Stratospheric ozone depletion is an important environmental and health problem. The Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) has been regulating the use, release and disposal of ODS since the early 1990s.
The MOE is proposing the consolidation of Ontario's five ODS regulations into one single regulation. The regulatory proposal also includes revoking the following existing regulations made under Ontario's Environmental Protection Act, 1990:
O. Reg. 356/90: Ozone Depleting Substances - General;
O. Reg. 189/94: Refrigerants;
O. Reg. 413/94: Halon Fire Extinguishing Equipment;
O. Reg. 717/94: Solvents;
O. Reg. 718/94: Sterilants.
This consolidation aims to streamline and simplify existing requirements, as well as to remove obsolete requirements. This will allow everyone to find all applicable ODS requirements in a single location.
In addition to the consolidation, the ministry is also proposing new requirements that will harmonize the provincial regulation with the National Action Plan for the Environmental Control of Ozone-Depleting Substances and their Halocarbon Alternatives (NAP), which represents actions that Canada wishes to implement in response to the United Nations Environment Program's Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (1989). The overall objective of these new requirements is to implement refill restrictions for halon fire extinguishing equipment to minimize the release of halons into the atmosphere. The proposed amendments include:
Prohibit refilling portable fire extinguishers with halon, unless the extinguisher is used or intended to be used in an aircraft or for military purposes;
Provide for one refill of fixed fire extinguishing equipment with halon between 2011 and 2015 on the condition that the system is replaced or modified by an alternative within a year of refill.
This regulatory proposal includes amendments to recognize the qualifications of certified refrigeration technicians from other provinces under certain conditions when they come to Ontario such that the regulation is consistent with the Ontario Labour Mobility Act, 2009.
Please refer to the Draft Regulation and the Regulation Comparison Table through the links provided in this notice to review the consolidation and proposed amendments.
The ministry is proposing to consolidate Ontario’s five existing ODS regulations into one single regulation as part of its ongoing efforts to update and modernize regulations. The proposal also provides an opportunity to make the ODS regulations consistent with requirements of the Ontario Labour Mobility Act, 2009 and to harmonize with the NAP.
Proposed amendments will help Ontario demonstrate its commitment to protecting the ozone layer and the environment by limiting the refill of halon fire protection systems which may encourage their gradual replacement.
Ontario’s ODS regulations date back to the early 1990s. The regulations have had limited updates over the last 20 years as follows:
- The last amendment made to Ontario’s Solvents Regulation was in 2001 to ban the use of HCFC-225 by January 1, 2009.
- In May 2007, Ontario’s Refrigerants Regulation was amended to introduce the phase-out of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in large refrigeration equipment and chillers starting in 2009 and the designation of collected CFC refrigerants as hazardous waste beginning July 1, 2012. In addition, the requirement to renew Ozone Depletion Prevention certificates was changed from a three-year requirement to a five-year renewal provision.
This proposal was posted for a 45 day public review and comment period starting September 10, 2010. Comments were to be received by October 25, 2010.
All comments received during the comment period are being considered as part of the decision-making process by the Ministry.
Please Note: All comments and submissions received have become part of the public record.
The MOE posted a proposal on the Environmental Registry to amend the Halon Fire Extinguishing Equipment Regulation in 2003. No changes were finalized as a result of proposal RA03E0008 (insert hyperlink to proposal); however, any comments which were received will now be considered with this current consolidation and amendment proposal.
The ministry’s proposal to consolidate Ontario’s ODS regulations will simplify interactions with government and create a simple straightforward and effective regulation.
The proposal will also improve labour mobility for certified workers in professions and trades by amending the regulation to recognize Ozone Depletion Prevention certification training from other provinces under certain conditions.
The new proposed requirement for halon fire suppression equipment owners will limit the refill of equipment that operates with halons (except for critical uses). Proposed measures also encourage the safe collection and storage of halons for critical uses now that manufacturing has ceased worldwide.
The anticipated environmental and social consequences of the proposals are expected to be overall positive. By reducing ozone depleting gases in the atmosphere, the proposal is helping to reduce the risks to human health and the environment from destruction of the ozone layer. By consolidating the regulations, the proposal is simplifying interactions with government. However, there may be economic consequences in the medium-term associated with potential costs of converting or replacing fire suppression equipment currently running on halon by owners of such equipment as they adjust to the phase-in of new provincial requirements.