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

Part VII: General

General (CEPA Sections 87-139)

Part VII of the Act concerns the enforcement of regulations made under CEPA and other administrative matters. Under Section 34(6) of CEPA, the federal government can enter into an equivalency agreement with a province, so that provincial requirements are enforced in place of the equivalent CEPA regulation. In addition, under Section 98, the federal government can enter into administrative agreements with provinces.

In 1999-2000, there were 29 CEPA regulations already in force or ready to come into force in the future:

  • Asbestos Mines and Mills Release Regulations
  • Benzene in Gasoline Regulations (amended May 1999)
  • Chlor-Alkali Mercury Release Regulations
  • Chlorobiphenyls Regulations
  • Contaminated Fuel Regulations
  • Diesel Fuel Regulations
  • Export and Import of Hazardous Wastes Regulations
  • NEW: Export Control List Notification Regulations (March 2000)*
  • NEW: Federal Halocarbon Regulations (June 1999)
  • Federal Mobile PCB Treatment and Destruction Regulations
  • Fuels Information Regulations, No. 1
  • NEW: Gasoline and Gasoline Blend Dispensing Flow Rate Regulations (February 2000)
  • Gasoline Regulations
  • Masked Name Regulations
  • New Substances Notification Regulations
  • NEW: Persistence and Bioaccumulation Regulations (March 2000)
  • Phosphorus Concentration Regulations
  • Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations
  • Pulp and Paper Mill Defoamer and Wood Chip Regulations
  • Pulp and Paper Mill Effluent Chlorinated Dioxins and Furans Regulations
  • Registration of Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products on Federal Lands Regulations
  • Secondary Lead Smelter Release Regulations
  • Storage of PCB Material Regulations
  • NEW: Sulphur in Gasoline Regulations (June 1999)
  • NEW: Tributyltetradecyclphosphonium Chloride Regulations (March 2000)
  • Vinyl Chloride Release Regulations, 1992

* The Export Control List Notification Regulations replaced the Toxic Substances Export Notification Regulations.

The Context for Enforcement: Compliance Is the Goal

The CEPA Enforcement and Compliance Policy establishes principles for fair, predictable and consistent enforcement and informs all parties who share responsibility for protecting the environment -- governments, industry, organized labour and individuals -- about what is expected of them and what they can expect from the officials who promote compliance and enforce CEPA and its regulations.

Regular inspections are carried out according to an annual National Inspection Plan, which identifies the quantity and types of inspections and monitoring activities to be carried out each year.

When suspected violations occur, investigations are undertaken to gather evidence and information in order to make a decision on the appropriate enforcement action. In provinces where cooperative arrangements have been put in place through administrative agreements, certain inspection and enforcement activities relating to CEPA may be carried out by provincial employees who have been designated as CEPA inspectors for the purpose of their roles under the agreements.

Enforcement Activities within Canada

During 1999, work was completed on most of the 15 projects that were part of the National Enforcement Program's Action Plans. Among them was a "Business Case" that assessed the gaps between the National Enforcement Program and a strengthened one. The February 2000 federal budget identified $25 million in increased resources for the National Enforcement Program over three years. Before these additional resources were received, an internal departmental reallocation of $2.8 million bolstered the Program on a temporary basis. Of this amount, approximately 65% was earmarked for CEPA-related initiatives, including the hiring and training of Intelligence Officers and other staff, research on the regulated community, further development of the National Enforcement Management Information and Intelligence System (NEMISIS) and work on setting performance measures. (The other 35% was designated for enforcing the pollution prevention provisions of the Fisheries Act for which Environment Canada has enforcement responsibilities.)

