BC: Consultation on Propane Filling Plants and Container Refill Centres
At the beginning of December, the CPA sent out Technical Safety BC’s draft directive Propane Filling Plants and Container Refill Centers to B.C. members for comment. This is a third revision to Directive G5-051206 7 regarding location and placement parameters of propane tanks in populated areas.
After compiling the comments, the consensus of B.C. members is that the draft directive does not provide a fair market-based approach. It will place many B.C. propane companies at a distinct competitive disadvantage compared to other fuels. Many sections of the directive have the potential effect of discounting a potential low-emission fuel option and act as a disincentive for the future growth of propane in the province.
It was identified that the focus of the new directive is primarily on urban, high density locations, and unlike the previous version, is silent on all other types of container refill center locations. It limits potential sites for container refill centers with constrictive, prescribed setbacks and the need to bury tanks in highly populated or congested areas.
Members also believe the new directive creates uncertainty for other propane dispensers (fleet, agriculture, card-locks) as the new maximum for a CRC is 5000 USWGs; anything over this limit would be considered a Propane Filling Plant. Another point of contention is the hefty administrative burden and potentially high costs this directive puts on propane companies wishing to open new locations.
The CPA compiled the comments and filed a submission to TSBC. In the submission, the CPA pointed to its recent market study Fuelled Up, conducted by the Conference Board of Canada, that forecasts future growth for propane in the transportation sector, a robust national propane refuelling network, and a strong supply of propane to meet future demand.
The CPA submission asks for clarification on the intent of the revised directive when the version that currently exists is generally seen as favorable to the expansion of the propane industry. The Association also requested a meeting with TSBC to address members’ concerns, with the ultimate goal of reworking sections of the new directive that create an unfair disadvantage to the propane industry.