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Canada Initiates Consultations for Benzene Emission Reduction Strategy at Gasoline Stations

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In February 2024, the Canadian government published a notice of intent in the Canada Gazette, Part I (Vol. 158, No. 8), signaling the initiation of consultations on a risk management strategy for benzene. The Departments of Health and the Environment aim to develop a strategy, potentially utilizing regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA), to limit benzene emissions from gasoline stations across Canada. The consultations on managing gasoline vapour emissions are scheduled to commence in 2024.

Benzene was identified as toxic to both the environment and human health in a 1993 risk assessment, leading to its inclusion in the List of Toxic Substances under CEPA 1988. Over the years, various risk management tools have been implemented to reduce benzene emissions into outdoor air. In March 2023, Health Canada published an assessment highlighting the implications of benzene releases from gasoline stations on human health. The assessment indicated potential unacceptable health risks for communities residing near such stations. As a response, the government plans to explore risk management options to mitigate the release of benzene vapours from gasoline stations.


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