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Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 Annual Report for April 2014 to March 2015

4 Compliance Promotion and Enforcement

Compliance promotion relates to the planned activities that are undertaken to increase awareness, understanding and compliance with the law and its regulations. Through these activities, compliance promotion officers provide information to regulated communities on what is required to comply with the law, the benefits of compliance and the consequences of non-compliance.

CEPA 1999 provides enforcement officers with a wide range of powers to enforce the Act, including the powers of a peace officer. Enforcement officers can carry out inspections to verify compliance with the Act; conduct investigations of suspected violations; enter premises, open containers, examine contents and take samples; conduct tests and measurements; obtain access to information (including data stored on computers); stop and detain conveyances; 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 warrants; and arrest offenders. CEPA 1999 analysts can enter premises when accompanied by an enforcement officer and can exercise certain inspection powers.

A wide range of enforcement measures are available to respond to alleged violations. Many are designed to achieve compliance without resorting to a formalized legal process such as prosecutions or seeking an injunction. These measures also include directions, tickets, prohibition orders, recall orders, detention orders for ships, and Environmental Protection Compliance Orders. Measures to compel a return to compliance through court action include injunctions to stop or prevent a violation and prosecutions. In addition, a return to compliance can be achieved through Environmental Protection Alternative Measures, a program for diverting offenders away from the formal court process.

4.1 Compliance Promotion Priorities

In 2014-2015, Environment Canada worked on compliance strategies and compliance promotion plans for 24 risk management instruments going through the Canada Gazette Parts I and II, including the federal government’s priority sector approach to the proposed Multi-Sector Air Pollutants Regulations. The Department continued to focus compliance promotion efforts on geographically dispersed, hard to reach, small and medium-sized enterprises (less than 500 employees), Aboriginal communities, and federal departments.

The Department added over 16 000 facilities and their contacts to the national compliance promotion database during this fiscal year, improving knowledge of the regulated community. An additional 59 000 facilities and contacts were updated, ensuring high efficiency and accuracy when reaching the regulated community.

Regulatory Interpretation Policy

In October 2014, all Government of Canada departments were required to publish interpretation policies on their websites, intended to help Canadians and businesses understand regulatory requirements as well as when to expect a written response to their enquiries. As part of the endeavour to clarify information for regulatees, Environment Canada is now also publishing Frequently Asked Questions for its 10 most accessed regulations.

4.2 Compliance Promotion Activities

Environment Canada delivered compliance promotion activities for new and existing regulations and codes of practice under CEPA 1999.

Table 15: High and medium priority instruments for which compliance promotion was provided
High Priority InstrumentsMedium Priority Instruments
PCB RegulationsCode of Practice for the Environmental Management of Road Salts
Products Containing Mercury RegulationsPhosphorus Concentration Regulations
Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations, 2012Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations
Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products RegulationsFederal Halocarbon Regulations, 2003
Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning and Reporting Requirements) RegulationsPerfluorooctane Sulfonate and its Salts and Certain Other Compounds Regulations
Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Concentration Limits for Architectural Coatings RegulationsSolvent Degreasing Regulations
Renewable Fuels RegulationsGasoline and Gasoline Blend Dispensing Flow Rate Regulations

Multiple approaches were used to reach the regulated communities, including workshops, information sessions, presentations, information package emails/mail-outs and through technology such as videos, Twitter and Web banner advertising. Many of these activities were carried out in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments as well as non-governmental organizations.

In 2014-2015, Health Canada undertook targeted public outreach and compliance promotion activities under CEPA 1999, particularly in support of information gathering for CMP initiatives, such as polymers, nanomaterials, and remaining petroleum substances. In addition, Health Canada conducted stakeholder outreach and engagement for the third phase of the Domestic Substances List Inventory Update (DSL IU3).

Responding to Inquiries

Compliance promotion officers continued to raise awareness and understanding of the Department’s regulatees by responding to over 3880 inquiries on 14 regulations. More than half of inquiries came in via email, while the remainder came in via fax, letter and telephone.

Figure 6: Inquiries by Method of Receipt

Figure 6: Inquiries by Method of Receipt. (See long description below)
Long description of Figure 6

Figure 6 is a pie chart identifying the method of inquiries received. 55% by Email, 23% by Fax, 18% by Letter and 4% by Phone.

