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ARCHIVED - CEPA Annual Report for Period April 2000 to March 2001

10. Enforcement

CEPA 1999 provides enforcement officers with a wide range of powers to enforce the Act. They can:

  • enter premises, open containers and examine contents, and take samples;
  • conduct tests and measurements and obtain access to information (including data stored on computers);
  • stop and detain conveyances; and
  • secure inspection warrants for entry to and inspection of premises that are locked and/or abandoned or where entry has been refused.

Part 10 also provides new authorities for enforcement officers to issue Environmental Protection Compliance Orders to prevent or stop illegal activity or to require action to correct a violation.

In addition, alternative measures such as those found in the Criminal Code for adult offenders and in the Young Offenders Act for youth are available under CEPA 1999 for individuals, corporations, and government entities that contravene the Act. These measures are called Environmental Protection Alternative Measures and, after the laying of charges, allow for negotiated settlements that avoid the time and expense of lengthy court cases.

10.1 Compliance and Enforcement Policy

Following a public consultation period, the Compliance and Enforcement Policy for CEPA 1999 was released in March 2001. The new policy incorporates the same guiding principles as in the previous policy. It also contains a description of the new enforcement powers under CEPA 1999 and how enforcement officers would use them. In addition, the chapter on ‘Measures to Promote Compliance' clarifies the compliance promotion role of Environment Canada engineers and environmental scientists and stipulates the limitations for enforcement officers in this area. The policy is available in hard copy and on the CEPA Environmental Registry.

Plans and Policies

10.2 Enforcement Officers

10.2.1 Designations

The number of enforcement officers has tripled in the past three years. In the fall of 2000, 24 enforcement officers were designated, with another 5-7 expected to be designated during 2001-02, which will bring the total number of enforcement officers to 95. Regions have hired or are in the process of hiring intelligence officers.

10.2.2 Training

Enforcement training needs have grown exponentially over the past decade. A further challenge for enforcement is that the number of CEPA 1999 regulations has more than tripled since 1991, and many new regulations are being drafted. Most regulations require some level of specialized training to ensure proper enforcement.

This precipitated the need for a detailed review of objectives and methods of training, and, consequently, a national training strategy was established for CEPA 1999. In addition, the department is adding learning and informatics specialists to the current training team to enable new training alternatives and deliver a more effective training program based on adult education principles. An Intranet learning site is in the process of being created.

To prepare analysts for their new responsibilities under CEPA 1999, an Analysts Training Course was developed in 2000-01. A six-week General Enforcement Training Course was given to 24 new officers and six managers responsible for the enforcement of CEPA 1999 and the Fisheries Act. Other courses given in 2000-01 included a Basic Marine Operators Course and a Health and Safety Training Course.

Regions are also responsible for ensuring that their enforcement staff are recertified in the use of force and up to date on current techniques. The Prairie and Northern Region developed a National Enforcement Officer Training Course for the Federal Halocarbons Regulations and delivered training on sampling of hazardous materials.

10.3 Compliance Promotion

Environment Canada believes that promotion of compliance through information, education, and other means are effective tools in securing conformity with the law. Examples of compliance promotion activities conducted in 2000-01 by Environment Canada's regional offices include the following:

  • The Pacific and Yukon Region held three workshops in Vancouver on the Federal Halocarbon Regulations. Over 50 regulatees attended these workshops, which included a two-day technical workshop for federal departments, works, and undertakings, a half-day information workshop for managers, and a three-day training workshop for enforcement officers.
  • The Pacific and Yukon Region distributed information packages to companies that were identified as possible manufacturers, importers, or blenders of fuels in British Columbia and Yukon to make them aware of the CEPA 1999 fuel regulations.
  • The Prairie and Northern Region sent information on theOzone-depleting Substances Regulations to approximately 5000 retailers. Information sessions were held in Edmonton, Calgary, and Winnipeg for customs brokers.
  • The Prairie and Northern Region assisted in the development of the National Compliance and Enforcement Strategy on the Export and Import of Hazardous Wastes Regulations, which is scheduled for completion in 2001-02.
  • The Prairie and Northern Region sent information on the New Substances Notification Regulations to approximately 300 janitorial supply companies and 4500 retailers of biotechnology products in the region. Information sessions were held in Edmonton, Calgary, and Winnipeg for customs brokers.
  • Information sessions on pollution prevention, the new provisions under CEPA 1999, as well as a series of presentations on the New Substances Notification Regulations were provided on request to several companies and non-governmental organizations in the Ontario Region.
  • The Quebec Region produced a fact sheet on the New Substances Notification Regulations, which was sent to over 1400 potentially regulated companies in the province.
  • The Quebec Region held two one-day workshops in Montreal for over 50 exporters and importers of hazardous waste. Posters and fact sheets were distributed to several customs offices and used for promotional purposes at conferences, workshops, and courses.
  • The Quebec Region, together with the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, conducted four special operations at the United States-Quebec border and the Port of Montreal to improve enforcement of the Export and Import of Hazardous Wastes Regulations and the Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations.

