controls the release of hexavalent chromium compounds from a tank by using a tank cover must ensure that the cover is closed while chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing or reverse etching is taking place and that the cover has the following characteristics:

(a) it completely encloses the open surface area of the tank;

(b) it has a seal that joins the cover to the tank;

(c) it has a membrane that is inset in the cover, that has a minimum surface area of 0.28 m2/kA of current and that has pore openings not larger than 1 µm; and

(d) it has an evacuation device that is attached to the outside of the cover and that has a HEPA filter with pore openings not larger than 0.1 µm.

INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE OF TANK COVERS

9. (1) Subject to subsection (2), every person referred to in section 8 must prepare and implement an inspection and maintenance plan that

(a) is in accordance with the instructions of the manufacturer of the tank cover; and

(b) includes at least the following tasks:

(i) induction of an external pressure on the membrane while the tank cover is closed and the tank is in operation to verify that the membrane moves outward, each day that the cover is used,

(ii) drainage of the air inlet by purging the air valves at the end of each day during which the person operates the tank or at the end of each plating, anodizing or reverse etching cycle and, if the membrane does not move inward during the purge, verification of the seal of the tank cover,

(iii) inspection of the access doors and membranes at least once per week to determine whether the tank cover leaks and whether there are any tears in the membrane,

(iv) drainage of the evacuation device into the tank at least once per week,

(v) inspection of the membrane for perforations at least once per month using a light source that illuminates the membrane,

(vi) inspection, at least once per month, of all clamps that hold the tank cover closed in order to verify that they keep the cover closed, and replacement of any defective clamps,

(vii) inspection of all piping to and all piping from the evacuation device at least once every three months to verify that there are no leaks and no evidence of deterioration, and

(viii) replacement of the HEPA filter on the evacuation device at least once per year.

(2) If a tank cover is being used to control the release of hexavalent chromium compounds from a tank located at a facility at which chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing or reverse etching is carried out on the day on which this section comes into force, subsection (1) applies six months after that day.

(3) Every person performing an inspection or maintenance task under the inspection and maintenance plan must

(a) if they identify any defect in the course of the inspection or maintenance task, cease any chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing or reverse etching, correct the defect and verify that the defect has been corrected before resuming any of those activities; and

(b) keep a record that contains the following information:

(i) the date on which each inspection and maintenance task was performed,

(ii) a description of each inspection and maintenance task performed,

(iii) the date on which each defect was identified, and

(iv) a description of the measures taken to correct the defect.

10. (1) Subject to subsection (2), every person referred to in section 8 must, before the first use of the tank cover, and every three months after that, conduct a smoke test while the cover is closed to determine whether it leaks.

(2) If a tank cover is being used to control the release of hexavalent chromium compounds from a tank located at a facility at which chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing or reverse etching is carried out on the day on which this section comes into force, the person must conduct the smoke test no later than six months after that day and every three months after that.

(3) The smoke test must be conducted using a smoke test device that generates 15 to 30 m3 of smoke for every 2 m2 of tank surface and using a process that allows the smoke test device to burn completely inside the tank while the tank cover is closed and to fill the space under the cover with smoke.

(4) If the smoke test detects a release of smoke from the tank cover, the person must, before using the tank for chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing or reverse etching, perform the necessary repairs and repeat the test until there are no leaks of smoke from the cover.

(5) The person must record the dates on which the smoke tests were conducted, the results of those tests, the name of the manufacturer of the smoke test device, a description of the steps taken in conducting each test and the sequence in which those steps were performed and, if applicable, the location of any leaks and the measures taken to correct any defects.

REPORTING

11. (1) Every person that performed a release test under section 5 must, within 75 days after the last sample is taken for the test, submit to the Minister a report containing the following information respecting each point source and those tanks using the point source control method:

(a) the date the sampling was performed, the time at which the sampling was started and the time at which it was completed;

(b) the test results;

(c) the location on a floor plan of the point source and of any tanks, control devices and fans that were connected to the point source at the time the sampling was performed;

(d) the test method used;

(e) in respect of tanks connected to the point source at the time of the sampling, the number of tanks in use and the number of tanks that were not in use, if any;

(f) a description of the ventilation system for each tank in use and connected to the point source at the time the sampling was performed;

(g) the respective diameters of the ducts linking each tank in use to a control device at the time the sampling was performed;

(h) the electrical output setting for each tank’s rectifier at the time the sampling was performed;

(i) if a stack was used at the time the sampling was performed, the dimensions of the stack, the diameter and location of each sampling port in relation to the point of release from the stack and, if an extension was required to conduct the three sampling runs of the test, the type of extension, its dimensions and the location on the extension of each sampling port;

(j) the dimensions, type and the name of the manufacturer of each control device in use at the time the sampling was performed and the model and the name of the manufacturer of each control device fan in use at the time the sampling was performed and its rated capacity as established by its manufacturer; and

(k) the concentration, in mg/dscm, of hexavalent chromium, if measured separately, or, in any other case, of total chromium, released during each of the three sampling runs required and the average concentration calculated for those runs.

(2) Every person referred to in section 7 must submit to the Minister, no later than July 31 of every calendar year, a report setting out the surface tension recorded from January 1 to June 30 of the year in question, and must submit, no later than January 31 of the next calendar year, a report setting out the surface tension recorded from July 1 to December 31 of the preceding calendar year.

(3) For the year in which this section comes into force, only one report must be submitted, setting out the surface tension recorded during the remainder of that year, no later than January 31 of the year following the year this section comes into force.

(4) The reports required under this section must be in a form determined by the Minister.

12. For the purposes of paragraph 95(1)(a) of the Act, where there occurs or is a likelihood of a release into the environment of a hexavalent chromium compound in contravention of these Regulations, the written report must contain the following information:

(a) the name, civic address and telephone number of the person submitting the report;

(b) the civic address of the facility where the release occurred or is likely to occur;

(c) in the case of a release, the date, time, duration and exact location of the release;

(d) in the case of the likelihood of a release, the date, time and location where the release is likely to occur;

(e) the estimated quantity of hexavalent chromium compound that was released or is likely to be released;

(f) a description of the circumstances leading to the release or likely release, including identification of its cause, if known, and any corrective action taken;

(g) a description of measures taken to remedy, reduce or mitigate any danger that results from the release or that may reasonably be expected to result if the release were to occur; and

(h) the identification of all persons and agencies notified as a result of the release or likely release.

13. (1) Any notice or report submitted to the Minister under these Regulations must be dated and signed

(a) in the case of a corporation, by a person authorized to do so; and

(b) in any other case, by the person submitting the notice or report or by a person authorized to act on their behalf.

(2) The person submitting the notice or report must include the following information:

(a) their telephone number and fax number, if any, including the area code;

(b) their e-mail address, if any;

(c) the name of the owner or operator of the chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing or reverse etching equipment;

(d) the civic address at which the equipment is located;

(e) the postal address, if different from the civic address; and

(f) the name and title of the person who signed the notice or report and their e-mail address, if any.

RECORD KEEPING

14. (1) The owner or operator of chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing or reverse etching equipment must keep all records, reports, inspection and maintenance plans, floor plans depicting the location of tanks and, if applicable, the location of control devices and fans, test results and other information required by these Regulations at the facility where that equipment is located or, on notification to the Minister, at any other place in Canada where the documents can be inspected for a period of at least five years beginning on the date of their creation.

(2) The person submitting the notice must specify the civic address at which the records, reports, plans, test results and other information can be inspected and identify each facility to which each of those records, reports, plans, test results and other information pertains.

COMING INTO FORCE

15. (1) Subject to subsection (2), these Regulations come into force 30 days after the day on which they are registered.

(2) The definitions “chromium anodizing”, “chromium electroplating”, “representative operating conditions”, “reverse etching” and “tank” in section 1 come into force on the day on which these Regulations are registered.

REGULATORY IMPACT
ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Executive summary

Issue: Chromium trioxide is used in a variety of industrial applications in Canada, including electroplating, anodizing and reverse etching processes, which result in air emissions of hexavalent chromium (HVC). Hexavalent chromium is known to cause cancer in humans and has considerable negative impacts on certain sensitive ecosystem receptors (such as aquatic organisms). Although some jurisdictions in Canada regulate emissions of HVC, the emission limits vary across provincial and municipal jurisdictions. Therefore, to assure the same level of protection against exposure from HVC emissions across Canada, the Government of Canada has decided to introduce regulatory measures in order to standardize the HVC release limits.

