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ARCHIVED - CEPA Annual Report for Period April 2002 to March 2003

10. Enforcement

CEPA 1999 provides enforcement officers with the authority to address cases of alleged non-compliance with the Act. Enforcement activities include inspection to verify compliance, investigation of alleged violations, measures to compel compliance without resorting to formal court action, and measures to compel compliance through court action.

The Act provides a wide range of responses to alleged violations, including the following:

  • warnings;

  • directions;

  • tickets;

  • prohibition orders;

  • recall orders;

  • detention orders for ships;

  • injunctions to stop or prevent a violation;

  • prosecutions;

  • Environmental Protection Alternative Measures (EPAM); and

  • Environmental Protection Alternative Compliance Orders (EPACO).

CEPA 1999, Part 10, 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 inspections 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 warrants; and

  • arrest offenders.

Officers responsible for responding to environmental emergencies have limited enforcement powers. They can receive notifications of and written reports on environmental emergency incidents, access the site of an environmental emergency, and conduct inspections. They can also give direction to take remedial or preventive measures and collect relevant information regarding the emergency. Relevant information can include examining substances, collecting samples, and preserving other physical evidence.

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. Although CEPA analysts have no authority to issue warnings, directions, tickets, or orders, they may be called as expert witnesses for the purpose of securing an injunction or conducting prosecutions.

10.1 Designations

In 2002-03, 28 additional persons were designated as enforcement officers under CEPA 1999. This brings the total number of designated CEPA enforcement officers to 107. In addition, there are 33 enforcement officers within the department whose main responsibility is to respond to environmental emergencies and who have limited enforcement powers.

10.2 Training

Enforcement training needs continue to grow as new regulations are developed and officers receive their designation. In 2002-03, a number of steps were taken to meet the evolving training needs of the enforcement program. A new training model was developed based on innovative
techniques and stronger partnerships between subject matter specialists and enforcement staff. In addition, the inspection, investigation, sampling, and health and safety courses were improved.

These courses are required for enforcement officer designation. Finally, multidisciplinary training teams responsible for designing and delivering courses on regulations were established.

Courses provided in 2002-03 included:

  • Pollution Enforcement Course -- Successful completion of this course is a requirement for designation as an enforcement officer.

  • General Enforcement Training -- The Royal Canadian Mounted Police provided this course. Successful completion of the course is a requirement for designation as an enforcement officer.

  • Environmental Protection Compliance Orders Course -- This course provides enforcement officers with guidance on issuing orders to compel persons to stop an illegal activity or require action to correct a violation.

  • CEPA Analysts Training Course -- This course was provided to Environment Canada officials who may accompany enforcement officers in carrying out their duties.

  • Regulation-specific Courses -- Courses were also provided on the fuel-related regulations and the Export and Import of Hazardous Wastes Regulations.

10.3 Reinforcing the Compliance Continuum

In 2002-03, Environment Canada took steps to reinforce the linkages among the complementary segments of the “compliance continuum”: compliance promotion, compliance monitoring, compliance verification, and enforcement. A compliance assurance function was developed in order to conduct research and evaluation and provide functional guidance so that the department makes better priority-setting, targeting, and resource allocation decisions relating to compliance promotion and enforcement activities.

An important component of the compliance assurance functions is the Compliance and Analysis Planning database. This database integrates information on Environment Canada’s regulated community for all CEPA 1999 and Fisheries Act regulations. It will be used to improve Environment Canada’s planning and reporting of compliance activities and results.

Another important component is the national compliance promotion focal point, which is designed to coordinate the planning, development, and implementation of compliance promotion activities nationally. These components complement two existing roles, one dedicated to the development of compliance strategies and plans and the other to ensuring the enforceability of new regulations.

This approach will enhance Environment Canada’s ability to develop priority-based, nationally coherent strategies and plans for compliance promotion and enforcement and to achieve greater consistency in environmental protection program implementation.

10.4 Compliance Promotion

Compliance promotion activities are designed to help those who are subject to CEPA 1999 understand and achieve compliance with the law. The following are some examples of compliance promotion activities conducted in 2002-03:

  • Federal Halocarbon Regulations, 2002 -- Prairie and Northern Region coordinated the development and delivery of an information package to regulatees. Prairie and Northern and Pacific and Yukon regions organized and delivered information sessions in Whitehorse and Yellowknife. Ontario Region distributed newsletters and information packages to federal facilities and First Nations peoples. Quebec Region delivered four information sessions to over 100 stakeholders.

  • Solvent Degreasing Regulations -- All Environment Canada regional offices participated in compliance promotion activities in coordination with headquarters. Copies of the proposed regulations, a compliance guide with frequently asked questions, and information fact sheets with important dates were distributed to the requested community and other stakeholders. Information sessions were held in Montréal, Toronto, and Vancouver. Site visits were also conducted across Canada.

  • Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning and Reporting Requirements) Regulations -- All regions participated in the Clean Canada trade show. Copies of the proposed regulations, bulletins, and fact sheets were distributed to several hundred stakeholders. Compliance promotion workshops were held in all regions of Canada. The national inventory of dry cleaners was updated by a combination of site visits and telephone surveys. Compliance promotion materials were prepared, distributed and posted on the Green Lane at:

    http://www.pyr.ec.gc.ca/dryclean

  • Environmental Emergency Regulations -- Ontario Region organized and delivered spill prevention workshops to approximately 75 participants from the private sector and municipalities. Workshop objectives included promoting prevention planning and educating participants about the proposed regulations.