Compliance promotion to federal government department and agency regulatees included individual communications, campaigns and multi-instrument activities on the Federal Halocarbon Regulations, the Petroleum and Allied Petroleum Products Storage Tank Regulations, the Environmental Emergencies Regulations, and the PCB Regulations, among others. Feedback from the Department’s yearly multi-instrument event in Quebec Region showed that 80% of participants (federal departments, small and medium-sized enterprises, and Aboriginal communities) appreciated the experience, leading Ontario Region to host a similar event.

Promoting Compliance to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

Multi-instrument compliance-promotion activities provide an opportunity for stakeholders to obtain information regarding Acts and risk management instruments affecting their activities, in an efficient and effective way. Regulatees also benefit from the knowledge and experience of the on-site compliance promotion officers, the distribution of printed materials on the legislation, and the identification of contacts for further inquiries. In 2014-2015, Environment Canada reached small and medium-sized enterprises through over 90 campaigns on the 14 compliance promotion priority regulations through multi-instrument activities and on a per regulation basis.

In order to increase the compliance rate with the Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning and Reporting Requirements) Regulations, the Department contacted all regulated dry cleaners across the country to provide them with promotional materials (fact sheets and a video), confirm the delivery method each preferred (email, letter or fax), and in what language they preferred the fact sheets (English, French, Chinese, Korean, Punjabi or Persian). The campaign resulted in 90% of the regulated community being successfully contacted and therefore aware of the Regulations. Speaking to each regulatee generated additional questions, resulting in a greater understanding of the requirements of the Regulations.

Figure 7: Fact sheet distribution to dry cleaners

Figure 7: Fact sheet distribution to dry cleaners. (See long description below)
Long description of Figure 7

Figure 7 is a pie chart identifying the language and method of fact sheet distribution to dry cleaners. English: 483 Letters, 210 Email, 11 Fax; French: 154 Letters, 115 Email; Chinese: 50 Letters, 17 Email; Korean: 93 Letters, 9 Email; Punjabi: 15 Letters, 5 Email; Persian: 4 Letters.

4.3 Enforcement Priorities

Each year, Environment Canada develops a National Enforcement Plan (NEP) describing the enforcement activities to be carried out in that fiscal year, including activities addressing non-compliance with CEPA 1999. Factors that influence the identification of the priority regulations include the risk to the environment and human health represented by the regulated substance or activity, compliance issues, new and amended regulations, the nature of regulatory provisions, operational complexity and capacity, and domestic and international commitments and obligations.

Empty Methyl Bromide cylinders found in a warehouse during an ODS inspection. Methyl Bromide is an ozone depleting substance regulated under the Regulations.
Photo: Fernand Comeau © Environment and Climate Change Canada

Empty Methyl Bromide cylinders found in a warehouse during an ODS inspection. Methyl Bromide is an ozone depleting substance regulated under the Regulations. Photo: Fernand Comeau © Environment and Climate Change Canada

In 2014-2015, the NEP priorities included the following CEPA 1999 instruments:

  • Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning and Reporting Requirements) Regulations;
  • Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations;
  • PCB Regulations;
  • Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations, 1998; and
  • reporting to the NPRI under section 48 of CEPA 1999.

The number of planned inspections carried out under the enforcement plan is supplemented by a large number of unplanned inspections resulting from responses to complaints, intelligence gathering, spills or other information. In addition, a number of regulations are identified for regional enforcement focus. The focus placed on regulations in each region is influenced by a number of factors, including geography, the prevalence of the regulated sectors, and provincial and territorial environmental sensitivities.

4.4 Enforcement Activities

Enforcement activities undertaken during 2014-2015 are summarized in the following four tables.

  • Table 16 provides the number of on-site and off-site inspections for each regulation from April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2015.
  • Table 17 provides the breakdown of investigations for each regulation in regard to which at least one investigation occurred and/or closed from April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2015.
  • Table 18 provides the total number of enforcement measures resulting from inspections and investigations that were imposed between April 1, 2014, and March 31, 2015, for each regulation.
  • Table 19 provides the number of prosecutions from April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2015, for each regulation.

EC Inspectors check air conditioning units
Photo: Robert Robichaud © Environment and Climate Change Canada

EC Inspectors check air conditioning units. Photo: Robert Robichaud © Environment and Climate Change Canada

The total number of inspections relate to the number of regulatees inspected for compliance under each of the applicable regulations, using the end date of the inspection for the reference period. Inspections are defined as the active process of gathering information by visiting sites, taking samples and analyzing records to verify compliance with legislation when no offence is suspected. An on-site inspection involves visiting a site, a border crossing, an airport or a port of entry, to conduct any activity/operation/analysis required to verify the regulatee’s compliance with a regulation or permit. An off-site inspection is normally undertaken at the officer’s place of work or in another location that is not at the regulated site and is usually limited to documentation verification.

