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ARCHIVED - CEPA Annual Report for Period April 2001 to March 2002
- 1. Administration
- 2. Public Participation
- 3. Information Gathering, Objectives, Guidelines, and Codes of Practice
- 4. Pollution Prevention
- 5. Controlling Toxic Substances
- 6. Animate Products of Biotechnology
- 7. Controlling Pollution and Managing Wastes
- 8. Environmental Emergencies
- 9. Government Operations, Federal and Aboriginal Land
- 10. Enforcement
- 11. Miscellaneous Matters
- National Library of Canada cataloguing in publication data
- 10.1 Enforcement Officers
- 10.2 Compliance Promotion
- 10.3 Inspections and Enforcement
- 10.4 Prosecutions and Key Court Cases
The Act provides a wide range of responses to alleged violations, including the following:
- prohibition orders;
- recall orders;
- detention orders for ships;
- injunctions to stop or prevent a violation;
- Environment Protection Alternative Measures; and
- Environment Protection Alternative Compliance Orders.
CEPA 1999, Part 10 also provides enforcement officers with a wide range of powers to enforce the Act, including these powers of a peace officer. Enforcement officers can:
- carry out inspection to verify compliance with the Act;
- conduct investigations of suspected violations;
- enter premises, open containers and examine contents, take samples;
- conduct tests and measurements
- obtain access to information (including data stored on computers);
- stop and detain conveyances;
- enter, search, seize and detain items related to the enforcement of the Act; secure inspection warrants to enter and inspect premises that are locked and/or abandoned or where entry has been refused;
- seek search warrant, and
- arrest offenders.
CEPA analysts can also enter premises when accompanied by an enforcement officer. They can exercise the following inspection powers: open containers, examine contents and take samples; conduct tests and measurements, and secure access to information. They have no authority to issue warnings, directions, tickets or orders. However, they may be called as expert witnesses for the purpose of securing an injunction or conducting prosecutions.
Part 10 also provides authorities for enforcement officers to issue Environmental Protection Compliance Orders to prevent or stop illegal activity or to require action to correct a violation. CEPA 1999 also provides for Environmental Protection Alternative Measures, which, after the laying of charges, allow for negotiated settlements that avoid the time and expense of lengthy court cases.
In 2001-02, four new enforcement officers were designated, while three officers left the Department. Currently there are 92 enforcement officers within Environment Canada. Approximately 20 new officers are expected to be designated in 2002-03.
Enforcement training needs continue to grow as new regulations are developed. Most regulations require some level of specialized training in order to be enforceable. The Department is meeting this challenge by developing new training tools, materials and courses, and by delivering a training program that better meets the needs of adult learners. Key accomplishments in 2001-02 included:
- Eight participants from different regions attended a Pollution Enforcement Course in North Vancouver. It was intended for newly appointed pollution enforcement officers. In addition, some of these new officers, as well as other officers responsible for the enforcement of CEPA 1999 and the Fisheries Act, received General Enforcement Training. An Analysts Training Course was also offered in 2001-02.
- The Ontario Region, in conjunction with program officials and enforcement officers from other regions and national headquarters, developed training materials on the New Substances Notification Regulations. This material was used in developing a training course on the Regulations. The course was delivered on three occasions across the country.
- The Quebec Region, trained enforcement officers on theFederal Halocarbons Regulations.
- The Pacific and Yukon Region, in collaboration with national headquarters, developed an expert witness training video. It assists officers and scientific staff in understanding their role in an investigation and helps them to prepare for trial and to give expert testimony.
Work continues on introducing and providing training using a variety of efficient and effective learning methods. Past efforts have received positive feedback from both managers and learners.
In 2001-02, Environment Canada's regional program officers conducted compliance promotion activities in order to help those subject to CEPA 1999 to understand and achieve conformity with the law. Activities included providing information and education through workshops and seminars and through the development and distribution of material such as brochures, fact sheets and information packages.
The following are some examples of compliance promotion activities conducted in 2001-02:
- Pacific and Yukon Region developed a database listing over 1000 regulatees on federal works and undertakings in British Columbia and the Yukon, for the Federal Halocarbon Regulations (FHR). Three training workshops on the FHR were held and over 70 regulatees attended. In addition, a halocarbon management strategy was developed and a halocarbon management binder produced for each regional Environment Canada facility.