Enforcement Activities and Actions 1999-2000
Regulations, Guidelines, etc.Enforcement ActivitiesEnforcement Actions
Adminis-
trative
Verifi-
cation
Field/
Site
Inspec-
tions
Investi-
gations
Verbal War-
ning
Writ-
ten
War-
ning
Direc-
tives
Refer-
ral to
Others
Prose-
cutions
Asbestos41      
Benzene in Gasoline8549  2   
Chlor-Alkali Mercury Release100      
Chlorobiphenyls9645     
Contaminated Fuel3       
Diesel Fuel5316  2   
Export & Import of Hazardous Wastes3271299425 1410
Federal Halocarbon5       
Federal Mobile PCB
Treatment & Destruction
 1      
Fuels Information No. 14411   2 
Gasoline2248      
Glycol25      
National Pollutant Release Inventory952510 79 8 
New Substances
Notification
28619  23  3
New Substances
Notification – Biotechnology
188321     
Ocean Dumping, 1988548      
Ozone-depleting
Substances, 1998
206979 3 91
PCB Waste Export1811      
PCB Waste Export, 19964       
Pulp & Paper Mill
Defoamer & Wood Chip
5917 11   
Pulp & Paper Mill Effluent Chlorinated Dioxins & Furans133181     
Registration of Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products & Allied Petroleum Products on Federal Lands25781     
Secondary Lead Smelter
Release
17      
Storage of PCB Material2061037325271 
Sulphur in Gasoline 48      
Toxic Substances Export Notification97       
Vinyl Chloride Release, 1992        
CEPA – Sections241412028121412
CEPA Totals2 525779641046894826

Note: There were no enforcement actions related to the following regulations: Masked Name; Phosphorus Concentration; and Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances.

NEMISIS is a database and enforcement tool to record data relating to environmental occurrences, inspections and investigation actions. Enforcement managers also use it to track and report on enforcement activities. It is proving to be useful and effective.

Environment Canada has continued to work cooperatively with its law enforcement partners -- the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Transport Canada and the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency -- toward improved CEPA-related enforcement. Environment Canada and the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency continued to work on a Memorandum of Understanding to improve enforcement of environmental legislation at border points. The MOU was signed in September 2000.

A federal-provincial-territorial working-level enforcement meeting was held in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, in June 1999. Participants reviewed enforcement strategies, shared enforcement-related knowledge and experience, and discussed common training opportunities.

Prosecution Results

During fiscal year 1999-2000, Environment Canada brought 26 charges against four defendants for violations of CEPA. Of these 26 charges, three were withdrawn. A defendant charged with violating the New Substances Notification Regulations pleaded guilty and received a fine of $30 000. In addition, the court ordered the defendant in that case to pay $15 000 for watershed improvements under a fisheries management plan, and a further $15 000 to an industry association for training on compliance with environmental regulations. The remaining charges against other defendants are still before the courts.

National Training Program

Environment Canada has a responsive enforcement training program designed to meet needs as they arise. During 1999-2000, considerable effort was made to ensure that both new and experienced enforcement staff received appropriate training on CEPA, 1999. Staff participated in over 120 training sessions.

To prepare staff for their new responsibilities under CEPA, 1999 and also with a view to protecting public safety and officer safety, courses were offered in Applied Peace Officer Sciences, Enforcement Officer Safety and Defensive Tactics, Driver Training and Vehicle Safety, and Safe Boat Handling. A six-week General Enforcement Training course for CEPA Enforcement Officers was offered in conjunction with the RCMP Training Academy.

Other courses in 1999-2000 included Negotiation Skills Training for CEPA Enforcement Officers and a Forensic Interviewing course.

The National Training Plan is posted on Environment Canada's Web site. Courses advertised on the training schedule are also available to staff at other government agencies responsible for enforcing environmental legislation.

Enforcement on the Net

An enforcement home page on Environment Canada's Green Lane, which was launched in 1998-1999, drew an average of 4500 visitors a month in 1999-2000, not including Environment Canada employees. The average time visitors stayed at the site increased from approximately five minutes in April 1999 to over 10 minutes in January, February and March, 2000.

