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ARCHIVED - CEPA Annual Report for Period April 1999 to March 2000

Part IV: Federal Departments, Agencies, Crown Corporations, Works, Undertakings and Lands

Federal Departments, Agencies, Crown Corporations, Works, Undertakings and Lands (CEPA Sections 52-60)

Part IV provides the authority to regulate waste handling and disposal practices, emissions and effluents from the operations of federal departments, Crown corporations and federal agencies.

Through the Greening of Government Operations initiative, the government continues to establish guidelines for integrating environmental considerations into the operations of all departments. The departments are encouraged to apply these guidelines, taking into account existing regulations and current technological options.

The following activities supported the Greening of Government Operations initiative in 1999- 2000:

  • delivery of three ISO 14000 Environmental Management workshops, and
  • a pilot project between Environment Canada and Transport Canada on the implementation of a comprehensive ISO 14001 environmental management system at a federal facility.

As well, the Federal Committee on Environmental Management Systems provided a forum for departments to exchange best practices in the areas of waste management, water usage, energy use, fleet management, wastewater, boiler emissions, contaminated sites, storage tanks and environmental emergencies.

Federal Halocarbon Regulations

Federal Halocarbon Regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on July 7, 1999. These regulations address releases, recovery and recycling of ODS and their halocarbon alternatives on federal lands. Regions supported the implementation of these regulations by using a variety of ways to get the necessary information to those required to comply with them.

Ontario Region took the national lead in developing two training workshops -- a half-day for managers and two days for staff -- and coordinating the training of the trainers for workshop delivery. The workshops were delivered across Ontario in the fall of 1999 to approximately 120 staff of federal departments, agencies, Crown corporations and private sector operators of federal facilities. A detailed Compliance Promotion Bulletin was also produced and posted on the Federal Programs Division home page on the Ontario Green Lane. To help explain the new regulatory requirements, several articles appeared in the quarterly Compro Update newsletter before and after the regulations were promulgated.

Staff also tracked release reports from regulated facilities and made direct contact with the originators to ensure that all reporting procedures were followed. A set of environmental compliance audit protocols were developed for regulated facilities to assist them in assessing their state of compliance with the new regulations.

During the fall of 1999, Prairie and Northern Region held training sessions in Edmonton, Regina and Winnipeg for federal department employees and First Nations peoples on the Federal Halocarbon Regulations.

The Quebec Region hosted 17 training sessions, reaching 250 people, and published three articles about compliance in the newsletter Virage, which is distributed to 500 federal subscribers in Quebec.

In addition, the Environmental Technology Centre developed a comprehensive management strategy and action plan to ensure the proper management of its halocarbon holdings. It underwent a third-party audit in the fall of 1999, which confirmed its compliance with the new regulations.

Hazardous Waste Regulations

The draft Hazardous Waste Regulations are being revised. These regulations will address releases to the environment from the processing, handling, storing, recycling or disposing of hazardous waste by federal institutions. Suggested limits will cover the release of dioxins, furans and mercury and will be consistent with the proposed Canada-wide Standards addressing these substances. The existing Federal Mobile PCB Treatment and Destruction Regulation is being amalgamated into these hazardous waste regulations.

Wastewater Discharges

A working group, co-chaired by Environment Canada and Transport Canada, undertook a review to identify the types of wastewater discharged from federal facilities. This work resulted in a report, An Approach for Assessing and Managing Wastewater Effluent Quality for Federal Facilities (final report, June 1, 2000). The working group is considering how best to update the document Guidelines for Effluent Quality and Wastewater Treatment at Federal Establishments: April 1976.

Environmental Emergencies

During the 1998- 1999 fiscal year, work was done to ensure that appropriate systems are in place for responding to environmental emergencies at federal facilities. The National Environmental Emergency System was substantially upgraded in 1998 and now incorporates historical data from regions as well as data from various contributing agencies. This system has already been used to assess risks related to year 2000 problems.

A working group on Environmental Emergency Planning, co-chaired by Environment Canada and Transport Canada, continued to promote contingency planning at federal facilities. It helped to organize a two-day seminar in Ottawa in September 1999, which was hosted by Environment Canada' s Ontario Region. Plans call for another seminar in 2000- 2001.

Nitrous Oxide Emissions

A working group on Boiler Emissions, co-chaired by Environment Canada and Public Works and Government Services Canada, completed a draft guideline that addresses the emission of nitrous oxides from new and modified boilers at federal facilities. It is expected that the guidelines will be published in the fall of 2000.

Regional Activities

Ontario Region continued to provide compliance promotion and pollution prevention advice and assistance to those subject to Part IV and other parts of the Act during the year. The Federal Programs Division Web site consistently received a higher than average number of hits each month as the regulated community consulted the online compliance newsletters and bulletins.

Ontario Region revised its popular Compro Update newsletter for Part IV-regulated facilities to focus exclusively on environmental legislative issues, primarily related to CEPA. The newsletter was published four times during the year, presenting feature articles on the new Federal Halocarbon Regulations, revisions to CEPA, regulatory updates on upcoming regulations and guidelines, jurisprudence, etc., and was distributed to over 400 contacts in Ontario electronically or in hard copy.

Ontario Region also sponsored or presented technical training for Part IV clients, including two presentations of a comprehensive five-day workshop on environmental auditing to promote this practice in anticipation of increasing the rate of compliance amongst the regulated community. This workshop, Environmental Auditor, Tools and Techniques, satisfies the 35-hour educational requirement for environmental auditor certification. The popular Environmental Issues Road show training package was delivered in London and Thunder Bay, providing 80 clients with training on fuel handling and storage tanks, due diligence, pollution prevention and the Federal Halocarbon Regulations.

In June 1999, the Quebec Region published a guide for federal departments, Crown corporations and federal agencies working in Quebec. The guide, Guide de conformité environnementale à l’intention des ministères, organismes et sociétés d’État fédéraux oeuvrant au Québec, covers both federal and provincial environmental regulations, providing comprehensive information on all requirements. It is a unique and valuable document for all managers with federal facility responsibilities in Quebec.

In March 2000, 23 federal facility representatives participated in a workshop on due diligence organized by Environment Canada and presented by Justice Canada in Montreal.

In January 2000, the Pacific and Yukon Region held three contingency planning workshops in British Columbia for federal facilities and a two and one-half day workshop to help federal facilities develop strategic plans to control and ultimately phase out ODS.

Ontario Region hosted two contingency planning workshops for its federal facility clients. Six such workshops have been held in the past two years.

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