- Pacific and Yukon Region distributed 500 information packages on the New Substances Notification Regulations to potential regulatees. It also provided information at three conferences/meetings and to four industry newsletters. A pilot project was initiated to develop contacts with other federal agencies to help promote compliance with the regulations.
- Pacific and Yukon Region presented information on the proposed dry-cleaning regulations at the British Columbia Fabricare Association's annual convention in Vancouver.
- Prairie and Northern Region also held presentations highlighting the proposed dry-cleaning regulations in Calgary and Edmonton. Approximately 200 members of the Alberta dry-cleaning community attended. In addition, a compliance promotion presentation was made to 40 members of the Saskatchewan dry-cleaning community.
- Prairie and Northern Region held three one-day technical workshops and two half-day information workshops on the Federal Halocarbon Regulations. Approximately 100 regulatees attended. Three brochures on the regulations were sent to all federal works and undertakings in the region.
- Ontario Region, working with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, began operating a Joint Technical Assistance Centre in September 2001. Staffed by National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) and provincial officials, it provides program guidance and technical support to assist reporters in complying with the NPRI and with the province's similar regulation. The help desk is part of a pilot project to provide "one window" reporting of air emissions by facilities in the province. The help desk responded to over 2100 calls in its first ten months of operation.
- Ontario Region distributed an information package to approximately 500 federal works and undertakings, including a fact sheet on the findings of a federal survey on activities related to ozone-depleting substances and a fact sheet on the Federal Halocarbon Regulations and its amendments.
- Ontario Region organized and delivered workshops to over 80 representatives from federal facilities and First Nations. The workshops' objective was to increase compliance with CEPA 1999 andFisheries Act regulations
- Quebec Region held information sessions with several professional associations and federal departments on theFederal Halocarbon Regulations. An information bulletin was also sent to 300 telecommunication companies and 450 readers of 'Virage', a regional information bulletin on the environment intended for federal departments and organizations.
- Quebec Region, together with the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, conducted five special sessions at the United States-Quebec border and the Port of Montreal to improve enforcement of theExport and Import of Hazardous Wastes Regulations and theOzone-depleting Substances Regulations. The Quebec Region also took part in a three-day operation with the United States aimed at hazardous wastes and the trucking industry.
- Atlantic Region held an Environmental Management Workshop for over 80 participants from various federal agencies in the Atlantic provinces. This was a significant opportunity to promote the regulations applying to federal facilities and highlight the vision of Part 9 of CEPA 1999.
- Atlantic Region developed a manual for customs officers. It provides details on the various types of ozone-depleting substances and halocarbons, as well as on the containers and equipment in which they might be transported.
- Atlantic Region held a workshop and a series of meetings with municipalities on reducing the risks posed by sewage discharge. It also participated in a survey of municipal wastewater treatment plants on the American and Canadian side of the St. Croix River. Data gathered was used to develop a comparison of operating standards, emergency reporting procedures and enforcement protocol.
On May 5, 2001, consultations were held on the proposed Contraventions Regulations under the federal Contraventions Act. The final regulations were published on October 25, 2001 in Part II of the Canada Gazette and are in force. The Contraventions Act, administered by the Department of Justice, provides for the issuing of tickets for alleged offences as an alternative to formal court prosecution. The Contraventions Regulations under that Act identify the CEPA 1999 violations that are punishable by ticket. The CEPA 1999 offences that meet the Contraventions Act criteria for ticketing are those where there is minimal or no threat to the environment or human life or health. Examples of such offences are the failure of a regulatee to provide information or a report as required by regulations, or the failure to provide information or documents within the time limit stipulated in regulations. CEPA 1999 offences that are ticketable are subject to a fine of $500 for every day that the alleged violation continues.
The Contraventions Act tickets dovetail with similar schemes in the provinces. The Department of Justice signs agreements with provinces and territories so that they allow federal tickets and fine collection for tickets to operate under their existing systems. Thus far, the provinces of Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island have signed such agreements. Therefore, in those provinces where agreements with the Department of Justice are in place, CEPA 1999 enforcement officers will be able to issue tickets for alleged violations of the Act.
Over the next fiscal year, Environment Canada enforcement officers will receive training from the Department of Justice in the issuance of ticket forms and the relevant procedures to follow under the Contraventions Act.