Administrative Agreements

Administrative agreements are working arrangements between the federal government and provincial and territorial governments to streamline efforts in administering regulations. The agreements usually cover inspections, enforcement, monitoring and reporting, and so forth, with each jurisdiction retaining its legal authorities.

Quebec

Environment Canada signed an administrative agreement with the Government of Quebec for the application in Quebec of the federal pulp and paper mill regulations (in effect from November 24, 1997, to March 31, 2000).

This agreement deals with regulations under CEPA and the Fisheries Act and creates a "one-window" approach to administer regulations affecting 63 pulp and paper mills and two municipal mills in Quebec. The CEPA federal regulations covered by the agreement (the Pulp and Paper Mill Effluent Chlorinated Dioxins and Furans Regulations and the Pulp and Paper Mill Defoamer and Wood Chip Regulations) affect seven mills. The other mills are not subject to the regulations because they do not use chlorine or chlorine dioxide in their bleaching process.

In respect to the agreement, the province collects the regulated information, conducts inspections under its own regulations and relays reports to Environment Canada.

In 1999-2000, Environment Canada reviewed 1 029 monthly and quarterly reports from the mills and municipalities. Of the 1029 reports reviewed, 139 related to the CEPA regulations, with the remaining reports concerning the Fisheries Act. Environment Canada also produced monthly reports on compliance, discussed problematic mills with Quebec authorities and took appropriate action in conformity with the enforcement and compliance policy. Twenty-six warning letters and two investigations by federal government representatives were ongoing during the year.

The agreement management committee met four times and participated in numerous conference calls during the year, mainly to negotiate the next agreement.

Saskatchewan

The Canada-Saskatchewan Administrative Agreement for the Canadian Environmental Protection Act came into force on September 15, 1994. The agreement covers these CEPA regulations:

  • Pulp and Paper Mill Effluent Chlorinated
  • Dioxins and Furans Regulations
  • Pulp and Paper Mill Defoamer and Wood
  • Chip Regulations
  • Ozone-depleting Substances Products Regulations
  • Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations
  • Chlorobiphenyls Regulations
  • Federal Mobile PCB Treatment and Destruction Regulations
  • Storage of PCB Material Regulations

The agreement commits both governments to share information relating to the administration of their respective legislation; to ensure that statutory reporting obligations on releases that violate the requirements of their respective legislation are met; and to cooperate on enforcement activities including inspections and investigations.

Releases

Saskatchewan legislation requires the immediate reporting of releases or spills of substances regulated by the province. Some substances, such as PCBs, which are regulated under CEPA, are also regulated by the province. In accordance with the Canada-Saskatchewan administrative Agreement and to avoid duplication of activities, the Saskatchewan Department of Environment and Resource Management (SERM) receives all reports related to unauthorized releases or spills and then notifies Environment Canada about releases of substances that fall under CEPA. SERM provides Environment Canada with an annual report on spills in the province. There is improved federal–provincial coordination related to reporting of spills and releases since the signing of the agreement in 1994.

In 1999-2000, SERM received reports of 27 releases of electrical fluids that had the potential of containing PCBs. It was confirmed that none of the spills contained PCBs over 50 ppm, and the province concluded that the appropriate corrective actions had been taken, including the standard procedure of an immediate clean-up of the spill.