Description: The objective of the Chromium Electroplating, Chromium Anodizing and Reverse Etching Regulations (the Regulations) is to protect the environment and the health of Canadians by reducing air emissions of HVC from facilities or persons (henceforward referred to as users) using chromic acid in their chromium electroplating, anodizing or reverse etching operations. Under the Regulations, these users will have the flexibility to select one of three control measures to reduce their HVC air emissions, specifically: installing a control device for point source releases; maintaining the surface tension in the tanks containing the chromic acid solution; or enclosing the open surface area of the tank with a tank cover. Environment Canada estimates that the overall efficiency of 98% from these three control options is economically and technically feasible on an individual facility basis. Depending on the selected HVC control option, users will have 3 to 30 months after the coming into force of the Regulations to comply with the HVC release limits.

The Regulations will come into force 30 days after the day on which they are registered.

Cost-benefit statement: The Regulations will reduce HVC releases into the environment by an estimated 31 tonnes over 25 years or by an average of 1.24 tonnes per year.

The present value of the benefits of the Regulations is estimated to be $58.5 million (calculated over a 25-year period), including human health benefits of $58.0 million. The benefits also include an estimated $0.5 million cost savings from reductions in the quantity of chromium trioxide purchased by industry and from avoided water supply contamination. The present value of the cost of the Regulations is estimated to be $18.9 million (calculated over a 25-year period), including costs to industry of $17.5 million and to the federal government (for enforcement and compliance promotion) of $1.4 million. Overall, in present value terms, the Regulations are expected to result in a net benefit to Canadians of $39.7 million (calculated over a 25-year period).

Business and consumer impacts: In addition to investments in HVC emission control devices, industry is expected to incur some administrative costs associated with testing and reporting requirements. The present value of costs associated with testing is estimated to be $2.4 million (calculated over a 25-year period). Reporting costs are expected to be negligible and have not been estimated.

Domestic and international coordination and cooperation: The Regulations will have no international trade or cooperation implications, as the industry caters only to the domestic market in Canada. In addition, the Regulations establish HVC emissions limits on users operating in Canada and do not apply to users located outside Canada. The Regulations align Canada’s regulatory requirements with the requirements adopted in the United States (U.S.) for the chromium electroplating and anodizing industry.

Extensive consultations with Canadian industry, provincial and territorial governments and environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) have been conducted. In general, there is wide support for the Regulations.

Issue

Chromium is used in a variety of industrial applications in Canada, including the production of ceramic refractory for smelting, stainless steel production, inorganic chemical production and metal finishing (including chromium electroplating, anodizing and reverse etching processes). The chromium electroplating, anodizing and reverse etching sector primarily uses a chromic acid solution in tanks to coat metal parts and tools with a layer of chromium to protect these from corrosion and wear. Chromic acid solution is produced by mixing chromium trioxide and water. These processes are the primary source of HVC air emissions.

Hexavalent chromium is known to cause cancer in humans and has considerable negative effects on the environment. Based on environmental and health concerns, HVC was declared toxic to the environment, and was added to the List of Toxic Substances under Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act on April 4, 1998. As reported in Environment Canada’s National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI), total HVC emissions in 2005 were estimated to be 5.10 tonnes per year, of which HVC emissions to air were 3.28 tonnes (or 65% of total emissions).

At present, there are no federal regulations relating to HVC air emissions. These emissions are regulated in some provincial and municipal jurisdictions, which have differing emission limits. While an estimated 63% of the users have installed some type of control equipment (either in response to the provincial or municipal requirements or for some site-specific reason), the potential exists for uncontrolled HVC emissions from the remaining users. The chromium electroplating, anodizing and reverse etching users that do not have any HVC emission control devices in place could potentially release 1.25 tonnes of HVC to air per year. For this reason, the Government of Canada will standardize HVC release limits across Canada in order to reduce HVC emissions and provide the same level of protection to the environment and human health in every municipality, province or territory. In this way, the Regulations will ensure that those chromium electroplating, anodizing and reverse etching users that have already invested in HVC emission control devices are not disadvantaged. The regulatory measure is estimated to result in a 1.06 tonne or 85% reduction in HVC emissions from electroplating, anodizing and reverse etching processes in the first year that the regulatory requirements come into force.

A full assessment of the risks associated with chromium and its compounds can be found at www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/alt_formats/hecs-sesc/pdf/pubs/contaminants/psl1-lsp1/chromium_chrome/chromium_chrome_e.pdf.

Objectives

The Regulations are consistent with the comprehensive approach under the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) for chemicals targeted for regulatory action on existing priorities. The objective of the Regulations is to protect the environment and the health of Canadians by reducing air emissions of HVC from chromium electroplating, anodizing or reverse etching processes by facilities or persons using chromic acid in their operations. The Regulations are expected to result in a reduction in HVC releases from these processes by an estimated 31 tonnes over a 25-year period (an average of 1.24 tonnes per year).

Description

The Regulations

The Regulations will apply to persons using more than 50 kilograms of chromium trioxide per calendar year for chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing or reverse etching operations. Under the proposed Regulations as published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on November 6, 2004, the regulatory requirements would have applied to facilities or persons using more than 10 kilograms of chromium trioxide. In response to comments from stakeholders, the application limit has been increased to 50 kilograms. The intent of this requirement, which was to exempt only small scale operations from the requirements of the Regulations, has been maintained.

Persons to whom these Regulations apply will be required to control the releases of HVC from their processes and will be given three different options that provide equivalent results. Users will be required to inform the Minister of Environment of their choice of control option within 30 days of the Regulations coming into force. The requirements of the control options are presented below.

HVC release control requirements

1. Point source

Persons that control the release of HVC from a point source (e.g. a stack (see footnote 1)), will be required to

  • use a control device in their HVC emission collection system; and
  • meet the following release limit for emissions of HVC, if measured separately, or, in any other case, of total chromium, for each point source without using dilution air:
  • 0.03 milligrams (mg) per dry standard cubic metre (dscm) after the 30-month period following the day on which the Regulations come into force.

The proposed Regulations included a 0.2 mg/dscm release limit which would have come into effect six months after the coming force of the Regulations. This limit has been removed in response to comments from stakeholders. The “Costs and benefits” section of the present Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS) has been revised to reflect this change.

2. Limiting surface tension

If limiting surface tension is being used to control the release of HVC from a tank, the persons that control the release of HVC with this method will be required to

  • maintain the surface tension of the chromic acid solution in the tank below 35 dynes (see footnote 2) per centimeter if the surface tension is measured with a tensiometer or below 45 dynes per centimeter if the surface tension is measured with a stalagmometer, within three months after the date of coming into force of the Regulations;
  • measure the surface tension once every day during which the tank is used; and
  • provide the Minister of the Environment with surface tension records twice per year.

3. Tank cover

In response to comments received during consultations on the proposed Regulations, a third method, the use of tank covers, for controlling HVC releases has been added to the list of control methods available under these Regulations. Persons to whom the Regulations apply that choose to control releases of HVC by using a tank cover must install the tank cover within six months after the day the Regulations come into force. The persons that control the release of HVC from a tank by using a tank cover must ensure the cover is closed while chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing or reverse etching is taking place and that the cover has the following characteristics:

  • it completely encloses the open surface area of the tank;
  • it has a seal that connects the tank cover to the tank;
  • it has a membrane that is inset in the cover, that has a minimum surface area of 0.28 m2/kA of current and that pore openings are not larger that 1 μm; and
  • it has an evacuation device attached to the outside of the tank cover and that has a HEPA filter with pore openings not larger than 0.1 μm.

Because the tank cover is designed to be a zero emission device, the Regulations include extensive inspection and maintenance requirements for tank covers and also require visual checks during the operation of the tank cover.

The “Costs and benefits” section of this RIAS has been revised to reflect the addition of this control option.

HVC release test requirements

Users will be required to conduct a release test (i.e. a stack test) consisting of three two-hour sampling runs on the point source within 30 months of the Regulations coming into force. The results must demonstrate that the average of the required three two-hour sampling runs does not exceed the release limit. In addition, results of a stack release test conducted 24 months prior to the coming into force of the Regulations will also be considered valid for the purpose of demonstrating compliance to the established release limit from a point source. The period over which release test results would be considered valid has been extended from 12 to 24 months prior to the coming into force of the Regulations in response to practical and financial considerations raised by stakeholders during the consultations. Users are also required to conduct release testing every five years after the final release limit is in effect or when specific changes are made to the process operations at the facility. These users will also be required to submit a report of the stack test results to the Minister of the Environment within 75 days after the day on which the sample collection is completed.

