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ARCHIVED - CEPA Annual Report for the Period April 1994 to March 1995

CEPA Part VII: General Information

Notices of Objection and Boards of Review

The public may file a "notice of objection" to a decision or proposed regulation.

Because CEPA is organized by subject areas, guidelines or notices of objection appear in numerous sections of the Act. For example, section 51(2) covers notices dealing with nutrients, while section 62(2) details notices related to controls on international air pollution, and section 74 addresses objections relating to ocean dumping permits. Each subject area has its own administrative requirements for notices of objection.

Under procedures set out in sections 89 to 97 of CEPA, the Ministers may establish a board of review to examine a notice of objection. To date, the federal government has not established any boards of review, although some notices of objection have been filed.

Environment Canada has developed procedural rules to govern matters such as administration, written submissions, evidence, confidentiality of documents, public access, conduct of hearings and reporting. The "Administrative Rules for Environmental Protection Boards of Review" will be published in the Canadian Gazette Part I. Publication of the final rules in the Canada Gazette Part II is expected by the fall of 1995.

Enforcement and Compliance

Laws must be effectively enforced. Enforcement must be fair and nationally consistent. All people responsible for administering legislation and those who comply with it must know what is expected of them. These are the reasons that Environment Canada developed an Enforcement and Compliance Policy for CEPA. This policy, prepared in cooperation with the Department of Justice, guides Environment Canada in the Enforcement of CEPA and its regulations. While conducting inspections to verify compliance with the regulations, inspectors follow the policy and determine how to respond to a violation. They consider, among other things, the nature of the offence, the violator's willingness to comply and the violator's past compliance history.

Stronger Enforcement Mechanisms

Environment Canada is continuing to implement an enhanced enforcement program, announced in December 1991 and designed to strengthen the government's ability to enforce environmental laws. The Program provides additional resources to help enforce CEPA regulations.

The funds also enable Environment Canada to develop specialized training courses; negotiate agreements and work-sharing arrangements with the provinces, territories and other federal departments; and create an integrated, computerized information system to support enforcement.

Office of Enforcement

The office of Enforcement, created in July 1991, has responsibilities which include:

  • providing overall functional direction for investigations, inspections and other enforcement actions;
  • developing and monitoring the annual National Inspection Plan;
  • developing enforcement training courses;
  • delivering the annual National Training Program to inspectors and investigators;
  • reviewing new regulations; and
  • developing a management information system.


Inspectors verify compliance with CEPA and its regulations. As part of this job, they may conduct inspections; witness compliance tests; check records, files and other documents required by regulation to be maintained; sample substances, effluents and emissions; and check data and reports filed with Environment Canada.


Both investigators and inspectors examine suspected violations. When they decide that a violation has occurred, they take enforcement action in accordance with CEPA Enforcement and Compliance Policy.

In 1994-95, many enforcement actions resulted in warnings, given when the degree of harm or potential harm to the environment, human life or human health appeared to be minimal.

When there is an actual or potential release of a substance in contravention of CEPA regulations, enforcement officers use directions. CEPA requires that parties owning, managing or controlling substances take reasonable emergency measures to remedy any dangerous condition, or to reduce any danger to the environment, human life or human health that resulted, or may result, from a release. When they fail to take necessary measures to protect the public, inspectors issue directions.

When an alleged violation meets the criteria for prosecution contained in the CEPA Enforcement and Compliance Policy, enforcement officers undertake investigations which may lead to court action.

CEPA Section 108: Applications for Investigations

One of the guiding principles of CEPA's Enforcement and Compliance Policy is to encourage people to report suspected violations to enforcement officers.

Under section 108 of CEPA, any two residents of Canada (18 years of age or older) who believe that an offence has been committed under CEPA may ask the Minister of the Environment for an investigation of the alleged offence.

The alleged offence must meet conditions set out in section 108 before an investigation can begin. If the alleged offence meets these conditions, section 109 requires that an investigation take place to determine the facts relating to the alleged offence. Within 90 days, the Minister of Environment must report to the applicants on the progress of the investigation and the proposed action.

One investigation was pursued under section 108 during the past year. No violation of CEPA was found.

Uniform Enforcement Guidelines

To complement CEPA's Enforcement and Compliance Policy, Environment Canada continued, during the fiscal year 1994-95, to draft Uniform Enforcement Guidelines (UEGs) for priority Regulations:

  • Vinyl Chloride Release Regulations;
  • New Substances Notification Regulations;
  • Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations;
  • Ozone-depleting Substances Products Regulation;
  • Federal Mobile PCB Treatment and Destruction Regulations;
  • Pulp and Paper Mill Effluent Chlorinated Dioxins and Furans Regulations.

Additionally, Working Groups were established to develop, Implementation Strategies for both the PCB and the Export and Import of Hazardous Wastes Regulations. These strategies further elaborate on the UEGs in that they include compliance verification activities for specific provisions as well as suggested enforcement actions for possible infractions. Section by section analysis of these regulations incorporates legal, technical and enforceability issues as background for inspectors. This aids in the provision of overall guidance and inspection priorities.

National Inspection Plan

The National Inspection Plan (NIP), an annual work plan, identifies the number and types of inspections to be carried out under CEPA regulations. A collaboration between staff at Environment Canada's headquarters and regional offices, the plan uses a target oriented approach to focus on the most serious environmental threats in each region. In implementing the NIP, Environment Canada carries out inspections, verifies documents and data submitted by regulatees in compliance with regulatory requirements and evaluates compliance testing results.