Compliance Promotion and Compliance Verification

  • Pulp and Paper Mill Effluent Chlorinated Dioxins and Furans Regulations -- There are two large pulp and paper mills in Saskatchewan. One is a state-of-the-art zero liquid discharge plant and, since it produces no liquid effluent, the facility is not subject to the Pulp and Paper Mill Effluent Chlorinated Dioxins and Furans Regulations. The other mill is subject to the CEPA regulations, and SERM has incorporated the regulation requirements into the mill's permit. The mill provides all information required by the regulations to the province and the information is copied to Environment Canada. Administrative inspections of these data showed compliance with the regulations. Pulp and Paper Mill Defoamer and Wood Chip Regulations -- Pulp and paper mills in Saskatchewan do not use products listed in these regulations at this time. Consequently, no inspection activities occurred under the Pulp and Paper Mill Defoamer and Wood Chip Regulations.
  • Benzene in Gasoline Regulations -- The CEPA regulations limit the amount of benzene allowed in gasoline. Under these regulations, many regulatees are required to submit reports on their gasoline composition and reports by independent auditors describing their compliance with the regulations. A review of these reports shows some non-compliance with the regulations.
  • Ozone-depleting Substances Products Regulations -- The CEPA regulations prohibit the sale of small containers of ODS. The provincial regulations also cover the sale of small containers, as well as certification of refrigeration technicians and requirements for recovery. As there is potential for duplication of effort related to the prohibition of the sale of containers, Environment Canada has focused its effort on the sale of small containers, and SERM has focused on certification and recovery activities. There were no inspections conducted by Environment Canada or SERM in 1999–2000.
  • Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations -- These CEPA regulations control the manufacture, import, consumption and export of ODS. There is no manufacturing of ODS in Saskatchewan. In 1999-2000, Environment Canada conducted two inspections, one involving a farmer selling some R-12 he had in stock and the other at an automotive dealer who distributes and uses ODS. These inspections found compliance with the federal regulations.
  • Chlorobiphenyls Regulations and Storage of PCB Material Regulations -- The CEPA Chlorobiphenyls Regulations concern in-use equipment containing PCBs. The Storage of PCB Material Regulations require proper storage of PCB materials that are in excess of specified quantities and also require that PCB-containing equipment that is not in use for six months or more be stored in accordance with the regulatory requirements. There were no inspections conducted under the Chlorobiphenyls Regulations of in-use equipment containing PCBs in 1999–2000. SERM conducted 10 PCB storage site inspections in conjunction with its industrial site inspections. There were no inspections conducted by Environment Canada under the Storage of PCB Material Regulations in 1999–2000.
  • Environment Canada maintains the inventory of in-use PCB-containing equipment in Saskatchewan and also maintains the inventory of stored PCB-containing equipment and other materials and waste containing PCBs.

Training

Environment Canada held three training sessions for SERM in 1999-2000. During these meetings, 50 SERM staff, many of whom were Conservation Officers, learned about the obligations of each agency under the Canada–Saskatchewan Administrative Agreement. On March 31, 2000, the seven Conservation Officers from the Saskatchewan Spill Control Centre were designated as Enforcement Officers, according to Section 217, CEPA, 1999, for the purposes of receiving spill reports under Section 95, CEPA, 1999.

Equivalency Agreements

CEPA Section 34(6) provides for equivalency agreements where provincial or territorial environmental legislation has provisions that are equivalent to the CEPA provisions. The intent is to eliminate the duplication of environmental regulations. Equivalency is based on the following criteria: equivalent regulatory standards (as determined by measurement and testing procedures and penalties and enforcement programs) and similar provision for citizens to request investigations.

The federal government has the responsibility to report annually to Parliament on the administration of equivalency agreements. Only one province, Alberta, has entered into an equivalency agreement with the federal government.

Canada-Alberta Equivalency Agreement

An Agreement on the Equivalency of Federal and Alberta Regulations for the Control of Toxic Substances in Alberta was signed on June 1, 1994, and came into effect on December 28, 1994. The following CEPA regulations no longer apply in Alberta:

  • Pulp and Paper Mill Effluent Chlorinated Dioxins and Furans Regulations (all sections),
  • Pulp and Paper Mill Defoamer and Wood Chip Regulations (Sections 4(1), 6(2), 6(3)(b), 7 and 9),
  • Secondary Lead Smelter Release Regulations (all sections), and
  • Vinyl Chloride Release Regulations (all sections).

In 1999-2000, the regulated facilities continued to show compliance with their provincial operating licences for dioxins, furans and vinyl chloride emissions. There were no violations.

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