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Guidance for the Reporting of Tailings and Waste Rock to the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI)


This document was developed to guide NPRI reporting facilities that may be affected by the recent Canada Gazette (CG) notices, and will need to comply and report tailings and waste rock to the NPRI program, for 2006 and beyond.


On April 23, 2009, the Federal Court found that the Minister erred in his interpretation of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA, 1999) by not requiring, through the NPRI, information on releases and transfers to tailings and waste rock disposal areas by mining facilities and making this information available to the public.

The Court ordered the Minister to “…publish pollutant release information to the public through the NPRI in relation to releases and transfers to tailings and waste rock disposal areas by mining facilities for the 2006 and subsequent reporting years…”

The requirements for 2006 through 2009 were published through two separate notices in Part I of the CG under the authority of section 46 of the CEPA, 1999 on December 5, 2009. The reporting deadline to comply with both notices is June 1, 2010.

  1. Notice with respect to tailings and waste rock reporting through the NPRI for 2006 to 2008: Requirements for the 2006 through 2008 reporting years concern only NPRI substances moved to tailing and waste rock management areas at mine operations within specific mining sectors.
  2. Notice with respect to substances in the NPRI for 2009: The requirements for 2009 reporting are very similar to those published for 2008, but the reporting requirements for waste rock and tailings can apply to any facility that generates waste rock and tailings.
  3. The ongoing mine waste reporting requirements, for 2010 and future years, are expected to be included in future annual notices for the NPRI.
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