Record keeping and reporting requirements

To facilitate monitoring and enforcement of the Regulations, all persons to whom the reporting and record keeping provisions apply are required to maintain records, reports, plans, analytical methods, results from sampling, analysis, and other relevant information at the place where the equipment is located, or after notifying the Minister, at any other place in Canada where the documents can be inspected for a period of at least five years. The form of records and deadlines for their submission are prescribed in the Regulations.

The Regulations are made pursuant to subsection 93(1) of CEPA 1999 and will come into force 30 days after the day on which they are registered.

Background

Hexavalent chromium has been known to cause cancer in humans and has considerable negative effects on the environment. There may be a potential for adverse health effects at any level of exposure from HVC, which has been classified as carcinogenic to humans. The carcinogenicity of HVC has been investigated in a wide range of occupationally exposed populations. In addition to the documented carcinogenicity of HVC in occupationally exposed populations, a proportion of the general population is also highly sensitive to the dermatological effects of HVC. A Health Canada study concludes that the knowledge of the toxic effects of HVC is derived almost entirely from occupational exposures, with the main effects being observed on the skin and respiratory tract. (see footnote 3)

Environment Canada’s assessment report (see footnote 4) also found that releases of chromium, including HVC, in large quantities from various anthropogenic sources in Canada resulted in increased concentrations of chromium reported in Canadian air, water, soils and sediments. The concentration of HVC in water and soil were found in some locations to be much higher than the effects thresholds estimated to harm the most sensitive aquatic species, plants and microbial communities. HVC was declared toxic to the environment, and was added to the List of Toxic Substances under Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act on April 4, 1998. The Government of Canada has recognized the risk posed by HVC and has committed to implementing risk management measures to reduce the adverse impact of these substances.

The CMP announced in December 2006 is part of the federal government’s comprehensive environmental agenda. It will further strengthen the degree of protection for Canadians and their environment from chemicals that have not yet undergone scientific assessment. Through an exercise called “categorization,” 4 300 of 23 000 existing substances were identified as requiring further attention by the federal government. This will take the form of further assessment, supported by research and monitoring, and will lead to the management of these priority substances. Hexavalent chromium is targeted for regulatory action under the CMP.

Industry profile

Chromium is a naturally occurring metal that is present principally in the trivalent or hexavalent forms in small amounts throughout the Canadian environment. Chromium is used in a variety of industrial applications in Canada. Various forms of chromium are released into the environment in Canada as a result of these industrial uses, as well as from the production and combustion of fossil fuels, and the smelting and refining of nonferrous base metals. The use of chromium trioxide by the electroplating, anodizing and reverse etching sector is the largest source of HVC air emissions. According to the NPRI data for 2005, approximately 65% of the 3.28 tonnes of HVC air emission can be attributed to this sector.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contributions for 2005 made by the Coating, Engraving, Heat Treating and Allied industry, of which chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing and reverse etching is a sub-sector, were estimated to be $1.1 billion. Approximately 12 838 people were employed in this industry in 2005. According to an Environment Canada report (see footnote 5) and updated industry information, it was estimated that the chromium electroplating, anodizing and reverse etching sector in Canada consists of approximately 220 users.

Table 1: Provincial Distribution of Chromium Electroplating,
Anodizing and Reverse Etching Facilities (2007)

Provinces

Number

British Columbia

29

Alberta

23

Saskatchewan

7

Manitoba

13

Ontario

91

Quebec

48

New Brunswick

3

Nova Scotia

5

Newfoundland

1

Total

220

Users are categorized on the basis of processes employed, which include chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing and reverse etching. Chromium electroplating uses a chromic acid solution and applies a layer of chromium to the metal. The thickness of the layer depends on the plating time and the eventual use of the part that is plated — thicker or heavier chromium deposits are for functional applications, whereas thinner or lighter deposits are for decorative applications. The base metal used in chromium anodizing is almost exclusively aluminum; anodizing produces a protective oxide layer on the base metal. Reverse etching is not an electroplating or an anodizing process but a commonly used process to etch the surface of the metal before functional chromium electroplating. Although the process of reverse etching only lasts for a maximum of a few minutes, HVC emissions similar to those from electroplating and anodizing processes are produced.

Approximately 61% of these users perform functional (or hard) chromium plating, with the remainder performing decorative chromium plating or anodizing. There are no users dedicated primarily to the reverse etching process in Canada. Users performing reverse etching are included in the functional (or hard) electroplating group of users.

The chromium electroplating, anodizing and reverse etching sector is an important source of HVC air emissions. Approximately 63% of the existing users have installed, either for provincial regulatory or site-specific reasons, some form of HVC emission control devices. Emissions from the remaining users who have not invested in any type of control device are estimated to be 1.25 tonnes per year. (see footnote 6) In the absence of the Regulations, these emissions would be expected to increase as new users entered the chromium electroplating, anodizing and reverse etching sector.

The most commonly used devices for controlling HVC air emissions from point sources include composite mesh pad systems and packed bed scrubbers. Other control processes used by the electroplating industry are surface tension reduction by fume suppressants and wetting agents. Another control option is to use a tank cover with an integrated membrane system. This option, while not presently used in Canada, is used in specific applications in the U.S. to control HVC emissions. The average efficiency of the prescribed control devices, provided they are working at full efficiency, is approximately 98%. Control technologies with 100% efficiency in capturing HVC emissions are currently not available. However, Environment Canada estimates that the overall efficiency of 98% from the three control options mentioned above is economically and technically feasible on an individual facility basis.

Actions in other jurisdictions

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) updated the standards for HVC emissions from functional and decorative chromium electroplating and chromium anodizing tanks in December 2005. The U.S. EPA HVC emissions standard of 0.03 mg per dscm for small users is similar to the HVC release limits specified in these Regulations. The Regulations allow three possible methods to control the release of HVC, similar to that of the U.S. EPA. The chromium electroplating and anodizing sector in Canada is predominantly comprised of small and medium-sized users which are comparable to the U.S. both in terms of size and emissions.

Actions in Canada

Prior to these Regulations, there were no federal regulations relating to HVC air emissions. Ontario and Quebec have existing provincial regulations. Ontario Ministry of Environment’s HVC release limit of 5 μg/m 3 is a point of impingement requirement for HVC air emissions, while the Ministère de l’Environnement du Québec’s limit of 2 mg/m3 is a concentration based release limit. The federal Regulations would result in lower releases of HVC compared to the requirements of the province of Ontario or Quebec. Some provinces use their respective permitting authorities to manage this substance with differing requirements, with no sufficient consistency for comparison purposes. Municipal by-laws are currently in place in two Canadian cities. The Montreal Urban Community and the Greater Vancouver Regional District have a concentration based release limit for HVC of 2 mg/m3 and 0.5 mg/m3, respectively. There are significant differences in the corresponding emission limits. Therefore, these Regulations standardize HVC release limits across Canada and provide a consistent degree of protection of the environment and human health.

Regulatory and non-regulatory options considered

Several regulatory and non-regulatory measures have been considered, and descriptions of each are provided below.

Status quo

The option of taking no action to reduce HVC emissions was rejected because of the continued exposure to the unsafe levels of HVC air emissions with associated adverse impacts on both human health and environment. Reduction of HVC air emissions in Canada cannot be achieved solely with the existing regulations in two provinces and municipal by-laws in two cities. The status quo can therefore not be allowed to persist and some form of action to control HVC emission is required.

Voluntary measures

The technologies for controlling HVC air emissions, according to the Environment Canada report and updated information, are known, readily available and have been adopted by most users. In the absence of the Regulations, users that have not already adopted the available control technologies would have little incentive to adopt these technologies voluntarily. Emissions of HVC would therefore continue to increase, with adverse environmental and human health impacts. In addition, users who have voluntarily installed HVC emission control technologies would be placed at a relative disadvantage to users who have not invested in these technologies.

Voluntary measures are, therefore, not expected to result in achieving the desired reduction in HVC releases and would not create a level playing field.

Market-based instruments

Economic instruments, such as emission trading programs, environmental charges and subsidies were considered. Because of the uniqueness of the metal finishing industry (which is characterized by a large number of small users and a low volume of sales per user) emission trading programs and environmental charges were found to require high implementation and monitoring costs for both the federal government and the private sector. On the other hand, subsidies could also impose high costs for the federal government for similar reasons and would be contrary to the polluter-pay principle. Therefore, these economic instruments for controlling HVC emissions were rejected.