Table 16: Number of inspections from April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2015
NationalTotalOff-siteOn-site
Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 – Total
4915
1336
3579
2-Butoxyethanol Regulations
1
1
Benzene in Gasoline Regulations
136
103
33
CEPA 1999 – Section(s)
162
54
108
CEPA Section 56 Notices – P2 Plans
3
3
Chromium Electroplating, Chromium Anodizing and Reverse Etching Regulations
59
21
38
Concentration of Phosphorus in Certain Cleaning Products Regulations
23
23
Disposal at Sea Regulations
117
58
59
Environmental Emergency Regulations
261
53
208
Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations
400
33
367
Export Control List Notification Regulations
2
2
Federal Halocarbon Regulations, 2003
470
327
143
Fuels Information Regulations, No. 1
64
59
5
Gasoline and Gasoline Blend Dispensing Flow Rate Regulations
281
281
Interprovincial Movement of Hazardous Waste Regulations
31
3
28
Marine Spark-Ignition Engine, Vessel and Off-Road Recreational Vehicle Emission Regulations
23
1
22
National Pollutant Release Inventory
40
30
10
New Substances Notification Regulations (Chemicals and Polymers)
9
2
7
New Substances Notification Regulations (Organisms)
9
2
7
Off-Road Compression-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations
21
5
16
Off-Road Small Spark-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations
27
4
23
On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations
6
1
5
Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations, 1998
119
14
105
PCB Regulations
933
130
803
PCB Waste Export Regulations, 1996
60
27
33
Perfluorooctane Sulfonate and its Salts and Certain Other Compounds Regulations
4
2
2
Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations, 2005
1
1
Pulp and Paper Mill Defoamer and Wood Chip Regulations
26
24
2
Pulp and Paper Mill Effluent Chlorinated Dioxins and Furans Regulations
16
15
1
Release and Environmental Emergency Notification Regulations
6
5
1
Renewable Fuels Regulations
26
13
13
Secondary Lead Smelter Release Regulations
2
1
1
Solvent Degreasing Regulations
19
1
18
Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations
527
56
471
Sulphur in Diesel Fuel Regulations
116
83
33
Sulphur in Gasoline Regulations
37
5
32
Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning and Reporting Requirements) Regulations
869
200
669
Vinyl Chloride Release Regulations, 1992
1
1
Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Concentration Limits for Architectural Coatings Regulations
4
4
Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Concentration Limits for Automotive Refinishing Products Regulations
4
1
3

Note: Only those regulations under which an inspection occurred during the time period are listed in this table.

Table 17: Breakdown of investigations, from April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2015
NationalStarted before FY 2014-2015 and ongoing at the beginning of the yearStarted in FY 2014-2015Ended in FY 2014-2015
Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 – Total
111
60
51
CEPA 1999 – Section(s)
36
14
14
Chromium Electroplating, Chromium Anodizing and Reverse Etching Regulations
1
1
Concentration of Phosphorus in Certain Cleaning Production Regulations
1
1
Disposal at Sea Regulations
5
1
2
Environmental Emergency Regulations
1
3
Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations
3
1
1
Federal Halocarbon Regulations, 2003
1
Gasoline and Gasoline Blend Dispensing Flow Rate Regulations
1
Marine Spark-Ignition Engine, Vessel and Off-Road Recreational Vehicle Emission Regulations
1
2
Off-Road Compression-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations
5
1
3
Off-Road Small Spark-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations
7
1
3
On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations
2
1
Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations, 1998
6
2
1
PCB Regulations
8
7
3
Renewal Fuels Regulations
1
Solvent Degreasing Regulations
2
0
1
Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations
11
4
7
Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning and Reporting Requirements) Regulations
22
13
14

One investigation may be counted under one or more regulations, therefore the data at the regulation level may not add up to the total.

An investigation involves gathering, from a variety of sources, evidence and information relevant to a suspected violation. An enforcement officer will conduct an investigation when he or she has reasonable grounds to believe that an offense has been committed under the Act and it has been determined that prosecution may be the appropriate enforcement action.