10.4 Inspections and Enforcement

Every fiscal year, Environment Canada develops a national inspection and compliance promotion plan for the regulations that it administers under CEPA 1999 and the Fisheries Act. The plan sets out the national and regional priorities and activities for the coming year. The plan also represents strategic and tactical approaches taken at both the national and regional levels.

Enforcement and Compliance

The process for setting plans and priorities continues to evolve and improve. Some of the specific considerations in setting priorities and in developing planned inspection activities include, but are not limited to, environmental significance, geographic scale, compliance history and profile, nature of the regulatory provisions, operational complexity, and the capacity, number, and type of targeted populations or activities.

For 2000-01, the CEPA National Inspection Plan priorities were set in order to measure compliance with the following regulations:

  • Export and Import of Hazardous Wastes Regulations;
  • Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations; and
  • New Substances Notification Regulations.

These regulations were considered significant from an international and environmental standpoint, the first two having been the subject of a follow-up to the 1997 audit by the Office of the Auditor General.

These tables summarize the enforcement activities under CEPA 1988 during the transition period and completed during 2000-01 and the enforcement activities and actions taken in 2000-01 under CEPA 1999.

Enforcement Activities and Actions in 2000-01 under CEPA 1988
RegulationsEnforcement ActivitiesEnforcement Actions
Field/
Site
Inspec-
tions
Off-site
Inspec-
tions
Investi-
gations
Written
War-
nings
Direc-
tions
Referral
to
Others
Prose-
cutions
Asbestos Mines and Mills Release61900000
Benzene in Gasoline01004000
Chlor-Alkali Mercury Release0300000
Chlorobiphenyls0100001
Contaminated Fuels0100000
Diesel Fuel0500000
Export & Import of Hazardous Wastes103415000
Federal Halocarbons0700000
Fuels Information, No. 10200000
Gasoline02001000
Glycol Guidelines*1000000
National Pollutant Release Inventory**1360061000
New Substances Notification32301000
New Substances Notification - Biotechnology82210000
Ocean Dumping, 198825110000
Ozone-depleting Substances, 19985510002
Ozone-depleting Substances22200000
Ozone-depleting Substances Products2000000
PCB Waste Export02100000
Pulp & Paper Mill Defoamer & Wood Chips24700000
Pulp & Paper Mill Effluent Chlorinated Dioxins & Furans210700000
Secondary Lead Smelter Release8000000
Storage of PCB Material1523147005
Sulphur in Gasoline24000000
Toxic Substances Export Notification22100>000
Vinyl Chloride Release, 199211002000
CEPA Sections4812000
CEPA 1988 Totals1334726123008

* Inspections were carried out to determine the degree to which the Glycol Guidelines are being implemented on a voluntary basis.These guidelines apply to federal airports that carry out aircraft de-icing and anti-icing.

** Although the National Pollutant Release Inventory is not a regulation, inspections are necessary to ensure that data are correct and to follow up with those companies and government institutions that fail to report as required.

Enforcement Activities and Actions in 2000-01 under CEPA 1999
RegulationsEnforcement ActivitiesEnforcement Actions
Field/
Site
Inspec-
tions
Off-site
Inspec-
tions
Investi-
gations
Written
War-
nings
Direc-
tions
Referral
to
Others
Prose-
cutions
Asbestos Mines and Mills Release111000000
Benzene in Gasoline529205000
Chlor-Alkali Mercury Release1300000
Chlorobiphenyls721210010
Contaminated Fuels24400000
Diesel Fuel755102000
Export & Import of Hazardous Wastes259403425360
Federal Halocarbons133604300
Fuels Information,No.116300000
Gasoline40200000
Glycol Guidelines*7000000
National Pollutant Release Inventory**1622121000
New Substances Notification443701002
New Substances Notification - Biotechnology1052411000
Ocean Dumping, 198828511000
Ozone-depleting Substances, 199822214334031
PCB Waste Export01900000
Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances1100010
Pulp & Paper Mill Defoamer & Wood Chips193800000
Pulp & Paper Mill Effluent Chlorinated Dioxins & Furans194800110
Registration of Storage Tank Systems...8201000
Secondary Lead Smelter Release10000000
Storage of PCB Material21122102381510
Vinyl Chloride Release, 19921000000
CEPA Sections6073324060
CEPA 1999 Totals129913091432722193