Regulated emissions control

Controlling HVC air emissions through regulations presents the most viable management option. Regulating the air emissions of HVC will ensure that the management goal of minimizing health and environmental risks by reducing exposure to the substance and its release to air is met. A regulatory approach would also create a level playing field, ensuring that users of HVC who have invested in emission control technologies are not disadvantaged by those who have not as yet adopted these technologies. Therefore, regulations for controlling air emissions of HVC were determined to be the most effective means of reducing HVC air emissions.

Benefits and costs

Cost-benefit analysis framework

Cost-benefit analysis identifies, quantifies and monetizes the costs and benefits associated with the Regulations. Due to data limitations and uncertainties, not all of the identified benefits could be monetized. The key Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) framework assumptions for the present analysis include the following:

  • a timeframe of 25 years, which reflects the productive life of HVC control equipment;
  • a growth rate of 1.1% for the industry, based on Statistics Canada data;
  • only those costs and benefits which directly or indirectly affect Canadians are included;
  • for the private sector, the industry’s incremental compliance costs related to HVC emission controls and stack testing have been calculated;
  • a “with and without” approach is used. This allows an assessment of benefits that accrue as a result of the Regulations that are compared to a baseline without the Regulations;
  • a social discount rate of 5%; and
  • sensitivity testing is carried out for discount rates between the 3 and 7% range.

The costs and benefits that have been quantified include:

  • industry compliance costs;
  • costs to the federal government;
  • health benefits of reduced risk of exposure to HVC (measured as a willingness-to-pay);
  • benefits to industry from a reduction in the annual quantity of chromic acid solution purchased; and
  • avoided costs due to a reduction in accidental HVC discharges.

All costs and benefits are expressed in 2005 dollar values.

A report (see footnote 7) prepared for Environment Canada formed the basis for estimating the industry’s incremental compliance costs, benefits and net benefits associated with the Regulations. The report draws on data generated by an Environment Canada survey which was conducted in 2000. For the purpose of the present analysis, estimates are forecast from 2008 to 2032 (see footnote 8) using this report and supplemented by more recent industry information and Statistics Canada data on industry growth rates.

In 2000, it was estimated that 75 users would not have met the release limits or surface tension maintenance levels. Based on these estimates, and applying the above criteria, Environment Canada calculated that, in 2008, of the 220 estimated users, 82 users would either have to install a HVC emission control device or maintain the surface tension of each tank at the specified level. Over the 25-year period, an additional 25 new users would have to incur costs to meet the release requirement as outlined in the Regulations. Therefore, it is estimated that approximately 107 users would have to incur costs to meet the release requirements as specified in the Regulations.

Based on the above forecast, HVC control technologies (such as composite mesh pads, fume suppressants or closed tank covers) were assigned in the estimation model to those users that would be required to meet the HVC emission standard of the Regulations. This assignment of control technologies was then used to estimate the reduction in HVC emissions, which would be in the order of 31 tonnes over the 25-year period.

Using the assumptions and methodology described above, the net benefits of the Regulations have been calculated and are presented in the sections below.

Costs

Costs to the private sector

It is estimated that the present value (PV) of the costs to the estimated 107 users to comply with the standards will be approximately $15.1 million (based on a 25-year analysis of costs discounted at 5% to 2005). This estimate includes the weighted capital, operating and equipment maintenance (O&M) costs of complying with the Regulations. A breakdown of these cost estimates is given in the table below:

Table 2: PV of Industry Capital and O&M Costs Incurred over 25 Years

(in 2005 CDN$)

Users

O&M Costs

Capital Costs

Total Costs

Wetting Agent/Fume Suppressant — Limiting Surface Tension in Tanks

Small1

$501,370

$0

$501,370

Medium1

$2,438,321

$0

$2,438,321

Large1

$3,292,854

$0

$3,292,854

Sub-Total

$6,232,545

$0

$6,232,545

Composite Mesh Pad — Control Device for Point Source Release2

Small

$473,968

$431,009

$904,977

Medium

$3,833,577

$2,057,968

$5,891,545

Sub-Total

$4,307,545

$2,488,977

$6,796,522

New Users

$1,060,014

$1,024,071

$2,084,085

Total Discounted Costs

$11,600,104

$3,513,048

$15,113,152

1: It is assumed that small facilities have one tank; medium sized facilities 2-4 tanks; and large facilities more than 5 tanks.

2: It is assumed that the large facilities will not opt for the composite mesh pad option for controlling HVC emissions due to higher costs.

Although tank covers are one of the options for controlling HVC emissions, due to lack of information, the costs for this option have not been included in the private sector cost calculations. There are currently no users in Canada that use this HVC emissions control option, and it is not possible to forecast how many users would select this option. However, the cost for an eight by five foot tank cover would be approximately $56,000. The associated annual O&M costs would be similar to those for wetting agents and fume suppressants — i.e. approximately $2,000 for small; $6,600 for medium and $34,900 for large users. Users choosing the tank covers options would not incur costs associated with the composite mesh pads or fume suppressant options. Therefore, while the cost for tank covers has not been factored in to the total discounted costs for the private sector, it is safe to assume that if four or five of the 25 new users opt for this control option, the impact on total discounted cost would not be significant.

Stack testing costs

Users either choosing to install control equipment or who are currently operating such control equipment will be required to conduct periodic stack testing. Of the 220 estimated users, about half currently have installed, or may choose to install, control equipment in response to the Regulations. Therefore, approximately 110 users are expected to conduct stack testing within 30 months after the Regulations come into force, and then once every five years thereafter to verify that they are meeting the release limit of 0.03 mg/dscm. Similarly, half of the 25 expected new users (added over the 25-year period used for the cost-benefit analysis) will be required to conduct stack testing.

The cost of a stack test can range from between $2,250 to $7,400, with an average test cost of approximately $4,800. The discounted stack testing costs (see footnote 9) are in the order of approximately $2.4 million, comprising of $2.3 million for existing and $74,000 for new users.

Reporting costs

The reporting requirements mainly entail forwarding the stack test results and records of surface tension to the Minister of the Environment. The costs to users to fulfill the reporting requirements of the Regulations are expected to be negligible.

Costs to the government — enforcement and compliance promotion

With respect to enforcement costs, a one-time amount of $250,000 will be required to train enforcement officers. Enforcement activities are estimated to require an undiscounted annual budget of $99,200, broken down as follows: $57,700 for inspections (which includes transportation costs and operations and maintenance costs), $14,300 for investigations, $9,100 for measures to deal with alleged violations (this include warnings and environmental protection compliance orders) and $18,100 for prosecutions. Among other things, inspections will verify the requirements related to the method used by regulatees to control the releases of HVC compounds, the requirements for the inspection and maintenance plans and for reports. These costs are assumed to be incurred for a period of ten years.

Compliance promotion activities are intended to encourage the regulated community to achieve a high level of overall compliance as early as possible during the regulatory implementation process. Compliance promotion costs will require an estimated undiscounted annual budget of $208,000 during the first year of the coming into force of the Regulations and would include: national and regional mail-outs, information sessions at up to ten locations across Canada, site visits to regulated users by compliance promotion staff, preparation and distribution of compliance guides, fact sheets, regulation flow charts, paid advertisements in trade journals, establishment and operation of a national Web site and a toll free help line as well as presentations at industry association sessions and technical conferences.

Compliance promotion activities in years two and three associated with the above activities will require an estimated undiscounted budget of $54,500 annually. During the remainder of the 25-year period, compliance costs would be incurred every three year and the annual undiscounted budget for compliance promotion is estimated to be $18,000.

Based on the above, the estimated government costs are likely to be in the order of $1.4 million (discounted at 5% over a 25-year period).

Benefits

The HVC release limits from control devices as specified in the Regulations are estimated to result in a cumulative reduction in HVC emissions of 31 tonnes over a 25-year period. Under the Regulations, HVC release limits are standardized across Canada and a consistent degree of protection is provided to the environment and human health from this source of emissions.

The benefits of reducing HVC air emissions include:

  • human health benefits such as a reduction in fatal and non-fatal cancers and skin irritations. Some gastrointestinal impacts in humans may also be avoided;
  • ecosystem health impacts will be avoided in sensitive ecosystem receptors (such as aquatic organisms);
  • users will benefit from a reduction in the quantity of HVC used, which will reduce the annual quantity of chromic acid solution purchased. In turn, this will decrease the cost of production; and
  • an important potential co-benefit of the Regulations is that avoided water supply contamination may result from a reduction in the handling and use of HVC.

