A new regulation aimed at replacing the current Regulation
respecting the Quality of the Atmosphere (RQA) was expected
for many years. Indeed, almost six years after the publication of a
draft of the Clean Air Regulation on November 16, 2005, the
Québec Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and
Parks (MSDEP) finally announced, on June 13, 2011, the passage of
the new Clean Air Regulation (CAR) which was published in
Part 2 of the Gazette officielle du Québec on June
15, 2011. This new regulation is of significance for all industries
having activities in Québec which involve air emissions.
The CAR will replace the RQA and will come into force on June
30, 2011. It is provided that, subject to certain exceptions
regarding namely bituminous concrete plants, quarries and sandpits,
production equipments subject to certain provisions of the
Regulation respecting pulp and paper mills, flour mills
and fuel burning systems used for domestic heating, this regulation
applies to every source of atmospheric contaminants.
The CAR contains significant changes, including the tightening
of certain norms included in the RQA and the addition of new norms
and obligations with respect to air emissions. More precisely, it
provides for, among other things:
More stringent limit values applicable to particle emissions
from certain facilities or activities or certain industrial process
including flour mills, distilleries, breweries, fertilizer mixing
plants, concrete plants, polyvinyl chloride processing plants,
drilling other than the drilling of a water supply well, indoor
sandblasting, etc. It is indicated that such new norms are
applicable to such activities, facilities or industrial processes
in operation on June 30, 2011 as of
June 30, 2013;
New general emission standards for volatile organic compounds
emitted into the atmosphere or likely to be emitted during storage
or during the use or storage of organic solvents, applicable to
certain emission sources in operation on June 30, 2011 as of June
New norms and emission limit values applicable notably to
aluminum smelters, cement plants, wood processing facilities,
petroleum refineries and petrochemical plants, copper or zinc
producing plants, fuel burning equipments and incinerators. The
dates of application of such norms or such limit values could vary
between June 30, 2011 and June 30, 2016 depending on the norm, the
activities or installations covered;
Certain obligations regarding the installation of monitoring
equipments applicable to various activities or industrial
The obligation for the operator of a petroleum refinery,
petrochemical or organic chemical plant or petroleum depot or
terminal, subject to certain conditions, to implement an annual
plan able to detect and repair any volatile organic compound leak,
to be completed not later than June 30, 2016.
The CAR also provides for obligations applicable to certain
activities or industrial sectors to perform source emissions
testing, to hold registries and to transmit reports to the MSDEP in
order to monitor certain emissions.
It provides for new air quality standards, applicable as of June
30, 2011, for the territory of Québec and includes
approximately 90 contaminants, including more than 80 new
It should be noted that the CAR includes higher penal fines
which could vary, in the case of a legal person, from $5,000 to
$500,000 for a first offence and from $10,000 to $1,000,000 in the
case of a second or subsequent offence.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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