National

Other National Initiatives

Canada’s Strategy to Accelerate the Phase-out of CFC and Halon Uses and to Dispose of the Surplus Stocks

A comprehensive review in 1994-95 of Canada’s Ozone Layer Protection Program determined that unless new initiatives were put in place to take Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and Halons out of service and dispose of them, most of the Canadian inventory of these substances would ultimately be released to the environment. The review’s main recommendations to minimize releases of CFCs and Halons were:

  • Zero-release target dates should be set and met by a combination of total containment and elimination of uses;
  • The destruction or transformation (to other chemicals) of unnecessary ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) should be required as soon as feasible;
  • The development of new disposal technology should be supported;
  • Governments should work in partnership with industry and other stakeholders to facilitate disposal; and
  • Market force instruments to promote removal from service and proper disposal should be investigated.

In response to these recommendations, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment developed a Phase-out Strategy to encourage an orderly transition from CFCs and Halons to alternative substances and technology, and to ensure safe disposal of surplus stocks. The objective of the Strategy is to minimize and avoid the ultimate release of CFCs and Halons to the environment.

The Strategy consists of specific approaches to phase out uses of CFCs and Halons and dispose of surplus substances. There are two separate components to the Strategy. The first component consists of initiatives that are general in nature. This “general” component of the Strategy addresses four separate areas: extended producer responsibility (EPR); market force instruments; disposal of surplus stocks; and control measures.

The second component consists of phase-out objectives and approaches that are specific to individual industry sectors. This component of the Strategy addresses six specific use sectors: mobile air conditioning; mobile refrigeration; household appliances; commercial refrigeration and air conditioning; chillers; and Halons.

For the EPR program, the Strategy proposed the following approach:

Industry will play a key role in the development of management strategies to phase-out, collect and dispose of surplus ODSs in Canada, including:

  • Development of management plans for retrofitting, converting or replacement of existing systems using CFCs and Halons;
  • Research and Development of alternative products and technologies; and
  • Partnering with government and other stakeholders to develop management plans for collection and disposal of surplus stocks.

In response to this proposed approach, the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute (HRAI) proposed and developed a program for the collection and disposal of surplus refrigerants in the stationary refrigeration and air conditioning and chillers sectors, funded by a voluntary industry levy on replacement refrigerants.

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National Action Plan for the Environmental Control of Ozone-Depleting Substances (ODS) and their Halocarbon Alternatives

Both federal and provincial governments recognized early on the importance of coordination and consistency of regulatory programs among the different jurisdictions. An important initiative to address this issue is the National Action Plan (NAP), which was approved and published for the first time in 1992 by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME). The NAP provides a national framework for a harmonized approach by the federal, provincial and territorial governments to implement an ozone layer protection program. The NAPidentifies tasks necessary to ensure that consistent, progressive actions take place to control all aspects of pollution prevention and all industry sectors using ozone-depleting substances and their halocarbon alternatives (including HFCs and PFCs). The NAP was updated and approved by CCMEin May 2001 to reflect the status of previous tasks and identify new tasks for the implementation of Canada’s Strategy to Accelerate the Phase-out of CFC and Halon Uses and to dispose of the Surplus Stocks. These new tasks include:

  • Encourage industry to develop Extended Producer Responsibility programs and participate in their development;
  • Develop and implement control measures needed to support the extended producer responsibility programs;
  • Develop awareness programs to inform stakeholders of the Phase-Out Strategy;
  • Ensure that control measures developed to implement the Phase-Out Strategy form a clear and comprehensive backdrop among jurisdictions; and
  • Implement the sector specific control measures and other activities identified in the Phase-Out Strategy.

Another important component of the NAP is training for people involved in the recovery and recycling of ODSs. In consultation with the service industry associations, and based on the Environmental Code of Practice for the Elimination of Fluorocarbon Emissions from Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems, Environment Canada developed a training program for technicians involved in the servicing of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.

Code of Practice for the Elimination of Fluorocarbon Emissions from Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems

This Code of Practice (Code) was originally published in 1991 under the title "Environmental Code of Practice for Elimination of Fluorocarbon Emissions from Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems" to fulfil the responsibilities of the Minister of Environment.