Due to data limitations and uncertainties, not all of these benefits could be monetized to estimate their impact on the net benefits of the Regulations.

Health benefits

Studies (see footnote 10) (see footnote 11) carried out in Canada during the 1990’s have quantified and monetized the health benefits of reducing HVC emissions. The estimated range of the benefits that would result from lower emission levels were derived from the weighted average dollar for each cancer case avoided and the probability of the number of estimated cancer cases that would be avoided per tonne reduction in HVC use. The probability of the cancer variable in these studies is based on the U.S. EPA estimates, which attribute a total of 110 lung cancer cases annually to exposure to a total of 160 tonnes of HVC emissions from U.S. electroplating establishments. This translates to approximately 0.69 cancer cases per tonne of HVC reduced. However, given the high degree of uncertainty associated with this variable, the variable was subjected to uncertainty testing by varying it between 0.48 (- 30% of 0.69) and 0.76 (+ 10% of 0.69). The average value of this variable (i.e. 0.64) is multiplied by yearly emission reductions and is used to derive the benefit from reduced cancer mortality. This arbitrary range is used to conservatively weight the variable on the low side, i.e. a higher probability is assumed that the estimate is below the central value. The willingness-to-pay (WTP) (see footnote 12) to avoid contracting unspecified cancer ranges between:

Low

Central

High

WTP

$1,923,324

$4,808,310

$9,496,412

Given the uncertainty associated with the WTP ranges, the variable was subjected to a risk analysis resulting in an estimated average value of $5.4 million. The average value for WTP is then multiplied by the benefit from avoided cancer mortality to arrive at the monetized health benefits. Based on the average WTP of individuals to avoid contracting unspecified cancer and the average probability of reduction in cancer due to reduced HVC use, the discounted health benefits are estimated to be in the order of $58 million over the 25-year period.

Reduction in avoided purchases of chromic acid solution

A reduction in HVC emissions results in a reduction in the quantity of HVC used, thereby reducing the annual quantity of chromic acid solution purchased by the users. This yearly benefit to users is measured at an HVC market price of $4,880/tonne (in 2005 dollars) multiplied by the quantity of HVC emissions reduced. This assumes a one-to-one relationship of the quantity of HVC emissions reduced and the reduction in the quantity of HVC purchased. The discounted value of this benefit is in the order of $82,800 over the 25-year period.

Avoided water supply contamination

HVC has been identified as causing groundwater contamination. While the Regulations do not explicitly target HVC releases to land and water, reductions in releases to air are expected to lead to a diminished presence of HVC in the environment in general. Hence, the risk of contamination of groundwater and drinking water supplies from HVC should also diminish.

This benefit is estimated on the assumption that a one-to-one relationship exists between the quantity of HVC emissions reduction and the quantity of chromic acid used. Therefore, the reduction in the use and handling of chromic acid is expected to result in a reduction in the incidence of groundwater contamination. The economic benefit is then a function of the reduced risk of groundwater contamination and the avoided costs of clean-up or an alternative water supply source.

To address the existing or historical HVC contamination of groundwater, affected municipalities incur expenses for the short-term provision of alternative water supplies, engineering studies and new water supply infrastructure. In the case of significant water supply contamination episodes, these expenditures have been estimated at between $2.5 and $12.4 million. (see footnote 13) It is further assumed that these expenditures result from one significant HVC contamination event every 10 years. Thus, on a yearly basis, the probability of a contamination event is 10%. The Regulations are expected to reduce this risk by 3.86% (see table below), which is the reduction in HVC use attributable to the Regulations:

Table 3: Calculated Water Supply Contamination Risk Reduction Factor

A. Total HVC Use (kg)1

27,485

Controlled Emissions – Current Level (kg)

1,254

B. Emissions Reduced With Federal Controls (kg)

1,060

B/A = Controlled Emissions/Total HVC Use

3.86%

1: A one-to-one relationship between HVC emission and HVC use is assumed. That is, Total HVC Use = Uncontrolled HVC Emissions

Multiplying the reduced risk (3.86% x 10% = 0.386%) due to the Regulations by the yearly value of a contamination event due to HVC contamination results in an annual benefit ranging from $9,500 to $47,700, with a central value of $28,600 per year. The discounted value of the avoided groundwater contamination over the 25-year period is in the order of $403,000.

Net benefit of the Regulations

The estimated total industry and government cost associated with the Regulations is $18.9 million (calculated over a 25-year period). Incremental costs of the Regulations would primarily be borne by industry, representing approximately 93 % ($17.5 million) of the total cost. The incremental cost to government accounts for 7 % ($1.4 million) of the total cost. It is also reasonable to assume that the inclusion of the cost of the use of tank covers for four to five new users would not change the present value of the incremental costs substantially.

The total benefits of the Regulations to Canadians are estimated at $58.5 million (calculated over a 25-year period). This includes reductions in human health impacts (accounting for $58 million of the total benefits). Users and municipalities would also benefit from avoided HVC purchases and alternative water supplies, which together account for an estimated $0.5 million of the total benefits. Although the benefits to the ecosystem could not be quantified due to data limitations and uncertainties, it is realistic to assume that these would be positive.

Overall, the Regulations are estimated to result in a net benefit to Canadian society in the order of $39.7 million in 2005 dollars (calculated over a 25-year period). The Regulations are estimated to reduce HVC emission by about 31 tonnes (calculated over a 25-year period).

The cost-benefit statement table below summarizes these impacts.

Table 4: Cost-Benefit Statement

Costs and Benefits

Base Year: 2008

Year 15: 2022

Final Year: 2032

Total (PV)

Average Annual

A. Quantified Industry Costs ($)

Emission Control Device

$ 765,988

$ 951,816

$ 1,093,828

$ 15,113,151

$ 604,526

Stack Testing (every 5 years)

$ 0

$ 560,781

$ 586,823

$ 2,372,867

$ 94,915

Total Industry Costs

$ 765,988

$ 1,512,597

$ 1,680,651

$ 17,486,018

$ 669,441

B. Quantified Government Costs ($)

Enforcement

$ 349,184

$ 0

$ 0

$ 1,003,968

$ 40,159

Compliance Promotion

$ 208,050

$ 17,985

$ 0

$ 357,840

$ 14,314

Total Government Costs

$ 557,234

$ 17,985

$ 0

$ 1,361,808

$ 54,473

Total Costs

$ 1,323,222

$ 1,530,582

$ 1,680,651

$18,847,826

$ 753,914

C. Quantified Benefits ($)

Canadians

$ 3,322,165

$ 4,352,391

$ 4,889,544

$ 58,042,533

$ 2,321,701

Municipality

$ 28,618

$ 28,618

$ 28,618

$ 403,335

$ 16,133

Industry

$ 5,234

$ 6,169

$ 6,930

$ 82,770

$ 3,311

Total Benefits

$ 3,356,017

$ 4,387,178

$ 4,925,092

$ 58,528,638

$ 2,341,145

Net Benefits

$39,680,812

$ 1,587,231

D. Quantified Environmental Impacts

Reduction in HVC Releases (tonnes)

1.07

1.26

1.42

30.97

1.24

E. Qualitative Impacts

Cost — Industry

Negligible increase in reporting costs

Benefit — Canadians

Avoided ecosystem health impacts for sensitive ecosystem receptors (such as aquatic organisms)

Note: Numbers may not add up to totals due to rounding.

The estimated net benefits were subjected to risk and uncertainty testing around the key input variables to identify the bounds of uncertainty of these estimates. A range of discount rates were also tested to identify the sensitivity of the net benefit estimate to changes in the discount rate. The key finding and conclusion of the uncertainty testing is that there is a very low risk that the Regulations would result in a negative outcome (i.e. quantified net benefits being negative) and therefore, the benefits of the Regulations exceed the costs from an overall societal perspective.

Rationale

There are significant disadvantages associated with alternatives to the Regulations. Voluntary initiatives and the status quo would not achieve the same level of reductions, and could disadvantage those users who have already invested in emission control technologies. The use of market-based instruments would likely result in a significant increase in administrative burden for both the federal government and the private sector. In the absence of the Regulations, it is unlikely that those users of HVC who have not installed emission control equipment will do so voluntarily in the future.

The Regulations have been developed in close collaboration with industry representatives, provincial and territorial governments and ENGOs through the Strategic Options Process (SOP) and information sessions prior to the publication of these Regulations in the Canada Gazette, Part I. Environment Canada responded to the stakeholder concerns by revising some of the requirements. These revisions have maintained the release limits and include additional control options (as suggested by industry) to provide users with more flexibility.

