Who to Call in an Emergency

In the event of an emergency pollution incident , such as an oil or chemical spill, federal and provincial/territorial authorities need to be notified in order to coordinate an adequate oversight of the response. Since emergency pollution incidents are often local in nature and, in order to reduce notification burden Environment Canada’s  environmental notification system uses the following federal-provincial/territorial 24-hour authorities as the first point of contact. In turn, these authorities inform Environment Canada of the notifications. In the event of an environmental emergency or occurrence, please call the 24-hour telephone number below for the region in which the event occurred.

Province / Territory

iTelephone number accessible only within the respective province

Alberta
Alberta Ministry of Environment
Telephone: 780-422-4505 or 1-800-222-6514i

British Columbia
Emergency Management British Columbia
Ministry of Justice
Telephone: 1-800-663-3456

Manitoba
Manitoba Department of Conservation
Telephone: 204-944-4888 (collect calls accepted within province)

New Brunswick
Maritimes Regional Office
Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Telephone: 902-426-6030 or 1-800-565-1633

Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador Regional Office
Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Telephone: 709-772-2083 or 1-800-563-9089

Northwest Territories
Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Government of the Northwest Territories
Telephone: 867-920-8130

Nova Scotia
Maritimes Regional Office
Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Telephone: 902-426-6030 or 1-800-565-1633

Nunavut
Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Government of the Northwest Territories
Telephone: 867-920-8130

Ontario
Spills Action Centre
Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
Telephone: 416-325-3000 or 1-800-268-6060

Prince Edward Island
Maritimes Regional Office
Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Telephone: 902-426-6030 or 1-800-565-1633

Quebec
National Environmental Emergencies Center
Environment Canada
Telephone: 514-283-2333 or 1-866-283-2333

Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment
Telephone: 1-800-667-7525

Yukon
Yukon Department of Environment
Telephone: 867-667-7244


Environmental occurrence

Environmental occurrence includes: the release, or the likelihood of a release, of a substance into the environment in contravention of regulations referred to in section 95, 169, 179 or 212 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA, 1999), an environmental emergency under section 201 of CEPA, 1999, or an unauthorized deposit of a deleterious substance, in water frequented by fish,or a serious and imminent danger of such an occurrence under subsection 38(5) of the Fisheries Act.


Notification requirements in the event of an environmental emergency or occurrence

1. Notification requirements under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA, 1999)

The following persons are required to notify the appropriate 24-hour authority listed above or an enforcement officer, as soon as possible in the circumstances, in the event of a release of a substance, or the likelihood of such a release into the environment, which is in contravention of a regulation referred to in section 95, 169, 179 or 212 of CEPA, 1999, or in the event of an environmental emergency under section 201 of CEPA, 1999:

  • any person who owns or has the charge, management or control of a regulated substance immediately before its release or the likelihood of its release into the environment;
  • any person who causes or contributes to the release or increases the likelihood of the release;
  • any person who owns or has the charge, management or control of a substance immediately before an environmental emergency;
  • any person who causes or contributes to an environmental emergency.

The Release and Environmental Emergency Notification Regulations (“Notification Regulations”) under CEPA, 1999, provide the regulated community and the public with the name and telephone number of the 24-hour authorities operating for the respective province or territory to which notifications are to be made.

In the case of the master of a vessel, the authorized representative of a Canadian vessel, the owner of any other vessel or the operator of an oil handling facility the owner of any other vessel or the operator of an oil handling facility (to whom the Vessel Pollution and Dangerous Chemicals Regulations (VPDCR) under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 apply), the Notification Regulations designate the marine safety inspector or the marine communications and traffic services officer referred to in the VPDCR to receive notification under CEPA, 1999 on behalf of Environment Canada. This reduces the duplicate reporting obligation for these persons. Notification procedures to the marine safety inspector or the marine communications and traffic services officer can be found in Transport Canada’s Guidelines for Reporting Incidents Involving Dangerous Goods, Harmful Substances and/or Marine Pollutants.

 2. Notification requirements under the Fisheries Act

Subsection 38(5) of the Fisheries Act stipulates:

If  there occurs a deposit of a deleterious substance in water frequented by fish that is not authorized under this Act, or if there is a serious and imminent danger of such an occurrence , and detriment to fish habitat or fish or to the use by humans of fish results or may reasonably be expected to result from the occurrence, then every person shall without delay notify an inspector, a fishery officer or an authority prescribed by the regulations if the person at any material time

(a) owns or has the charge, management or control of,

  • (i) the deleterious substance, or
  • (ii) the work, undertaking or activity that resulted in the deposit or the danger of the deposit; or

(b) causes or contributes to the occurrence or the danger of the occurrence.

Such deposits are:

  • those prohibited under subsection 36(3) of the Fisheries Act(the “general prohibition” clause); or,
  • those in contravention of a regulation made under subsection 36(5).

The appropriate 24-hour authorities listed above or an inspector or fishery officer shall be notified without delay of these deposits pursuant to the requirements of the Fisheries Act.  The Deposit Out of the Normal Course of Events Notification Regulations (“Notification Regulations”) under the Fisheries Act, provide the regulated community and the public with the name and telephone number of the 24-hour authorities operating for the respective province or territory to which notifications are to be made.

In the case of the master of a vessel, the authorized representative of a Canadian vessel, the owner of any other vessel or the operator of an oil handling facility the owner of any other vessel or the operator of an oil handling facility (to whom the Vessel Pollution and Dangerous Chemicals Regulations (VPDCR) under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 apply), the Notification Regulations designate the marine safety inspector or the marine communications and traffic services officer referred to in the VPDCR to receive notification under CEPA, 1999 on behalf of Environment Canada. This reduces the duplicate reporting obligation for these persons. Notification procedures to the marine safety inspector or the marine communications and traffic services officer can be found in Transport Canada’s Guidelines for Reporting Incidents Involving Dangerous Goods, Harmful Substances and/or Marine Pollutants.