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ARCHIVED - Fact Sheets

The Canadian Environmental Protection Act 1999 (CEPA 1999) and Fuels and Engine Emissions

How does CEPA 1999 control fuels and vehicles?

Divisions 4 and 5 of Part 7 of CEPA 1999 include provisions to control the quality of fuels as well as emission characteristics of vehicles, engines and equipment.

Why should we be concerned about controlling fuel quality and vehicle and engine emissions?

Vehicle emissions are a large source of a number of key air pollutants including NOx, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. Fuels that are burned in cars and trucks, and in stationary equipment, also contain sulphur. When burned, sulphur produces SO2 and sulphate particulate matter. These substances are directly related to adverse health effects.

Pollutant emissions can be effectively controlled through improvements to fuel quality and through stringent vehicle emission standards. In addition, the more sophisticated technologies used in cars and trucks require that engines and fuels be treated as a system where overall environmental performance depends on vehicle-fuel compatibility. With authorities for both the fuel and vehicles in CEPA 1999, there are opportunities to ensure that a system approach is taken.

What existing standards are in place for vehicles and fuels?

For gasoline there are currently limits under CEPA on lead, benzene and sulphur. For diesel there is a maximum limit on sulphur for diesel for on-road use.

Emissions standards for light and heavy-duty vehicles from the Motor Vehicle Safety Act will continue in effect under CEPA 1999.

What are the future plans for fuels, vehicles and engine regulations?

Consultations are under way to examine the vehicles and fuels agenda over the next five to ten years. There are a number of issues to address, including potential quality improvements to gasoline, diesel and fuel oils as well as incorporation of standards for both on-road and off-road vehicles and engines.

Further information:


CEPAEnvironmental Registry

Inquiry Centre:

351 St. Joseph Boulevard
Hull, Quebec K1A 0H3
Telephone: 819-997-2800
toll-free: 1-800-668-6767
Fax: 819-994-1412

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