The prescribed control options are readily available in the market and have been adopted by approximately 63% of the users in the industry. Of the options considered, the Regulations are the most cost-effective method to achieve the desired reductions in HVC releases to the Canadian environment, while creating a level playing field and ensuring fairness for those companies that have already invested in emission control equipment.

It is estimated that the Regulations will result in a net benefit of $39.7 million (calculated over a 25-year period). In addition, the benefits of the Regulations are expected to be higher if the non-quantified benefits to ecosystem values are taken into consideration. Overall, of the options considered, these Regulations are expected to result in the highest overall benefits to the environment and human health.

International coordination

Environment Canada did not pursue any international coordination and cooperation activities as these Regulations do not have any trade implications. The chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing and reverse etching sector caters only to the domestic market and the Regulations are aimed at reducing HVC emissions from this sector in Canada. They do not place any controls on the manufacture, import, sale, and offer for sale or use of hexavalent forms of chromium. In addition, as there are no transboundary air pollution issues associated with HVC emissions, the Regulations do not have any implications for Canada’s international obligations. The Regulations align Canadian release limits with similar measures in the U.S.

Consultation

Environment Canada consulted with industry, provinces, territories, municipalities, federal departments and environmental groups on the proposed Regulations. In view of the negative environmental and health impacts of HVC emissions (as identified in the assessment report and as evidenced by the stringent requirements on the chromium electroplating industry in the U.S.), there was general acknowledgement and support for the proposed Regulations, which were comparable to U.S. EPA requirements for this industry sector.

The comments and concerns raised during various stakeholder meetings and Environment Canada’s response to these are detailed below.

Strategic options process

The report entitled “Canadian Environmental Protection Act, Priority Substance List Assessment Report, Chromium and its Compounds (1994),” concluded that HVC is toxic to the environment and to human health. In September 1995, a multi-stakeholder Issue Table (IT) was established under the Strategic Options Process (SOP) as part of the consultation process for controlling the emissions of cadmium, nickel and chromium from the metal finishing industry (MFI). The final meeting of the Strategic Options Process Issue Table (SOP IT) was held in November 1996, after which a Strategic Options Report (see footnote 14) (SOR) was published in April 1999. It was recommended that a performance standard option for controlling HVC emissions be adopted and that federal regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act or guidelines through the Canadian Council of Ministers for the Environment (CCME) should be developed to ensure that all metal finishing companies using HVC for chromium electroplating or anodizing comply with specific emission limits.

During the course of the IT meetings, several release limits were discussed and considered for inclusion in a proposed national standard. The release limits that were agreed upon by the IT and which appear in the final SOP report are summarized below:

  • all new operations at the time of start-up should be required to meet an emission limit of 0.2 mg/m3 for HVC; and
  • all existing operations should be required to install and test control equipment for HVC emissions and meet one of the following limits for HVC. If control equipment is installed and tested

○ before the date of promulgation 2.0 mg/m3

○ less than two years after the date of promulgation 1.0 mg/m3

○ less than three years after the date of promulgation 0.5 mg/m3

○ three or more years after promulgation 0.2 mg/m3

Ministerial announcement

After publication of the SOR, in April 1999 the Minister of the Environment proposed a regulation for HVC emissions from chromium electroplating and chromium anodizing operations. At the time of this announcement, the proposed release limits were the limits agreed to during the SOP which are presented above. Following the Minister’s announcement, enquiries were made from the United States as to the stringency of the proposed Environment Canada release limits for chromium compared to the U.S. EPA Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) Standard. The proposed Environment Canada release limits (as stated in the final SOP report) were far less stringent than that of U.S. EPA MACT Standard. Additionally, potential trade implications could have been created under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) regarding the discrepancy between the proposed Environment Canada and existing U.S. EPA release limits.

In view of the clear discrepancy between the U.S. EPA limits and Environment Canada’s proposed release limits for HVC, further internal review and discussion of the proposed release limit took place at Environment Canada. The purpose of these discussions was to establish new release limits for “large” or “new” and “small” or “existing” chromium electroplaters/anodizers. That is, large or new establishments would meet a more stringent release limit of 0.1 mg/dscm and small or existing establishments would meet 0.2 mg/dscm, which was the minimum release limits agreed upon at the SOP IT meetings.

However, Environment Canada decided against different release limits, for example based upon size or age of a facility or operation.

Further internal review of the proposed Environment Canada release limit (0.2 mg/dscm) concluded that the proposed limit needed to be more comparable with the U.S. EPA release limits. In January 2001, Environment Canada proposed that there should be an additional release limit of 0.03 mg/dscm (U.S. EPA release limit for small facilities) and that this release limit would take effect after a specified time. Because the chromium electroplating and chromium anodizing sector in Canada is predominantly composed of small-to medium-sized users (these users would also be designated as small by the U.S. EPA standard), the proposed additional release limit of 0.03 mg/dscm would be comparable to requirements in the U.S.

Information sessions and other presentations to industry

Following the SOP, publication of the SOR, the ministerial announcement of the proposed Regulations and Environment Canada’s decision on the requirements of the proposed Regulations, a series of stakeholder information sessions were organized by Environment Canada. The sessions were held in the following locations:

  • Toronto, March 2001;
  • Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, April 2001;
  • Montreal, May 2001;
  • Vancouver, July 2001; and
  • Halifax, October 2001.

The information sessions were attended by industry representatives, industry associations and trade organizations, including the Canadian Association of Metal Finishers (CAMF), the American Electroplaters and Surface Finishers (AESF), and the Metal Finishing Suppliers Association (MFSA); and by federal, provincial and municipal government representatives.

The purpose of the information sessions was to inform participants of the content and requirements of the proposed Regulations. Speakers with expertise in the areas of control technologies, emission testing, the chemistry and use of fume suppressants and measurement of surface tension were invited to attend and make presentations at the information sessions to provide an overview of the technology, the range of point source control technology options and the science and logistics of emission testing. The presentations were followed by question and answer sessions. Participants were invited to provide comments and to contact Environment Canada for additional information.

Additionally, from 2003–2004, in an effort to reach a wider audience, Environment Canada also made presentations on the requirements that would eventually be set out in the proposed Regulations at other industry-related conferences, workshops and seminars.

The proposed Regulations were revised on the basis of the recommendations emerging from the SOP, which includes comparisons with international jurisdictions, especially the U.S. EPA. In addition, the comments received during and after the information sessions conducted with Canadian industry, Government and ENGOs also contributed to further improving the requirements of the proposed Regulations.

A summary of the proposed Regulations was also sent to the CEPA National Advisory Committee (NAC) in April 2003 as part of the regulatory process. Separate presentations were also made to the Ontario Ministry of Environment (September 2002) and the Ministère de l’Environnement du Québec (July 2002). No written comments were received from the CEPA NAC, the Ontario Ministry of Environment or the ministère de l’Environnement du Québec.

The comments and written feedback from stakeholders and EC’s response are as follows:

Testing requirements

The frequency of measurement of surface tension proposed in the draft Regulations presented at the information sessions was once per eight hours. Industry commented that the eight hour measurement frequency was impractical for a chromium electroplater who is plating on a 24-hour basis.

Environment Canada agreed with the comment and the proposed frequency for measuring surface tension was changed to once per 24 hours.

Point source release limits

The practicality of implementing two release limits starting with 0.2 mg/dscm and decreasing after a specified time to 0.03 mg/dscm was questioned. The industry recommendation was to have only one release limit of 0.03 mg/dscm with a longer implementation timeframe of three years from the time the proposed Regulations come into force.

Environment Canada explained that the phased implementation of the two release limits over the time period as stated in the proposal to develop the Regulations would allow industry the opportunity to test the ability of the control device to meet the higher release limit of 0.2 mg/dscm. In the event that the release test showed that this limit was satisfied but that the lower limit (0.03 mg/dscm) was not satisfied, users would have sufficient time to plan a retrofit or install a new device to meet the lower limit. In addition, the release limit of 0.2 mg/dscm was retained by Environment Canada as this release limit was also agreed to by the industry during the SOP IT meetings.

An ENGO noted that the lower emission limit of 0.03 mg/dscm in the draft Regulations is lower than the lowest emission limit of 0.2 mg/dscm contained in the SOR. The representative suggested that monitoring for ambient levels of HVC should be reported after the coming into force of the proposed Regulations, in order to determine if ambient levels of HVC are decreasing. In response, Environment Canada informed the ENGO that ambient levels of HVC, in addition to other substances, are monitored by Environment Canada through its national network of monitoring stations.

