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ARCHIVED - CEPA 1999 Annual Report for April 2009 to March 2010

7 Controlling Pollution and Managing Waste (Part 7)

Part 7 of CEPA 1999 provides the Minister with additional authorities to deal with various substances that have the potential to harm the environment or human health.

7.1 Regulations

Proposed Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations

On April 4, 2009, the Minister of the Environment published a notice in the Canada Gazette, Part I, to inform Canadians of the Government of Canada's intent to develop new regulations under CEPA 1999 to limit GHG emissions from new cars and light-duty trucks in alignment with U.S. national standards, to take effect beginning with the 2011 model year. On December 7, 2009, Environment Canada released a consultation draft of the planned Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations, to seek input from interested parties in advance of proceeding with the formal publication of proposed regulations in the Canada Gazette, Part I.

Regulations Prescribing Circumstances for Granting Waivers Pursuant to Section 147 of the Act

Proposed regulations published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on November 14, 2009, would allow the Minister of the Environment to grant temporary waivers under the authority of CEPA 1999 if there is an actual or anticipated fuel supply shortage during a declared emergency, and/or at the request of the Minister of National Defence if there is an actual or anticipated fuel shortage that could affect national defence operations.

Regulations Amending the Sulphur in Gasoline Regulations

The Regulations Amending the Sulphur in Gasoline Regulations (Miscellaneous Program) made pursuant to section 140 of CEPA 1999 were developed to address recommendations made by the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations. The objective of these amendments is to achieve consistency between the English and French versions of the Regulations. These final amendments were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on April 1, 2009.

7.2 Disposal at Sea

The disposal of waste at sea within Canadian jurisdiction and by Canadian ships in international waters requires a permit issued by the Environment Canada. A permit for disposal at sea will be approved only if it is the environmentally preferable option. CEPA1999 provides additional controls on disposal at sea, including:

  • a prohibition on the export of a substance for disposal in an area of the sea under the jurisdiction of a foreign state or in its internal waters;
  • a list of six substances for which a disposal at sea permit can be obtained (Schedule 5 of the Act);
  • an assessment framework for reviewing permit applications based on the precautionary principle, which must be followed (Schedule 6 of the Act); and
  • a statutory obligation to monitor selected sites.

7.2.1 Disposal at Sea Permits

In 2009-2010, 84 permits were issued in Canada for the disposal of 4.57 million t of waste and other matter (Tables 9 and 10), compared with 96 permits for the disposal of 3.79 million t in 2008-2009. Most of this was dredged material that was removed from harbours and waterways to keep them safe for navigation. The number of permits issued has remained relatively stable since 1995.

Table 9: Disposal at sea quantities permitted (in tonnes) and permits issued in Canada from April 2009 to March 2010
MaterialQuantity PermittedPermits Issued
Dredged material
3 790 150*
Geological matter
715 000*
Fisheries waste
67 355
Organic matter
4 572 705

* Dredged material and geological matter were converted to tonnes using an assumed density of 1.3 tonnes per cubic metre.

Table 10: Disposal at sea quantities permitted (in tonnes) and permits issued by region from April 2009 to March 2010



AtlanticQuebecPacific and YukonPrairie and Northern
Quantity PermittedPermits IssuedQuantity PermittedPermits IssuedQuantity PermittedPermits IssuedQuantity PermittedPermits Issued
Dredged material*
1 143 350
370 500
2 276 300
Geological matter*
715 000
Fish waste
66 185
Organic matter
1 209 535
371 670
2 991 300

* Dredged material and geological matter were converted to tonnes using an assumed density of 1.3 tonnes per cubic metre.

7.2.2 Disposal Site Monitoring Program

As required by CEPA 1999, disposal sites are monitored to verify that permit conditions were met, and that scientific assumptions made during the permit review and site selection process were correct and sufficient to protect the marine environment. In 2009-2010, monitoring projects were completed on 15 disposal sites, specifically involving fieldwork carried out in the summer of 2009. The fieldwork included an analysis of historical data at one site and a stability and chemical concentration analysis at seven sites in the Magdalen Islands, Quebec; a follow-up in the Atlantic Region on a recommendation to conduct a benthic community survey at a past site and to conduct physicochemical monitoring at an irregularly used site; physicochemical monitoring at five sites in Environment Canada's Pacific and Yukon Region; and one baseline study at the site of a proposed vessel sinking. Monitoring data continues to be instrumental in the development of site management plans for Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and Saint John, New Brunswick. An analysis of data gaps and information requirements is being conducted for a similar initiative at various sites on the Pacific coast.

Further details can be found in the Compendium of Monitoring Activities at Ocean Disposal Sites, which is sent to permittees and submitted to the International Maritime Organization annually.

7.3 Control of Movement of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material and of Prescribed Non-hazardous Waste for Final Disposal

CEPA 1999 enables the making of regulations governing the export and import of hazardous waste, including hazardous recyclable materials. The Act also enables authorities to make regulations on the export and import of prescribed non-hazardous waste for final disposal. The Act requires exporters of hazardous wastes destined for final disposal to submit export reduction plans, and sets out criteria that may be considered in refusing to issue an export, import or transit permit if the waste or recyclable material will not be managed in a manner that will protect the environment and human health.