In 2001-02, the first Environmental Protection Alternative Measures (EPAM) agreement was negotiated between the Attorney General of Canada and a corporation. After the laying of charges, EPAMs allow for negotiated settlements that avoid the time and expense of lengthy court cases. The agreement was negotiated after charges were laid for the illegal export of CFCs to Cuba. As a result of this agreement, the corporation agreed to contribute $30,000 to the Environmental Damages Fund, develop a standard operating procedure for handling substances regulated under CEPA 1999, develop a training program for its employees, and publish an article in a trade magazine to alert others to environmental legislation governing ozone-depleting substances.
Every fiscal year, Environment Canada develops a national inspection 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. It also outlines the strategic and tactical approaches taken at both the national and regional levels. In developing the plan, a number of factors are taken into consideration. Examples include the capacity, number, and type of targeted populations or activities, the nature of the regulatory provisions; operational complexity; environmental significance; geographic scale; as well as the profile and compliance history of the regulated sectors.
In 2001-02, National Inspection Plan priorities were set to verify compliance with the following regulations:
- Export and Import of Hazardous Wastes Regulations;
- Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations; and
- New Substances Notification Regulations.
Table 7 summarizes the enforcement activities for the fiscal year 2001-2002.
INSPECTIONS are compiled - by Regulation and by Subject - based on the Start Date of the inspection. Compliance verified on one regulation for one subject amounts to one inspection;
- one regulation for two subjects amounts to two inspections;
- two regulations for one subject amounts to two inspections.
INVESTIGATIONS are compiled by Regulation and by Suspect, based on the Start Date of the investigation.
- one suspect in contravention with one regulation amounts to one investigation;
- two suspects in contravention with one regulation amounts to two investigations;
- one suspect in contravention with two regulations amounts to two investigations.
ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS (for ex.: warnings, prosecutions etc.) are compiled at the Section level of a regulation, based on the Start Date of the activity (inspection/investigation).
- one action against one section of a regulation amounts to one action;
- two actions against two sections of a regulation amounts to two actions; (for example, two different actions/measures can be undertaken for a violation/offence, under the Chlor-Alkali Mercury Release Regulations of CEPA:
- an enforcement officer's direction for paragraph 3(1)(a) and a warning for subsection 5(1). They would then account for two enforcement actions).
Key prosecutions and court cases in 2000-01 included the following:
- A company was fined $50,000 in Yorkton provincial court for charges related to the export of hazardous waste. The charges stemmed from the export of 54 drums of hazardous waste paint by-products to a facility in North Dakota. The case is currently under appeal. Another company pleaded guilty in this matter and was fined $2,000.
- A municipality in Alberta pleaded guilty to charges related to the improper storage and disposal of PCBs on April 12, 2001. Under section 288 of CEPA 1999, the judge granted a conditional discharge on the condition that the town make a presentation to the Alberta Municipal Association on the importance of adhering to the federal PCB legislation. The judge noted the small size of the municipality (3100 people) as a mitigating factor in his decision.
- An Alberta company plead guilty to charges related to the improper handling and disposal of PCB's and was assessed a penalty of $30,000. A significant portion of the penalty was used to develop a course on environmental management of wastes.
- An Ontario company was charged with exceeding its consumption allowance, contrary to the Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations, 1998. The matter is before the courts.
- A recycling company, with locations in Quebec and New Brunswick, and two of its employees have been charged with importing hazardous wastes (waste lead acid batteries) in violation of the Export and Import of Hazardous Wastes Regulations. The matter is before the courts.
- The Director of Operations of a Quebec company pleaded guilty to a charge of violating the CEPA (1999) by dumping waste in the ocean without a permit. The person in question was fined $4,000.
- Two companies in Newfoundland have been charged with offering for sale and selling pressurized products (less than 2 kilograms in weight) containing hydrochlorfluorcarbons, an ozone depleting substances. This is contrary to the Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations, 1998. Both cases are before the court.
- A company in Newfoundland pleaded guilty to disposing of fish offal outside its designated disposal area and without the necessary permits. The company was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine, $9,500 of which was directed to the Environmental Damages Fund. The Fund, which Environment Canada administers, is used for environmental assessments and other activities to restore damaged areas of the environment.
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