Latest News – July 2017 – Environment and Climate Change Canada – Asphalt Code of Practice
The following notice from Environment and Climate Change Canada involves companies that may import, distribute, sell, or use asphalt pavement, or arrange and issue paving contracts. Please take note of the new Code of Practice for the Reduction of Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Emissions from Cutback and Emulsified Asphalt (the Code).
The main objective of the Code is to protect the environment and the health of Canadians by recommending the use, when suitable, of low VOC emitting asphalt, such as emulsified asphalts. An end-user survey prepared for Environment and Climate Change Canada in 2010, showed that 85% of liquefied asphalt already in use in Canada was emulsified, however the remaining 15%, cutback asphalt, was responsible for over 59% of VOC emissions. VOCs contribute to poor air quality through the formation of smog, which increases the risk of heart disease and respiratory illness.
From May 1st through September 30th (ozone season) of each year, the Code recommends that cutback asphalt that is imported, sold or used in paving material for paving, construction or maintenance, have a VOC content less than or equal to 0.5% by volume of what evaporates at or below 260oC. During this period, the recommended VOC content limit for emulsified asphalt is 3.0% by volume of what evaporates at or below 260oC.
The Code also contains recommendations for labelling, contracting, training, and record keeping. You are encouraged to review your current business practices, and to identify opportunities to integrate the recommended best practices into your operations and future procurement or paving contracts. For example, you may choose to reference the Code in your proposals or contracts.
To view or download a copy of the Code of Practice, please visit:
For more information regarding Codes of Practice, please visit:
Storage Tank Regulations
Over the last number of years, Environment Canada has consulted with industry groups, First Nations, federal government departments, and product suppliers in order to develop new regulations regarding petroleum storage tanks.
Environment Canada estimates that there are approximately 10 000 storage tank systems within federal jurisdiction, and that approximately 3000 of them are over 20 years old and do not have any leak detection systems, secondary containment systems, nor any corrosion protection. There is an environmental threat due to possible corrosion of these storage tanks. Therefore, in order to help protect the health and safety of the general public and the environment, on June 12, 2008, Environment Canada adopted the Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations to govern storage tank systems that are under federal jurisdiction. These new regulations apply to storage tank systems that are owned or operated by federal departments, agencies, boards or properties that are owned by the Crown including railways, port authorities, and airports. They also include all Aboriginal lands, including those operated by band councils, or owned by private companies or individuals on the Aboriginal lands.
The new regulations will affect both aboveground and underground petroleum storage tanks, their piping and associated equipment which has a capacity of more than 230 litres on federal and Aboriginal lands. The new regulation does NOT apply to the following:
- indoor storage tanks
- pressurized tanks, like those storing propane
- mobile tanks such as those on the back of a pickup or other trucks
- aboveground tanks with a total capacity of 2500 litres, or less, and are connected to a heating appliance or an emergency generator
- tanks governed by the National Energy Board
Tank owners have 2-4 years to meet requirements of the regulations, however some will take effect immediately.
An essential new requirement that existing storage tank owners, as outlined above, are required to register their tank systems with Environment Canada by June 12, 2009. New installations of storage tank systems must be registered prior to the first product fill. Also, as of June 12, 2010, a person delivering petroleum products will not be able to fill tanks which do not have an Environment Canada Identification number visible on or near the system. A delivery person is also required to inform the owner/department of any spill, or evidence of leaks or spills.
Any existing system that has a single-walled underground tank must have a third-party precision leak test done by June 12, 2010. Upon completion of the original precision leak test, the owner/operator shall set up ongoing leak detection or monitoring program, see the regulation for three acceptable monitoring options. Single-walled underground tanks that do not meet requirements in the new regulations must be removed no later than June 12, 2012 (see the regulation for details on the two exemptions).
Any person doing work on petroleum storage tanks, such as installation and removal of tanks, must be licensed through the authority having jurisdiction within the province where the work is being done, licenses through the Canadian Petroleum Contractor’s Association are also recognized. Now that the federal government is referring to the CPCA regarding accredited licenses, this should help provincial bodies to adopt/accept CPCA certification for its members.
These new regulations for federal properties and Aboriginal lands are in place to ensure that the environment, and the general public, is as safe as possible from contamination due to corrosion of petroleum storage tanks. For more information on these new regulations, please refer to Environment Canada’s website at www.ec.gc.ca/st-rs.
Useful Websites and Contacts
Link to Canada.ca – Tank Tips
Link to National Fire Code of Canada