This year, column headers have been modified to show a more simple way of tracking investigations. This better reflects the fact that at the beginning of the year there are a number of investigations carried over from previous years, there are a number of new investigations opened, and from all these a certain number are closed and concluded.

Table 18: Number of Enforcement Measurestable notej from Inspections and Investigations from April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2015
NationalWritten DirectivesWritten Warnings:
Number of letters
Written Warnings:
Number of infractions
Number of Environmental Protection Compliance OrdersEnvironmental Protection Compliance Orders:
Number of infractions
Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 - Total
3
562
2351
78
686
CEPA 1999 – Section(s)
-
20
30
2
7
CEPA 1999 Section 56 Notices – P2 Plans
-
1
1
-
 
Chromium Electroplating, Chromium Anodizing and Reverse Etching Regulations
-
6
25
4
13
Concentration of Phosphorus in Certain Cleaning Products Regulations
-
1
3
-
 
Disposal at Sea Regulations
-
3
4
-
 
Environmental Emergency Regulations
-
43
286
1
35
Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations
-
12
58
2
13
Federal Halocarbon Regulations, 2003
-
28
79
2
8
Fuels Information Regulations, No. 1
-
1
4
-
 
Gasoline and Gasoline Blend Dispensing Flow Rate Regulations
-
28
42
2
6
Marine Spark-Ignition Engine, Vessel and Off-Road Recreational Vehicle Emission Regulations
-
9
20
-
 
National Pollutant Release Inventory
-
14
28
-
 
New Substances Notification Regulations (Organisms)
-
3
13
-
 
Off-Road Compression-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations
-
7
33
-
 
Off-Road Small Spark-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations
-
7
23
-
 
On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations
-
3
9
-
 
Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations, 1998
-
10
25
-
 
PCB Regulations
1
70
199
18
89
Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances (inactive)
-
1
1
-
 
Renewable Fuels Regulations
-
9
36
-
 
Solvent Degreasing Regulations
-
4
6
-
 
Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations
1
112
850
30
446
Sulphur in Diesel Fuel Regulations
-
3
14
-
 
Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning and Reporting Requirements) Regulations
1
167
562
17
69

In 2014-2015 there were no injunctions and no ministerial orders; therefore these columns do not appear.

Environmental Protection Alternative Measures (EPAMs) were reported in this section in previous years. However, considering that EPAMs are an alternative measure that can be available when the person charged is eligible, they are now included in Table 19. This reflects the fact that for some of the charges laid, there is no conviction since the person has entered into an EPAM agreement.

Tickets are summary prosecutions and have been moved to Table 19.

Table 19: Number of Prosecutions from April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2015
NationalTicketsCharges laid in 2014-2015 – Prosecuted SubjectstablenotekCharges laid in 2014-2015 – CountsConcluded in FY 2014-2015 – Convicted SubjectsConcluded in FY 2014-2015 – CountsConcluded in FY 2014-2015 – EPAMs
Canadian Environment Protection Act, 1999 – Total
10
37
155
15
42
2
CEPA 1999 – Section(s)
1
14
52
6
9
Chromium Electroplating, Chromium Anodizing and Reverse Etching Regulations
3
Concentration of Phosphorus in Certain Cleaning Production Regulations
Disposal at Sea Regulations
1
1
1
1
Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations
1
3
1
Fuels Information Regulations, No. 1
5
Marine Spark-Ignition Engine, Vessel and Off-Road Recreational Vehicle Emission Regulations
2
6
Off-Road Compression-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations
1
1
Off-Road Small Spark-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations
1
8
1
1
On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations
Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations, 1998
1
2
2
1
PCB Regulations
1
2
Solvent Degreasing Regulations
2
4
Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations
2
4
1
2
Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning and Reporting Requirements) Regulations
11
73
9
28

4.5 International Enforcement Cooperation

Enforcement-related activities are carried out under various international and domestic agreements and organizations. Under the auspices of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation’s Enforcement Working Group (EWG), Environment Canada's Enforcement Branch engages in cooperative activities with its counterparts at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Mexico's PROFEPA (Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection) and SEMARNAT (Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources). The EWG has finished most of its delivery laid out under its two-year strategic plan. Environment Canada actively participates in INTERPOL’s Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Committee, which brings together executive leaders and decision makers from all 190 INTERPOL member countries to provide strategic advice on relevant issues and to harness global support.

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