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New regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act have been approved, setting a limit of 30 ppm of sulphur content in gasoline starting January 1, 2005.

In 1998, the average Canadian level of sulphur in gasoline was 350 parts per million (ppm), among the highest in the industrialized world.

This issue is particularly important in large urban areas such as the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Southern Ontario and Quebec as motor vehicles continue to be a major source of air pollution.

The new regulations will be phased-in. In 2002, sulphur levels in gasoline produced or imported into Canada must meet an average of 150 ppm.

The phase-in period is intended to help the refining industry adjust to these requirements. It will also provide independent distributors of gasoline with access to competitive sources of supply.

Environment Minister Christine S. Stewart noted that since announcing her intention to introduce these regulations last October, the US Government has followed the Canadian example.

The US EPA announced its proposed rule on May 1, 1999 to reduce sulphur levels in gasoline from current average levels of about 330 ppm to 30 ppm to be phased in, starting in 2004.

Other Government of Canada initiatives to address clean air include Sulphur in Diesel Regulations, Benzene in Gasoline regulations, Strategic Options Process for Power Plants and the proposed Gasoline and Gasoline Blend Dispensing Flow Rate Regulations announced on May 31.

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