Through the Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations made under the Act, Canada implements its international obligations as a party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal. In this regard, Canada and other Convention parties have been developing a new strategic framework for 2012-2021 to update the strategic plan of 2002-2010. Parties are also involved in the country-led initiative to develop recommendations for the protection of countries that do not have the capacity to manage hazardous wastes in an environmentally sound manner.

Canada continues to participate in public–private partnerships that have been established to advance the Basel Convention goals and objectives. The Partnership for Action on Computing Equipment, for example, is developing a guidance document on the environmentally sound management of end-of-life electronics.

Canada also participated in the simultaneous Extraordinary Conferences of the Parties (ExCOP) to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, in February 2010. ExCOP was designed to encourage and improve cooperation and coordination between these Conventions. Key features of this "synergies" process are to ensure maximum coherence, efficiency and effectiveness in the field of chemicals and wastes, and to identify specific administrative and program-level areas for mutual advantage of all three conventions.

During the 2009 calendar year,1 just over 47 600 individual transboundary shipments of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable material were reported in movement documents received.

In 2009, the quantity of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable material imported into Canada was 478 651 t. This represents a decrease of approximately 6% over the total 2008 import quantity, which was 509 501 t. The decrease in the total quantities imported into Canada during 2009 amounted to 30 850 t. Shipments destined for recycling, which reduce reliance on primary resources and benefit Canadian industry, totalled 215 648 tand represented nearly 45% of all imports in 2009, a decrease from 48% in 2008. Used or spent batteries, metal-bearing waste, used or spent liquors from metallurgical processes, used lubricating oils and manufacturing residues made up the majority of imports of hazardous recyclable material into Canada. Hazardous waste imports destined for disposal operations included solid wastes no longer suitable for metal recovery, industrial residues and environmentally hazardous substances.

In 2009, exports of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable materials amounted to 431 921 t, which represents a decrease of 25 885 t or 5.6% from the 2008 figure. Of this value, the quantity of waste that was exported for recycling in 2009 was 316 172 t, which is a decease from 354 722 t in 2008. Following the trend established over previous years, a quarter of the waste exported in 2009 was destined for disposal, while three quarters was exported for recycling operations.

During 2009, over 4300 notices were processed for proposed imports, exports and transits of hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable materials. The notices received covered over 22 582 individual waste streams, which exhibited a range of hazardous properties such as being explosive, flammable, acutely toxic, corrosive, dangerously reactive and environmentally hazardous.

The annual statistics for international transboundary movements indicate that, in 2009, nearly 99% of imports and exports, for both hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable materials, occurred between Canada and the United States. No other countries received shipments of hazardous waste destined for disposal from Canada. Other countries involved in the movement of hazardous recyclable materials in notable quantities include European countries, China and the Republic of Korea.

Imports of hazardous recyclable materials in 2009 were shipped to five provinces. Quebec and Ontario continued to receive the vast majority of all imports into Canada, with smaller quantities imported into British Columbia, Alberta and New Brunswick. The situation was similar for imports of hazardous waste for final disposal, with most destined for Quebec and Ontario, and relatively small quantities imported into Alberta and British Columbia. No imports were received by the territories.

In 2009, exports of hazardous recyclable materials originated from nine provinces, with Ontario and Quebec accounting for 70% of all shipments out of Canada. The bulk of these shipments were sent to authorized facilities located in the northeastern and central United States. The situation was similar for exports of hazardous waste for final disposal, with most originating from Quebec and Ontario, and no materials departing from New Brunswick or Newfoundland and Labrador. For 2009, no exports of hazardous waste, whether destined for disposal or recycling, were shipped from Prince Edward Island or any of the territories.

Tables 11 and 12 list the quantities imported and exported from 2001 to 2009.

Table 11: Hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable material, imports, 2001-2009 (tonnes)
237 069193 318189 110200 097174 983164 903220 377247 763215 648
Total imports
499 758423 067417 368416 136476 416408 839470 136509 501478 651


Table 12: Hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable material, exports, 2001-2009 (tonnes)
237 872238 597205 356187 986226 380374 024352 933354 722316 172
Total exports
313 361340 261321 294308 357327 746474 538452 396457 806431 921

7.4 Nutrients

On June 11, 2009, the Governor in Council made the Regulations Amending the Phosphorus Concentration Regulations. The amendments limit phosphorus in detergents and cleaners to help prevent the proliferation of blue-green algae. The amendments prohibit the manufacture and importation of household laundry and automatic dishwasher detergents and other household cleaning products containing more than 0.5% elemental phosphorus by weight, effective as of July 1, 2010. The existing Phosphorus Concentration Regulations, which came into effect in 1989, include a concentration limit of 2.2% for laundry detergents. This limit will remain unchanged for commercial and industrial laundry detergents.

1 To ensure consistency with international reporting mechanisms, export and import quantities set out in section 7.3 of this report represent actual movement values that took place during the 2009 calendar year (from January 1 to December 31, 2009).

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