No written comments were received from the ENGO subsequent to the presentation made to this group in December 2002.

Consultations on the proposed Regulations following publication in the Canada Gazette, Part I

On November 6, 2004, the proposed Regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for a 60-day comment period. During the 60-day comment period and the 37 following days for which additional comments were accepted, Environment Canada received a total of 11 submissions from individual companies and 5 submissions from industry associations. All comments received have been considered in finalizing the Regulations.

In addition, Environment Canada continued to participate in industry conferences and workshops following the publication of the proposed Regulations in the Canada Gazette, Part I, during 2005 and 2006. These workshops and conferences were organized by industry associations and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for the purpose of informing stakeholders about the changes made to the requirements of the Regulations. In 2007 and 2008, informal communications and attendance at industry events provided additional opportunities to inform the industry and provincial and territorial representative contacts. The industry did not raise any concerns at these workshops and conferences regarding the revised regulatory text. The industry supports the revisions that were made to add flexibility to the emission control options and testing requirements of the Regulations.

Some of the more specific comments as they relate to the provisions of the Regulations are discussed in detail below.

Application

Four suggestions were received to the effect that small companies should be exempt from the requirements of these Regulations. It was recommended that the current use exemption of 10 kg or less of chromium trioxide be revised to 200 kg per year. In addition, it was also suggested that companies could be exempted based on criteria of annual revenue, hours of operation or maximum surface area of plating tanks.

The 10 kg limit for chromium trioxide was intended to exempt bench scale research or laboratory testing as conducted by universities, research institutes, chemical suppliers or other small scale operations from the requirements of the Regulations. Environment Canada re-evaluated the issue and is of the opinion that 50 kg is a more realistic limit to meet the original intention of exempting these operations, and has modified the Regulations accordingly.

General requirement

Two stakeholders suggested that other forms of control technology, in particular, closed tank covers, should be permitted under these Regulations.

Environment Canada, after reviewing the available control technologies, has added closed tank covers to the list of control options under these Regulations. The RIAS and the regulatory text have been revised to reflect the inclusion of tank covers as an additional HVC emission control option.

Point source release limit

Numerous stakeholders suggested that the two step phase-in period for the two release limits (i.e. 0.2 mg/dscm to be met within six months followed by 0.03 mg/dscm to be met within 30 months of promulgation) be eliminated in favour of one final limit. The six month time period to design, obtain the necessary Certificate of Approval (in some jurisdictions), purchase, install and test the control equipment was deemed to be too short. It was also suggested that the final release limit of 0.2 mg/dscm (rather than 0.03 mg/dscm) would allow industry to comply using less expensive control technology, such as packed bed scrubbers. The environmental benefits of moving to the lower 0.03 mg/dscm limit were considered by industry to be minimal and not justified given the cost to industry of implementing the more expensive control technology. Additional comments called for the final limit (0.03 mg/dscm or a less stringent final limit) to be scheduled for five years (or longer) after these Regulations come into force.

After reviewing the information that was presented, the Regulations do not include the initial release limit of 0.2 mg/dscm. The release limit of 0.03 mg/dscm which must be met within 30 months of the coming into force of these Regulations still remains. Environment Canada is of the opinion that this period provides sufficient time for industry to obtain the necessary approvals and, if necessary, to purchase, install and test the control equipment. Furthermore, the recommended release limit of 0.03 mg/dscm in these Regulations corresponds to the U.S. EPA MACT release limit for small users using less that 60 million amp hours each year. This category is considered by Environment Canada to be an adequate representation of the industry in Canada.

Inspection and maintenance of equipment

Several stakeholders suggested that this section is primarily directed toward dry scrubber systems and did not acknowledge that wet scrubber systems can also be used to meet the point source release limit under these Regulations. In addition, it was suggested that the requirements for maintenance and inspection of equipment should be simplified, timelines to undertake the work should be standardized, prescriptive details related to specific control technology should be eliminated and more reliance should be put on manufacturers’ recommendations for the inspection and maintenance of their equipment.

In response to these suggestions, Environment Canada has standardized and simplified the requirements related to the inspection and maintenance schedules. Also, in the absence of specific requirements in the Regulations, the manufacturers’ inspection and maintenance recommendations for both wet and dry scrubber systems have been specified as the minimum requirement.

Surface tension

One comment received suggested that the cost estimates for wetting agents and fume suppressants were overestimated.

Environment Canada recalculated the cost estimates for wetting agents and fume suppressants using the new data that were submitted by the industry. Analysis of the data supported the cost analysis. Therefore, no changes were made to Table 1 of the RIAS and the original cost analysis results are considered valid.

Several comments were received regarding the potential impact of the proposed CEPA 1999 Virtual Elimination designation of perfluorooctane sulphonate (PFOS). PFOS is a constituent in the current formulation of fume suppressants which are used to reduce surface tension. Control of surface tension is one of the options listed in the Regulations.

The proposed Regulations Adding Perfluorooctane Sulfonate and Its Salts to the Virtual Elimination List were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on September 6, 2008. A number of other actions have already been taken by the Government of Canada to manage the risks associated with the use and release of PFOS and move towards virtual elimination. These include publication of the Perfluorooctane Sulfonate and its Salts and Certain Other Compounds Regulations (PFOS Regulations) in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on June 11, 2008. Additional actions are not expected following the listing of PFOS on the Virtual Elimination List, as the objective of the PFOS Regulations is to achieve the lowest level of PFOS releases to the environment that is technically and economically feasible. Taking technical feasibility into consideration, Subsection 5(3) of the PFOS Regulations permits the use of PFOS or a product containing PFOS as a fume suppressant in chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing and reverse etching for a period of five years after the coming into force of the PFOS Regulations. The sale, offer for sale or import of PFOS or product containing PFOS for these uses is also permitted for five years after the coming into force of the PFOS Regulations.

Although the industry has not been able to develop suitable alternatives that meet the technical specifications for chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing and reverse etching, Environment Canada is of the view that the five year period allows sufficient time for PFOS-free formulations to be developed. For some uses, PFOS-free fume suppressants are available on the market at comparable prices.

The requirement for daily measurements of surface tension was questioned, given the expected stability of surface tension in tanks that remain idle for longer than 24 hours.

In response to the comment, Environment Canada explained that the Regulations require users to measure and record surface tension in each tank for every day the tank is operating. When a tank is not used for more than 24 hours, the surface tension must be measured and recorded prior to the recommencing of operations. This measurement can also be used as the surface tension reading for that day. In addition, the Regulations also include a variable surface tension limit depending on the instrument that is used.

Release testing

Comments also called for the requirement for stack testing to be eliminated or for the proposed frequency for stack testing to be decreased from once every 5 years to once every 10 years.

Environment Canada has decided not to change the stack testing frequency based on the information obtained from suppliers of control devices which indicates that control media (i.e. the media inside a control device) are normally expected to last 10 years before replacement. Under normal operating conditions, a release test is conducted when the control device (i.e. containing new media) is originally installed and at five years or the normal half life of the media. Given the minimal daily maintenance and record keeping requirements under these Regulations, Environment Canada is of the view that it is not unreasonable to require that a release test be performed every five years to determine the efficacy of the control device.

Some comments received related to the inclusion of ISO/IEC 17025 for laboratory testing facilities in the Regulations. This approach was viewed as favouring one management system over other equally valid systems. Some Canadian laboratories without the required ISO/IEC 17025 certification would be prevented from undertaking laboratory work related to these Regulations.

The ISO/IEC 17025 is an internationally accepted laboratory accreditation standard which recognizes the competence of laboratories to perform specific tests, measurements or calibrations. In addition, Environment Canada is of the view that there are a sufficient number of Canadian laboratories that are certified by Canadian accrediting bodies to ISO/IEC 17025 as well as accredited for chromium analysis to ensure that the laboratory requirements under these Regulations are met.

A number of comments were received regarding the period prior to the Regulations coming into force where release tests complying with the release limit of 0.03 mg/dscm would be accepted. It was felt that the 12-month period should be extended to accommodate those users who may be required to conduct a release test more than 12 months in advance of the Regulations being finalized, which may result in significant additional costs associated with conducting an additional release test to comply with the new Regulations. One comment suggested that a period of up to five years should be accepted for release test before the Regulations come into force.

