Ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) (ICS: 13.020, 71.080, 71.100)
Proposed Regulations Amending the Ozone-depleting Substances and Halocarbon Alternatives Regulations (19 pages, available in English and French).
The Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) are ozone-depleting substances and, along with hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), are potent greenhouse gases having a global warming potential that can be hundreds to thousands of times greater than carbon dioxide. HFCs and HCFCs are on the List of Toxic Substances under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA) and are controlled by the Regulations.
The proposed Amendments aim to ensure the adequate supply of HCFC-123 for use as a fire-extinguishing agent in situations where an alternative may not be available for certain critical aircraft rescue and firefighting applications. In light of the 2018 adjustment to the Montreal Protocol that allows for the consumption of HCFCs for specific applications within the existing phase-out framework, the proposed Amendments would extend the consumption allowance of HCFC-123 to service fire-extinguishing equipment until 31 December 2029. Currently, the Regulations do not allow the use of HCFC-123 for this purpose beyond 31 December 2019.
The Regulations are also the instrument through which Canada implements its obligations under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (the Montreal Protocol), including the Kigali Amendment to phase down HFCs. The last amendments to the Regulations entered into force on 16 April 2018 to establish the phase-down of HFCs that started on 1 January 2019.
After the coming into force of these amendments, new information was received from companies in April and May 2018. A thorough review of the data revealed that the total Canadian HFC consumption baseline used to calculate the maximum amount of HFCs that can be imported by allowance holders was not accurate. It was therefore amended with an Interim Order in October 2018. However, the Interim Order ceases to have effect on the day it is repealed, the day regulations having the same effect as the interim order are made, or two years after the interim order is made, whichever event happens first. Consequently, the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Health can recommend to the Governor in Council that regulations having the same effect as the Interim Order be made before the two years elapse. It is therefore proposed to amend the Regulations to reflect the Canadian HFC consumption baseline of 18 008 795 tonnes CO2 equivalent, as was made with the Interim Order. The second proposed change would extend, until 31 December 2029, provisions in the Regulations that allows the consumption of HCFC-123 to service existing fire extinguishing systems. The Regulations currently only allow the consumption of HCFC for such uses until December 31, 2019. This proposed amendment to the Regulations would align with a recent adjustment to the Montreal Protocol adopted at the 30th Meeting of the Parties to ensure these life safety systems can continue to be serviced until 2029 if needed. Canada was one of the proponents of this Montreal Protocol's adjustment.