* Inspections were carried out to determine the degree to which the Glycol Guidelines are being implemented on a voluntary basis.These guidelines apply to federal airports that carry out aircraft de-icing and anti-icing.

** Although the National Pollutant Release Inventory is not a regulation, inspections are necessary to ensure that data are correct and to follow up with those companies and government institutions that fail to report as required.

10.5 Prosecutions and Key Court Cases

Key prosecutions and court cases in 2000-01 included the following:

  • A facility in British Columbia was charged with improperly storing PCBwastes and sending them to a landfill for disposal. The facility pleaded guilty and was fined $30,000. A portion of the fine is to go towards the development of a course for the community on the proper handling and disposal of hazardous wastes.
  • A company in British Columbia was charged with importing cylinders of refrigerants without the required entry notice under the New Substances Notification Regulations. The products were seized. Of the $20,000 fine levied, $16,000 is to go to a court-ordered environmental project.
  • A municipality in Alberta pleaded guilty to improperly storing PCB wastes and releasing PCB-containing oil onto a road. Sentencing is before the courts.
  • An Alberta company was charged with violations of theChlorobiphenyl Regulations and the Storage of PCB Material Regulations after ballasts containing PCBs were allegedly disposed of in a landfill. The matter is still before the courts.
  • A company in Calgary was charged with violations of theOzone-depleting Substances Regulations, 1998 after allegedly exporting chlorofluorocarbons to Cuba. The matter is still before the courts.
  • Two companies in Saskatchewan were charged with violations of the Export and Import of Hazardous Wastes Regulations for allegedly exporting waste to the United States without authorization. One company pleaded guilty and was fined $4,000. The other company pleaded not guilty, and the matter is still before the courts.
  • A company in the Northwest Territories was charged with violations of the Chlorobiphenyl Regulations and the Storage of PCB Material Regulations for allegedly improperly storing electrical equipment containing PCBs. The company pleaded guilty and was fined $4,000.
  • An Ontario company was convicted of importing canisters containing freon contrary to the Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations, 1998 and of failing to have proper safety marks contrary to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations. A sentencing hearing has commenced and is scheduled to continue in April 2002.
  • A resident of Ontario pleaded guilty of one count each for violating the Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations, 1998, the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations, and the Customs Act in relation to the smuggling of a cylinder containing CFC-12 aboard an Air Canada passenger jet inbound to Toronto. The defendant was fined $2,000, $2,000, and $1,000, respectively, and ordered to do 30 hours of community service.
  • An Ontario company has been charged with exceeding its consumption allowance contrary to the Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations, 1998. The next appearance is scheduled for June 2002.
  • A national company with headquarters in Ontario has been charged with eight counts of importing a product containing trichloroethane, contrary to the Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations, 1998. A first appearance is scheduled for March 2002.
  • A company in Quebec was charged with violations of theStorage of PCB Material Regulations for allegedly improperly storing electrical equipment containing PCBs. The company pleaded guilty and was fined $6,000.
  • The operations manager of a company in Quebec was charged with violations of CEPA 1999 for allegedly ocean dumping without a permit. Sentencing is before the courts.
  • Two electronics companies, one in Nova Scotia and one in New Brunswick, pled guilty to separate violations of theOzone-depleting Substances Regulations, 1998 (offering for sale and selling illegal products). Each company was fined $1,000 and agreed to make donations of $4,000 to the Environmental Damages Fund.
  • A New Brunswick company and two of its employees have been charged with exporting hazardous waste in excess of the quantities allowed by their permit under the Export and Import of Hazardous Wastes Regulations. The matter is still before the courts.
  • A Newfoundland company was charged under CEPA 1999 and theFisheries Act for dumping fish offal outside the designated dumping area and without the necessary permits. The company pled guilty and was fined $10,000, of which $9,500 went to the Environmental Damages Fund.