Consultation on the Proposed 2nd Amendments to the Environmental Emergency Regulations

March 2014

Environmental Emergencies Program

Environmental Protection Operations Directorate

 


Outline

•          Current Environmental Emergency Regulations

•          Potential amendments: Objectives & Key changes

•          Potential amendments: Details

•          Preliminary consultation: Approach

•          Preliminary consultation: Timelines

•          Where to send your feedback


Current Environmental Emergency Regulations (E2 Regulations)

•          The E2 Regulations, made under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, subsection 200(1), aim to

- Enhance the protection of the environment and human health from environmental emergencies by promoting prevention and ensuring preparedness, response and recovery

- Reduce the frequency and consequences of environmental emergencies caused by uncontrolled, unplanned or accidental releases of toxic or other hazardous substances

•          The E2 Regulations may apply to any person who owns or has the charge, management or control of any of the 215 listed substances at a fixed facility. There are currently about 4350 regulatees.

•          The E2 Regulations first came into force in November 2003 and were amended in December 2011.

•          The E2 Regulations are one of the instruments used in Risk Management Approaches under Chemicals Management Plan.


Current E2 Regulations requirements

•          Schedule 1 of the E2 Regulations contains a list of substances that, should they enter the environment as a result of an environmental emergency, would be or may be harmful to the environment, its biological diversity or human life or health.

•          All the substances on Schedule 1 of the E2 Regulations have at least one emergency hazard characteristic (they are either explosive, flammable, toxic if inhaled or added to an aquatic environment, or carcinogenic). Listed substances pose a credible risk to the environment and human health if stored or handled on facilities at or above the regulated concentrations and threshold quantities.

•          Under the E2 Regulations, any person who owns or has the charge, management or control of a listed substance may be required to

- Identify substance and place

- Prepare an environmental emergency plan (E2 plan)

- Implement, update and test the E2 plan annually

- Notify of closure or decommissioning

- Report environmental emergencies involving regulated substances


E2 Regulations success stories

•          The E2 Regulations protect the environment by encouraging  industry members to reformulate their products, reduce quantities on site, change to safer processes, and reduce potential impact zones around facilities. Here are successes:

- Substituted chlorine for sodium hypochlorite for water treatment and reduced risk zone from 4 km to no impact on the surrounding population

- Eliminated or reduced the size of large reservoirs of propane, hydrochloric acid and diethyl ether

- Captured vapours to reduce risk to human health due to inhalation or explosion

- Reduced concentration of ammonium hydroxide from 31.5 to 19.5%, thus reducing the impact zone

- Established multi-disciplinary teams to evaluate risks of facility activities and equipment

Diagram showing the modelled impact zones of potential spills on the population

Long Description

The bottom diagram shows the modelled impact zones of potential spills on the population for substances used in water treatment. The top diagram indicates a modelled zone of 4km (in radius) for the substance chlorine. When chlorine was substituted for sodium hypochlorite, this risk was reduced to virtually no impact on the population.

•          Sharing of information and best practices among E2 regulatees:

- In Quebec, several cities have established a joint committee (comité mixte municipal industriel ) (CMMI) with industrial, municipal and different provincial and federal government representatives to manage the risks of industrial accidents linked to E2 substances.


Potential amendments: Objectives

•          Improve protection of environment and human health

- Add new chemicals to the E2 substance list (Schedule 1): These chemicals were identified under the federal government’s Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) or have been internationally recognized as hazardous and a significant emergency risk

•          Improve clarity and effectiveness of the E2 Regulations

- Add new text and modify wording where needed, thus making the regulations clearer and providing more guidance to regulatees.

- Make the regulations more prescriptive and more specific, thus helping industry better comply with the regulations

•          Harmonize E2 Regulations with existing laws and regulations and streamline administrative requirements

- Consider the reporting requirements of the Transport of Dangerous Goods Regulations and provincial/territorial requirements. The aim is to  establish clear reporting requirements that protect the environment and reduce the burden on industry so that small spills or releases that do not pose a threat to the environment or to human health would no longer be reported.


Potential amendments:
Overview of Key changes

•          Add 49 substances and amend 3 others that meet the triggers for E2 Regulations (i.e., flammable, combustible, human health toxicity and/or aquatically toxic)

•          Change Schedule 1 to a single list of substances:

- Organize by CAS # rather than in different parts

- Add column to indicate the hazard(s) on which the threshold is based

•          Add minor prescriptive changes to the E2 Regulations to clarify what is expected for 

- What is considered as a container

- Testing / exercising an E2 Plan

- Informing the public

•          New requirement for annual reporting and requests for new information (e.g., MSDS and NAICS information)

•          Clarify regulatory text based on comments from regulatees and other interested parties

•          Possibly include measures to reduce the burden on small businesses


Potential Amendments:
Consultation Material

•          The following slides provide more detail on key potential changes

•          For additional information, please see our website for:

(23) consultation document

(24) summary reports on potential substances

(25) on-line feedback form

•          Environmental Emergency Regulations website



Key Potential amendments: More Details
(See also corresponding sections of Consultation Document)

•          A.1 Addition of substances

Potential AmendmentRationale/ Explanation
Add 49 substances and amend 3 others that meet the triggers for E2 Regulations These potential amendments aim at increasing protection from a larger number of substances that are currently in use in large quantities in Canada.