National Training Program

Training continues to be a major element of Environment Canada's environmental protection enforcement program. The addition of the wildlife enforcement function to the Office of Enforcement in the fall of 1993 has meant that a new range of special training requirements must now also be met. Similarly, the signing of various federal/provincial administrative agreements has introduced a need to train provincial staff as they begin to assume the responsibilities of administering federal legislation. The National Training Program has therefore been expanded to ensure that pollution and wildlife enforcement officers and analysts are trained to perform duties that involve basic inspection and investigation skills, and very specialized regulation-specific enforcement activities.

In 1994-1995, Environment Canada delivered courses on:

  • Train the trainers
  • Basic Inspectors Course
  • Expert Witness Course
  • Health and Safety Course;
  • Ozone Depleting Substances Regulations;
  • New Substances Notification Regulations;
  • Pulp and Paper Mill Defoamer and Woodchip Regulations (for provincial staff in B.C.);
  • Pulp and Paper Milll Effluent Chlorinated Dioxins and Furans Regulations (for provincial staff in B.C.).

Environment Canada has continued to develop a health and safety guide, and a field sampling manual for both inspectors and investigators. It also participates in federal-provincial working groups for both wildlife and environmental protection, working with our partners to identify ways of better coordinating training and resources, and learning from the experience of others.

Internationally, Environment Canada participated in the International Environmental Enforcement Conference in Mexico. This event raised the profile of our program and follows up with Canada's obligations under North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation (NACEC) in Montreal. EC helped to present a course in Chile in March 1995. This participation was made possible through an agreement between the Government of Canada and Chile.

Computerized Information System

In 1994-95, the Office of Enforcement was actively involved in the programming and installation of the Enforcement Activities Tracking System (EATS). During the past year, the Office of Enforcement worked extensively on programming, testing and debugging the software. The Atlantic Region was selected as the pilot region and received training and a pre-release version of EATS in June 1994. By March 31, 1995, EATS had been installed in each of the five regional offices and Headquarters.

A committee with members from the regions and headquarters provided advice and guidance on the development of the system throughout the year.

Enforcement Activities

The following table shows 1994-95 enforcement activities under CEPA. If you have any questions, you may contact the Office of Enforcement at (819) 953-1174.

Enforcement Activities (1994-95)
Storage of PCB Material42532157 11
PCB Regulations2447 3   
PCB Waste Export1      
PCB Destruction9      
Secondary Lead36  1   
Vinyl Chloride1    1 
Asbestos Mines and Mills26      
Mercury, Chlor-Alkali12      
Gasoline131    2
Contaminated Fuel4      
Ozone-depleting #1,#2, #4188 6 21
Ozone-depleting (Products)18429 19 22
Ocean Dumping1324 2 12
Export-Import Hazardous Waste17011 8 11
Phosphorous Concentration331 1   
Dioxins and Furans30  9   
Defoamer and Wood Chips20      


Prosecutions (April 1, 1994 to March 31, 1995)
Company Name and AddressStatusOffence Date
Date ChargedSections/
Court DateResultPenaltyNotes
Atlantic Region
Miramachi Pulp & Paper Inc. Newcastle, NBCon-
94/03/1894/06/16CEPA - 1 Count PCB Storage Regulations

1 Count Chloro-
biphenyls Regulations App. 451 of PCB oil allegedly leaked into environment
94/08/09Guilty Plea$100 fine and court order to pay $8,000 to the N.B. Dept. of Education for Envi-ronmental Education in area of offence and additional $8,000 to N.B. Community College Scholarship Fund.The charge under the chlorobiphenyls was withdrawn. The company has agreed to pay an additional $500 to Environment Canada for publication in a newspaper of facts related to the case.
Quebec Region
Anachemia Ltd. 500, 2nd Avenue Lachine, QuébecIn Trial91/08/06-91/11/19 Mon-
tréal, Québec
94/10/14CEPA - 5 Counts Ozone-
depleting Substances #1. Illegal importation of products containing CFC's
Accès-O-Tonik 2095. Blvd. Charest, West Sainte-Foy, QuébecCon-
93/10/18 Sainte-Foy, Québec94/05/13CEPA - Ozone-depleting Substances #3. 2 Counts Sale of products containing CFCs94/08/26Guilty Plea$600 Fine 
Zep du Canada Inc. 660, Lépine Avenue Dorval, QuébecCon-
94/01/19 Dorval, Québec94/04/14CEPA - Ozone-depleting Substances #3. 3 Counts Illegal importation, offer for sale and sale of products containing CFCs94/09/06Guilty Plea$9,600 fine and assume the responsibility for the cost of the destruction of CFC containers. 
Ontario Region
Biocan Waste Management Systems and Gary Zimak Thunder Bay, OntarioCon-
93/08/05 Canada Customs Thunder Bay, Ontario94/06/14CEPA - Export and Import of Hazardous Waste Regulations94/0926Guilty PleaBiocan: $5,000 fine President: $2,500 fineAlso community service for one year.
Imperial Oil Chemicals Division, Sarnia, OntarioFor TrialJune 19, July 12, 199395/01/30CEPA - 4 counts. Vinyl Chloride Release Regulation95/11/06  Two counts against Imperial Oil and two counts against Plant Manager
Prairie & Northern Region
No prosecutions during fiscal year 1994-95.        
Pacific & Yukon Region
94/09/094/11/21CEPA - Ocean Dumping 1 count94/12/01Guilty Plea$500 fine$145 restitution 35 hours of community service and a public apology.
Bella Coola Fisheries Ltd. 9829 River Road Delta, B.C.Con-
March 1992; Feb., Aug., Sept. and Dec. 199394/04/07CEPA - Ozone-depleting Substances #2 - 5 Counts Importation of Ozone-
depleting Substances
94/11/23Guilty Plea$7,500 fine 
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