Environment Canada Announces New Regulation

Environment Canada Released Their New Regulations
On low-VOC Paints

As expected shops are not going to be regulated, only the product they use.  Starting June 2010, paint manufacturers will be restricted in importing and manufacturing only compliant low-VOC product.  They can continue to sell the "old" product until January 2011.

This means that many shops will find that the continued supply of their older coating products will become a challenge and they will be obligated to change over their product lines, usually to a waterborne low-VOC paint product.

Changeover costs for shops is identified at 326 million dollars with a worst case scenario of $776 million, including compliancy Certificate of Approval costs in Ontario. Your association's compliancy work with the Ontario Ministry of Environment has reduced shop costs by 2.7 million dollars.

Costs for shops are expected to be between 1-2.5% of sales.  Originally these costs were identified by Environment Canada as non-recoverable, but that prediction has been dropped in the new Regulation. It is expected that some shops will close due to these increased costs.

Current VOC emissions from auto refinish shops in Canada are estimated to be 5.5 kilotonnes, down from the 14.5 kilotonnes identified in the "Shapiro" study that predated the last series of guidelines and standards in 1998.  This regulation is expected to reduce thie industry emission volume by a further 40%.  However, in comparison with Canada's total VOC emissions, this reduction represents less than one tenth of one percent reduction.

There are a number of exemptions in the regulation, including allowing aerosol containers to still be used, allowing mobile paint operators to continue using non-compliant coatings, to exempting acetic acid and dimethylethyl ester, and allowing non-compliant coatings for new-car manufacture.  Paint companies can still manufacture non-compliant coatings provided the product must be diluted prior to use or if they have a federal permit. 

A federal permit can be issued if the paint company advises that it is not technically or economically feasible to reduce the VOC concentration in a product.  This exemption permit can last up to four years and a further sales flow-through is allowed. For most shops, this regulation simply finalizes some dates for paint companies. As the dates move closer, product availability will become restricted. 

Shops need to look at their products now and make plans for product continued availability. If your product on your shelf will meet the new standards then you need not worry.  If not, shops should contact their paint company and work out their needs for a possible product changeover. 

Although not mentioned in the regulation, waterborne technologies are widely regarded as a positive alternative to current coatings. Your association will continue to help and will provide discounted compliance help as ALL shops that changeover will require new Ontario Certificate of Approvals for their painting. 

Call the office at  1 866 309 4272 for help or see www.autobodyhelp.ca

(See Headlines)


Government Commitment To Get Tough On Polluters Fulfilled

TORONTO - The McGuinty government is making good on its commitment to get tough on polluters with the passage of Bill 133, the 'you spill, you pay' bill that imposes financial penalties on industrial polluters, Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky announced today.

"Bill 133 will be a valuable compliance tool to ensure that companies take measures to prevent spills and, if they do occur, that they are rectified quickly," said Dombrowsky. "All money collected from penalties will go to a dedicated fund to assist communities in dealing with the impact of spills."

Bill 133 went to an all-party government committee hearing in late May. Based on representations by several environmental groups, industry and local community groups who appeared before the committee, numerous amendments were made to improve the bill.

Ontario now joins other Canadian jurisdictions, the United States and many countries around the world in the use of environmental penalties as a compliance and enforcement tool.

Bill 133 gives Ministry of the Environment directors the authority to impose a penalty of up to $100,000 a day to companies responsible for unlawful spills and emissions. The government intends to apply environmental penalties to those facilities affected by the Municipal-Industrial Strategy for Abatement (MISA) regulations.

"This legislation delivers real and positive change that will protect public health and the environment and help maintain clean, livable communities," Dombrowsky said.

(see headlines)


The Hamilton District Autobody Repair Association and the Ontario Ministry of Environment have entered into a compliance agreement to improve the level of environmental compliance within the industry, provide easy tools to promote compliant behavior and to go beyond compliance into pollution prevention activity. This site will be used to communicate and provide information that can be used profitably by shops to help them meet regulations.

Visit the compliance info and assistance program below :