•          The substances are flammable, combustible, toxic to human health and/or aquatic environment:

- Propose to add 36 substances from Chemicals Management Plan (CMP)

  • 20 from the Government’s CMP Challenge
  • 16 from the CMP Petroleum Sector Stream Approach

- Propose to add 12 strong acids and bases

  • Meet OECD definition of “corrosive” (destruction of skin and irreversible damage to eyes) (e.g. sulphuric acid)
  • Propose to amend 3 other strong acids and bases already in the regulations so that the threshold for all acids and bases are consistent (e.g. hydrochloric acid)

- Propose to add 1 additional substance to meet our intent to regulate ammonia


Key Potential amendments: More Details
(See also corresponding sections of Consultation Document)

•          B11 Consolidation of all parts of Schedule1 of the E2 Regulations into one part

Potential AmendmentRationale/ Explanation
Combine the three tables (one for each part) into one table. Substances should be sorted by ascending CAS Registry Number.There are several hazards associated with the different substances listed in Schedule 1, which would require the addition of several different parts. Also, there are substances to which more than one hazard is associated, making it difficult to classify a substance under only one part. Therefore, consolidating all parts of Schedule 1 into a single list would facilitate ease of use for regulatees, as well as make regulatees aware of the other hazards that might be associated with the substance aside from the main hazard, ensuring that all associated hazards would be taken into account when preparing an environmental emergency plan for the substance.

Key Potential amendments: More Details
(See also corresponding sections of Consultation Document)

•          B1.1 Clarification of terms: what is considered as a ‘container’

Potential AmendmentRationale/ Explanation
Clarify what is considered as a “container” to include commonly interconnected containers and all other connected items such as piping and vents that may contain the regulated substance. The storage container system should be compatible with, and appropriate for, the regulated substance(s) that it contains. If interconnected containers each have one or more shut-off valves, then each segregated container would be considered a separate storage container system. If there are no shut-off valves between the interconnected storage container systems, the entire quantity within that system would be considered as one storage container system. The system used to isolate the containers, whether a shut-off valve or any other engineering device, should engage automatically and/or remotely.Details or explanations of certain elements are currently only available in the Implementation Guidelines.

Key Potential amendments: More Details
(See also corresponding sections of Consultation Document)

•          B1.3 Clarification of terms: exercising an E2 plan

Potential AmendmentRationale/ Explanation
Clarify what Environment Canada expects regulatees to carry out when regulatees exercise an environmental emergency plan: it includes practicing and updating at least one of the following aspects of the plan at least once a year on a rotational basis such that all aspects of the plan are exercised over a 5 year period. All aspects of the plan should be exercised simultaneously (i.e. full-blown test) at least once over that five year period.

Details or explanations of certain elements are currently only available in the Implementation Guidelines.

The aspects of the plan that should be exercised would include, but not be limited to:

Environmental emergency plan activation

Situational risk assessment of the environmental emergency scenario being exercised (i.e. specific nature of emergency, nature of the hazard, determining potential threats to health and environment, etc)

Action plan (incident command)

Site safety/security

Response resource mobilization

Notification and reporting (to all authorities, e.g. government, safety)

Notifying the public and other communications

Key Potential amendments: More Details
(See also corresponding sections of Consultation Document)

•          B2.1 Inclusion of bulk material

Potential AmendmentRationale/ Explanation
Add a new requirement that bulk quantities that meet or exceed the thresholds identified in Schedule 1 should be subject to the same requirements as a substance within a storage container system.There are several situations where bulk quantities of a substance (e.g. ammonium nitrate) are kept at facilities outside any storage container system (e.g. the quantity is stored in a pile).

•          B5.1 Clarification on notification for quantities that no longer meet the threshold quantities

Potential AmendmentRationale/ Explanation
Clarify that a person does not have to wait twelve consecutive months to notify Environment Canada when the quantity of the substance on site or the maximum capacity of the largest container in which the substance is stored no longer meets the threshold quantities set out in Schedule 1 when there are extraordinary circumstances which indicate that the quantities will not be met for 12 consecutive months.The E2 Regulations currently require that a person must wait twelve consecutive months before they can notify Environment Canada that their onsite quantities or maximum container capacity are below the reporting thresholds. However, a person can know that a substance will no longer meet the threshold requirements when there is an immediate shutdown of their facility and the facility has ceased to use regulated quantities of a substance that is regulated under the E2 Regulations, and the person knows that they will not use that substance again at the facility (e.g. facility has burned down, has been decommissioned, has ceased to have activities with the substance, etc.).

Key Potential amendments: More Details
(See also corresponding sections of Consultation Document)

•          B7.1 Clarification for measures to notify members of the public

Potential AmendmentRationale/ Explanation
Clarify that the environmental emergency plan should not only indicate the measures taken to notify the public, but also indicate the measures taken to protect the public in case of an environmental emergency.Clarifying the measures to be taken to protect the public (e.g. shelter-in- place) and the measures to notify members of the public (i.e. how the notifications should be done) would improve safety and understanding for the public in case of an environmental emergency.