The Code was revised, updated, and expanded in 1996 to cover six trade sectors, and an addendum of pertinent information that can be applied to all trade sectors such as Industrial/Commercial, Residential, Residential Domestic Appliances, Mobile Air Conditioning, Mobile Refrigeration, and Heavy-duty Mobile Air Conditioning. The Code can also now be used as a reference for the reduction of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) emissions.

The Code reflects the development of new alternative refrigerants, new technologies, revised practices and procedures, and additional regulatory requirements. It has therefore been retitled “Code of Practice for Elimination of Fluorocarbon Emissions from Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems”. This Code provides national guidelines for the reduction and eventual elimination of emissions of ODSs used in refrigeration and air conditioning systems.

View full text of the Code of Practice (1996) in HTML

Draft update to the Environmental Code of Practice for Elimination of Fluorocarbon Emissions from Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems

The Environmental Code of Practice for Elimination of Fluorocarbon Emissions from Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems (Refrigerant Code of Practice) was first published in 1991 and later updated in 1996. The Code provides guidelines for the reduction of atmospheric emissions of ozone-depleting substances used in air-conditioning and refrigeration applications.  Since that time, technology has advanced, leaving many sections of the Code outdated.

In October 2011, Environment Canada published on its website a draft update for a first round of public consultation. Many valuable comments and suggestions were received following this consultation. The stakeholder's input allowed us to reconsider some aspects of the document. Considerable changes have been made to the 2011 draft update to the Code of Practice.

Environment Canada would like to encourage stakeholders to review the draft update to the Environmental Code of Practice for Elimination of Halocarbon Emissions from Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems and send any comments by January 17, 2014 to:

Ozone Layer Protection and Export Controls Section
Chemical Production Division
Environment Canada
351 St. Joseph Boulevard, 11th Floor
Gatineau, QC K1A 0H3
Fax: (819) 994-5030
E-mail: OzoneProtectionPrograms@ec.gc.ca

Please contact Ms. Dominique Dore by e-mail at OzoneProtectionPrograms@ec.gc.ca or by phone at 819-994-4034, if you have questions regarding this consultation.

Once all comments have been reviewed and considered, the revised code will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I and will replace the current Environmental Code of Practice for Elimination of Fluorocarbon Emissions from Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems.

Guide for the Implementation of a Halocarbon Recovery Program for Domestic Appliances

Environment Canada has a guide that will help municipalities implement a recovery program for halocarbon contained in domestic appliances. The Guide features a nine-step process to develop a halocarbon recovery program. The guide also provides:

  • general information on halocarbons;
  • a summary of provincial and territorial regulations concerning the recovery of halocarbons from domestic appliances;
  • a list a various persons that could be contacted during the implementation of the programs;
  • a series of various private sector resources; and
  • the name and phone number of contacts who can provide information specific to your region.

Designed primarily for municipalities responsible for disposing discarded home appliances that contain halocarbons, the guide may also be of interest to organizations and institutions that wish to recover halocarbons from similar appliances.

Access the Guide in PDFhere

Environmental Performance Agreement on Production of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons in Canada

The purpose of this Agreement is to set environmental performance objectives for the production of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in Canada, in support of the Montreal Protocol respecting ozone-depleting substances.

Proposed Extended Producer Responsibility Regulations for Managing End-of-Life Ozone-Depleting Substances (ODSs) and their Halocarbon Alternatives

Environment Canada is considering drafting Extended Producer Responsibility Regulations for ozone-depleting substances (CFCs and HCFCs) and their halocarbon alternatives (HFCs and PFCs) when used as refrigerants.  These substances are controlled at the front end of their life-cycle - generally up to their recovery in end-of-life equipment - and the proposed regulations will close the loop up to their end-of-life.  Unless new initiatives are put in place for the sound management of these refrigerants, especially when they become surplus/unwanted, most of the Canadian inventory will ultimately be released to the environment, thus contributing both to the depletion of the ozone layer and climate change.  These proposed regulations are intended to prevent the release of these substances into the atmosphere, having benefits for the ozone layer and for the climate as all of these substances are potent greenhouse gases.

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