After taking into consideration the concerns raised by the industry, Environment Canada has agreed to extend the period during which a release test would be considered valid to 24 months instead of the previously proposed 12 months prior to the Regulations coming into force. This would allow more time to any user that may have recently performed release testing (either voluntarily or as a requirement by other jurisdictions in Canada in response to site-specific requirements or operating conditions).

Comments were also received regarding the acceptability of less expensive release test methods such as the U.S. EPA Method 306-A. It was also suggested, in one of the comments, that stack testing should not be required for a point source if it is already below the point source release limit in the Regulations or below the Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL).

Environment Canada confirmed its intention that release tests that are conducted in accordance with the requirements specified in the Regulations would be acceptable. The use of Method 306-A, while not specifically referenced in the Regulations, is considered to be an acceptable test method. There is also no requirement to upgrade a control device, provided the emission limit is being met with an existing control device and has been initially verified with a release test. However, Environment Canada pointed out that provisions established under provincial labour law requirements address air quality issues in the workplace for employees at a facility and cannot, in all cases, address the point source emission releases from a facility.

Reporting and record keeping

Several comments were received regarding the detailed nature of the reporting and record keeping requirements, suggesting that these would add to the already heavy regulatory reporting and record keeping requirements for this sector.

The level of regulatory reporting and record keeping provisions under these Regulations are standard requirements for all CEPA 1999 Regulations. These are considered by Environment Canada to be the minimum requirement to ensure regulatory compliance and enforcement and should not represent a significant administrative burden for industry. Therefore, no revisions have been made.

Harmonization

A number of comments related to the requirement to harmonize federal and provincial regulatory requirements pertaining to the emission of air contaminants, especially HVC compounds.

Environment Canada pointed out that one of the recommendations from the SOP for the Metal Finishing Industry was to establish national guidelines or standards related to HVC compound emissions from this sector. These Regulations in effect establish the national emission standard for this substance. However, as with all national regulatory initiatives, individual jurisdictions have the authority to enact more stringent requirements in response to local environmental or health priorities.

Financial assistance

Several stakeholders suggested that tax credits should be available to assist industry to purchase and install control equipment.

Although there are no provisions for tax credits in the Regulations, Environment Canada pointed out that financial assistance is available to small businesses. Through the Canada Small Business Financing Program (CSBFP), (see footnote 15) Industry Canada may assist small businesses, including the metal finishing sector, in financing fixed assets and other materials.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

Implementation

An intensive approach will be adopted by Environment Canada to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the Regulations following their publication in the Canada Gazette, Part II. In the first six months of the coming into force of the Regulations, Environment Canada will organize information sessions and site visits to ensure that the regulated community is aware of the requirements of the Regulations. Working relationships have been established with industry associations, equipment and product suppliers and consulting engineers involved in the installation of control equipment or release testing. Environment Canada will work with these organizations to ensure that the appropriate information is available to all regulatees. As regulatees become familiar with the requirements of the Regulations, these activities are expected to decline to a maintenance level.

Enforcement

Since the proposed Regulations are made under CEPA 1999, enforcement officers will, when verifying compliance with the Regulations, apply the Compliance and Enforcement Policy for CEPA 1999. The Policy sets out the range of possible responses to alleged violations: warnings, directions, environmental protection compliance orders (EPCO), ticketing, ministerial orders, injunctions, prosecution, and environmental protection alternative measures (which are an alternative to a court trial after the laying of charges for a CEPA 1999 violation). In addition, the Policy explains when Environment Canada will resort to civil suits by the Crown for cost recovery.

When, following an inspection or an investigation, an enforcement officer discovers an alleged violation, the officer will choose the appropriate enforcement action based on the following factors:

  • Nature of the alleged violation: This includes consideration of the damage, the intent of the alleged violator, whether it is a repeat violation, and whether an attempt has been made to conceal information or otherwise subvert the objectives and requirements of the Act.
  • Effectiveness in achieving the desired result with the alleged violator: The desired result is compliance within the shortest possible time and with no further repetition of the violation. Factors to be considered include the violator’s history of compliance with the Act, willingness to cooperate with enforcement officers, and evidence of corrective action already taken.
  • Consistency: Enforcement officers will consider how similar situations have been handled in determining the measures to be taken to enforce the Act.

Environment Canada will monitor HVC emissions and compliance with the Regulations, and review the control measures as necessary to determine whether further actions would be required to achieve additional HVC reductions.

Service standards

There are no service standards associated with the Regulations.

Performance measurement and evaluation

The Regulations establish legally binding and nationally consistent HVC release limits from chromium electroplating, anodizing and reverse etching facilities. The Regulations ensure reduction in releases of HVC into Canada’s environment.

Through its enforcement activities, Environment Canada would be in a position to evaluate to what extent the release limits of HVC from chromium electroplating, anodizing and reverse etching are meeting the release limit requirements. Reporting of the incidence of non-compliance by enforcement officers after the coming into force of the Regulations is expected to provide indicators of this achievement. Environment Canada will use these indicators to pursue further action as appropriate.

The Regulations will be administered by Environment Canada’s Chemical Sectors Directorate. The Regulations will be evaluated as part of the program evaluation for the risk management of chemicals under the CMP and other harmful substances. This initial review is scheduled to be completed in 2010–2011. Follow-up evaluations will be scheduled as per the department’s evaluation planning cycle. An evaluation plan for the CMP is being developed this fiscal year 2008–2009.

Contacts

Jean-Francois Ferry
Acting Manager
Inorganic Chemical Production Division
Environmental Stewardship Branch
Environment Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0H3
Telephone: 819-997-5111
Fax: 819-994-5030
Email: Jean-Francois.Ferry@ec.gc.ca

Markes Cormier
Senior Economist
Regulatory Analysis and Instrument Choice Division
Environment Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0H3
Telephone: 819-953-5236
Fax: 819-997-2769
Email: Markes.Cormier@ec.gc.ca

Footnote a
S.C. 2004, c. 15, s. 31

Footnote b
S.C. 1999, c. 33

Footnote c
S.C. 1999, c. 33

Footnote 1
A stack is a chimney or vent that is an outlet to the environment from the emission collection system connected to one or more tanks.

Footnote 2
Dyne is a unit of force equal to the force that imparts an acceleration of 1 cm/sec/sec to a mass of 1 gram.

Footnote 3
Health Canada (January 1979), Chromium Fact Sheet, (Updated September 1986)

Footnote 4
Environment Canada (1994), Priority Substance List Assessment Report for Chromium and its Compounds

Footnote 5
Senes Consultants Ltd. (2002), Technical Assessment of Hexavalent Chromium Emissions Associated with the Proposed Regulations for the Electroplating and Anodizing Industry

Footnote 6
This estimate of 1.25 tonne of emissions per year represents a very conservative estimate and should not be used as a proxy for total emissions. The estimate is based on the assumption that all existing control devices are working at optimum efficiency and may not necessarily reflect the actual level of HVC emissions.

Footnote 7
Gardner Pinfold Consulting Economists (2003), The Economic Implications of the Proposed Regulations to Control Hexavalent Chromium in the Electroplating and Anodizing Sector

Footnote 8
2008 is the base year from which estimates related to number of establishments and emission reductions have been calculated for the 25-year period.

Footnote 9
Stack testing costs are estimated as a function of the 110 users within the 30 month period after the Regulations come into force as well as every five years after the coming into force of the Regulations plus 50% of the 25 new users (calculated over the 25-year period).

Footnote 10
Apogee (1994), Socio-Economic Study to Assess the Canadian Metal Finishing Industry

Footnote 11
Cheminfo Services (1996), Assessment of Management Options and Economic Impacts of Reducing Air Emissions of Hexavalent Chromium from Electroplating Operations in Canada

Footnote 12
The WTP is obtained from the Air Quality Valuation Model Version 3.0: Report: Methodology (Stratus Consulting, 1996) and has been updated from 1996 values to 2005 using the Consumer Price Index (CPI)

Footnote 13
Source: Raven Beck Environmental Ltd. (March 1995), Survey of Tetrachloroethylene and Trichloroethylene Occurrences in Canadian Groundwater

Footnote 14
Environment Canada and Health Canada (1999), Strategic Options for the Management of Toxic Substances from the Metal Finishing Industry.

Footnote 15
For further information, contact Industry Canada at 613-954-5540; by e-mail: csbfa-lfpec@ic.gc.ca or visit the Web site at: www.ic.gc.ca/epic/site/csbfp-pfpec.nsf/en/h_la00000e.html.