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ARCHIVED - A Guide to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 March 2000

Part 8: Environmental Matters Related to Emergencies (Sections 193 - 205)

This Part provides a "safety net" to fill the gap where no federal, provincial, territorial or aboriginal government regulations exist. It provides authority to require emergency plans for substances once they have been declared toxic by the Ministers.

Environmental emergency plans for a toxic substance must cover:

  • prevention
  • preparedness
  • response, and
  • recovery.

If a company or facility has voluntarily prepared an emergency plan, or prepared plans to meet the requirements of another Act or another government, there is no need to prepare an additional plan as long as the toxic substance of concern is covered.

As with pollution prevention plans, companies and facilities are not normally required to submit emergency plans, but must file a declaration that they have been prepared and implemented. The Minister has the discretionary authority to require submission of these emergency plans.

The Minister may establish a national system for notification and reporting of environmental emergencies, in cooperation with other government departments and provincial, territorial and/or aboriginal governments.

Ministerial authority is provided to issue guidelines and codes of practice and the Governor in Council may make regulations respecting:

  • establishment of a list of substances that may harm the environment or pose a danger to human health if they enter the environment as a result of an emergency;
  • identification of places in Canada where these substances are located;
  • prevention, preparedness, response and recovery from an environmental emergency related to a substance;
  • notification and reporting of environmental emergencies; and
  • implementation of international agreements.
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