April 29, 2014
On April 7, 2014, the Minister of the Environment issued a Notice with respect to hydrofluorocarbons (the “Notice”), pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. The Notice imposes reporting requirements on those who imported, exported, or manufactured certain hydrofluorocarbons (“HFCs”) from 2008 and 2012. A non-exhaustive list of HFCs subject to these reporting requirements can be found in Schedule 1 of the Notice.
HFCs were originally used as long-term substitutes to ozone depleting chemicals. However, they have a very high global-warming potential (up to 12,000 times more damaging than carbon dioxide), and are one of the six key greenhouse gases listed under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The purpose of this Notice is to enable the government of Canada to gather data for the development of appropriate HFC control strategies.
Who must report
Entities must report under the Notice if they exceed either of the following thresholds:
- manufactured more than 100 kg of the specified HFCs at a concentration equal to or greater than1% by weight; or
- imported or exported more than 100k of the specified HFCs, either alone or in a mixture, at a concentration equal to or greater than 1% by weight.
What to report
If either threshold is triggered, the report to Environment Canada must include: the name of the substance, the year of reference, the quantity of the mixture containing the HFCs (if the substance is found in a mixture), and the ASHRAE number1, if applicable.
The particulars of what must be reported vary depending on several factors including whether:
- the HFC s were manufactured, imported, or exported;
- the HFCs are on their own or in a mixture; and
- if in a mixture, whether the HFCs have a specific ASHRAE number.
Why compliance is necessary
Compliance with this Notice is mandatory. Non-compliance or providing false or misleading information may attract penalties under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, which have recently been increased to up to $12 million, imprisonment up to three years, or both.
1ASHRAE: American Society of heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers.