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Implementation Guidelines for the Environmental Emergency Regulations 2011

6.0 Notification of Environmental Emergencies

According to section 193 of CEPA 1999, an environmental emergency means:

  1. an uncontrolled, unplanned or accidental release, or release in contravention of regulations or interim orders made under this Part [Part 8 of CEPA 1999], of a substance into the environment; or
  2. the reasonable likelihood of such a release into the environment.

Section 201 of CEPA 1999 requires that, when an environmental emergency occurs in respect of any of the substances listed on Schedule 1 of the E2 Regulations, any person who owned or had the charge, management or control of the substance immediately before the environmental emergency, or any person who caused or contributed to the environmental emergency, shall, as soon as possible, notify an enforcement officer or any other person designated by regulation and provide a written report.

For the purposes of section 201 of CEPA 1999,

  • a verbal notification is to be made as soon as possible in the circumstances to the authorities identified in the Release and Environmental Emergency Notification Regulations6 (Notification Regulations) under CEPA 1999, which provide the regulated community and the public with the telephone number of the 24-hour authorities operating for the respective province or territory to which notifications are to be made; and
  • a written report should be made as soon as possible under the circumstances to the relevant authorities.

Information on what a written report must include and to whom it must be sent can be found in section 9 of the E2 Regulations and in Appendix 7. Appendix 7 also provides a recommendation on information to be included in the verbal notification and the telephone numbers to call when a release or an environmental emergency occurs.

A person that is required to notify Environment Canada must take all reasonable measures consistent with the protection of the environment and public safety, including preventing, mitigating or recovering from any negative effects on the environment or on human life or health. The person must make a reasonable effort to notify any member of the public who may be adversely affected by the environmental emergency.


6 Release and Environmental Emergency Notification Regulations