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Code of practice for the reduction of VOC emissions from cutback and emulsified asphalt

Many SHCA members import, distribute, sell or use asphalt pavement, or arrange and issue paving contracts. Please take note of the new Code of Practice for the Reduction of Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Emissions from Cutback and Emulsified Asphalt (the Code).

The main objective of the Code is to protect the environment and the health of Canadians by

recommending the use, when suitable, of low VOC emitting asphalt, such as emulsified asphalts. An end-user survey prepared for Environment and Climate Change Canada in 2010 showed that 85 per cent of liquefied asphalt already in use in Canada was emulsified, however the remaining 15 per cent – cutback asphalt – was responsible for over 59 per cent of VOC emissions. VOCs contribute to poor air quality through the formation of smog, which increases the risk of heart disease and respiratory illness.

From May 1 through September 30 (ozone season) of each year, the Code recommends that cutback asphalt that is imported, sold or used in paving material for paving, construction or maintenance, have a VOC content less than or equal to 0.5 per cent by volume of what evaporates at or below 260oC. During this period, the recommended VOC content limit for emulsified asphalt is 3.0 per cent by volume of what evaporates at or below 260oC.

The Code also contains recommendations for labeling, contracting, training and recordkeeping. You are encouraged to review your current business practices, and to identify opportunities to integrate the recommended best practices into your operations and future procurement or paving contracts. For example, you may choose to reference the Code in your proposals or contracts.

To view or download a copy of the Code of Practice, please click here.

For more information regarding Codes of Practice, please click here.
More information about VOCs and the Code is available on Environment and Climate Change Canada’s website.



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