•          B10.4     Clarification for reporting

Potential AmendmentRationale/ Explanation
Possibly include substance release thresholds for reportingEnvironment Canada is considering the reporting requirements of the Transport of Dangerous Goods Regulations and provincial/territorial requirements. The aim is to establish clear reporting requirements that protect the environment and reduce the burden on industry so that small spills or releases that do not pose a threat to the environment or to human health would no longer be reported.

Key Potential amendments: More Details
(See also corresponding sections of Consultation Document)

•          C1.1 Re-submission of schedules

Potential AmendmentRationale/ Explanation
In addition to the existing requirement to submit a change to a notice within 60 days, add a new requirement to annually re-submit the Notice regarding the identification of substance and place (Schedule 2).The E2 Regulations currently require Schedule 2 to be submitted only once, unless it needs to be updated (in this case, the notice must be resubmitted within 60 days). The request for re-submitting Schedule 2 would allow Environment Canada to have the latest company and substance information from regulatees. In addition, it would allow Environment Canada and public safety authorities to respond more effectively in the event of an environmental emergency.

•          C1.2 Re-submission of schedules

Potential AmendmentRationale/ Explanation
Add a new requirement to annually re-submit the Notice of the implementation and testing of an environmental emergency plan (Schedule 5).The E2 Regulations currently require Schedule 5 to be submitted only once. The request for re-submitting Schedule 5 would serve as a reminder that regulatees must annually test their environmental emergency plans.

Potential amendments: More Details
(See also corresponding sections of Consultation Document)

•          C2.1 Request for new information

Potential AmendmentRationale/ Explanation
Add a new requirement for an up-to-date material safety data sheet (MSDS) to be included in the environmental emergency plan.MSDS’ provide a consolidated review of the hazards associated with a substance. Some organizations indicate that MSDS’ must be updated every three years (e.g. required under Health Canada’s Controlled Products Regulations; required for the Canadian Centre for Occupation Health and Safety (CCOHS)’s Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS); and required for registration for the use of CANUTEC's emergency telephone number to meet the requirements of Transport Canada’s Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations). This information is intended to help regulatees in their environmental emergency planning.

•          C2.2 Request for new information

Potential AmendmentRationale/ Explanation
Add a new requirement to provide the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes, complete to at least 4 digits, that describe the operations at the facility.NAICS codes would provide a better understanding of the types of industries that provide information under the E2 Regulations and help Environment Canada to develop compliance promotion material.

Key Potential amendments: More Details
(See also corresponding sections of Consultation Document)

C2.3 Request for new information

Potential AmendmentRationale/ Explanation
Add a new requirement to provide the date the facility became subject to the E2 Regulations for each substance.Knowing when a company first became subject to the E2 Regulations would allow regulatees and Environment Canada to track the timelines associated with reporting.

•          E1.1 Reducing burden for small businesses

Potential AmendmentRationale/ Explanation
Possibly include alternative or flexible options for small businesses in order to reduce the direct administrative or compliance costs they would face as a result of the potential amendments. The alternative or flexible options being considered are: longer time periods to comply with the requirements, longer transition periods or temporary exemptions; simplified and less frequent reporting obligations; and, exemptions for certain uses.A small business is defined as any business, including its affiliates, that has fewer than 100 employees or between $30,000 and $5 million in annual gross revenues. Consideration of possible alternative or flexible options is in line with the “small business lens”, presented in the Cabinet Directive on Regulatory Management, which aims at driving a better analysis of small business realities and at considering the needs of small businesses early in the regulatory design stage. A risk assessment would be required for any accommodations for small businesses.

Preliminary consultation: Approach

•          Include industries involved with the CMP substances, current regulatees, potential regulatees and other interested parties / stakeholders / associations

•          Aboriginal communities

•          Identify and focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in all implicated sectors

•          Use existing communication fora for engagement

•          Align with ongoing consultation activities (consultations for other regulations, existing consultation groups, compliance promotion activities)

•          Use technologies and tools such as teleconference, video conference, webinars and online surveys


Preliminary consultation: Timelines

•          Preliminary consultation: launched in November 2013

- Release of consultation material: winter 2014

- Host or attend consultation venues: winter 2014 / spring 2014

- Finalize recommendations: spring 2014

- Close of preliminary consultation period: late spring 2014

•          Environment Canada prepares draft regulations based on stakeholder input: summer 2014

•          Publication in the Canada Gazette, Part I (CGI) November 2014

•          Formal public comment period after CG1


Need more info?

•          Environmental Emergencies website

•          Current E2 Regulations

•          Current Implementation Guidelines for the E2 Regulations

•          CEPA Registry

Where to send your feedback?

•          Our website: Enviromental Emergencies Regulations

•          Your Regional E2 compliance promotion officer

•          You can also send comments to our email address: cepae2-lcpeue@ec.gc.ca

•          Or you can mail comments to:

Susan Roe
Manager, Prevention
Environmental Emergencies Program
Environment Canada
351 St. Joseph Blvd., 16th floor
Gatineau QC  K1A 0H3

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