  • National Pollutant Release Inventory -- Quebec Region distributed information brochures to approximately 800 potential notifiers as part of a compliance promotion campaign. The campaign highlighted the addition of seven atmospheric pollutants to the list of substances on which facilities must report. Since then, the total number of notifiers has increased by 30%. Quebec Region also held 11 information sessions for 280 participants.

  • Pollution Prevention Planning for Dichloromethane -- Ontario Region and Pacific and Yukon Region delivered a pollution prevention planning workshop on dichloromethane, which provided information on and promoted the proposed notice requiring the preparation and implementation of pollution prevention plans. The other three Environment Canada regions (Quebec, Prairie and Northern, and Atlantic) provided information on the proposed notice, including requirements and timeframes, to potential notifiers.

  • New Substances Notification Regulations -- Atlantic Region and the Quebec Region developed and distributed fact sheets on the New Substances Notification Regulations for the environmental, metal mining, and oil and gas sectors. Presentations on the regulations were delivered across the country. Prairie and Northern Region distributed over 100 CEPA Registry cards and information kits on the New Substances Notification Regulations to potential regulatees at the Agricultural Biotechnology International Conference.

  • Other Compliance Promotion Activities --

    • Ontario Region delivered 17 workshops to over 220 attendees from federal facilities and First Nations. Workshops addressed the National Pollutant Release Inventory, Federal Halocarbon Regulations, 2002, hazardous waste management, and the proposed Federal Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Storage Tank Systems Regulations. Some of the workshops were developed in collaboration with Health Canada and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. Atlantic Region delivered a Contingency Planning Workshop for federal facilities and First Nations.

    • Quebec Region held a briefing session in the Îles-de-la-Madeleine for members of the public as well as commercial and recreational fishermen and fish farmers, fish plant processors and others, on the federal mollusc program, climate change and disposal at sea.

    • Quebec Region also delivered training to regulatory compliance promotion officers of other programs on the legal framework of compliance promotion activities.

10.5 Inspections

Every fiscal year, Environment Canada develops a national inspection plan for the regulations it administers under CEPA 1999 and the Fisheries Act. The number of planned inspections carried out under the plan is supplemented by a large number of unplanned inspections resulting from complaints or other information. Factors used in developing the plan include risk to human health and the environment, departmental priorities, new/amended regulations, compliance rates, and domestic and international commitments and obligations.

In 2002-03, National Inspection Plan priorities were set to verify compliance with all current regulations, with special emphasis and priority for the following:

  • Export and Import of Hazardous Wastes Regulations;

  • New Substances Notification Regulations;

  • the seven fuels regulations;

  • subsection 36(3) of the Fisheries Act; and

  • the regional level, the Disposal at Sea Regulationswere identified as a priority where applicable.

10.6 Investigations

There are two instances when enforcement officers conduct investigations:

  • when they have reasonable grounds to believe that an offence has been committed under the Act; or

  • when an individual at least 18 years of age and a Canadian resident petitions the Minister to investigate an alleged violation of the Act.

In 2002-03, 36 investigations were initiated; 10 were completed, and 26 are ongoing. In addition, there were 24 investigations that were initiated before 2002-03; 16 were completed in 2002-03, one of them resulting in the negotiation of an Environmental Protection Alternative Measures agreement, and the remaining 8 are ongoing.

10.7 Environmental Protection Alternative Measures

In 2002-03, an Environmental Protection Alternative Measures (EPAM) agreement was negotiated between the Attorney General of Canada and a corporation operating in Prairie and Northern Region. The corporation was charged with the unlawful storage of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) material contrary to the Storage of PCB Material Regulations, the unlawful deposit into a landfill of equipment containing PCBs contrary to the Chlorobiphenyls Regulations, and failure to report to an enforcement officer a potential release of a toxic substance listed in Schedule 1 of CEPA 1999. An EPAM agreement allows, after the laying of charges, for negotiated settlements that avoid the time and expense of lengthy court cases. In this case, the corporation agreed to:

  • contribute $40 000 to the Environmental Damages Fund (the fund is used for environmental assessments and other activities to restore damaged areas of the environment);

  • develop a standard operating procedure for handling ozone-depleting substances and PCBs;

  • incorporate these procedures into its environmental management system;

  • develop a training program for its employees and contractors; and

  • publish an article in an approved magazine to alert others to environmental legislation governing PCBs.

10.8 Environmental Protection Compliance Orders

These orders can be issued to prevent a violation from occurring or to stop or correct one that is occurring or continuing over a period of time. In 2002-03, Quebec Region issued an Environmental Protection Compliance Order requiring a company to submit information on the manufacturing of microorganisms. The company appealed to the Chief Review Officer, who upheld the order.

10.9 Prosecutions and Key Court Cases

Key prosecutions and court cases in 2002-03 included the following:

  • An Alberta company was assessed a penalty of $20 000 ($5000 fine and $15 000 contribution to the Environmental Damages Fund) after pleading guilty to one count of violating the Storage of PCB Material Regulations. Charges related to failing to inspect and maintain the concrete floor at an organic liquid tank farm.

  • An Alberta company was assessed a penalty of $10 000 ($2000 fine and $8000 contribution to the Environmental Damages Fund) after pleading guilty to one charge of violating theChlorobiphenyls Regulations under CEPA 1999. The charge related to the illegal disposal of equipment containing PCBs.

  • A Canadian company with an office in Alberta pleaded guilty to violating the Benzene in Gasoline Regulations by unlawfully importing gasoline with a benzene concentration above the regulatory limit and failing to report these imports. The company was assessed a penalty of $50 000 ($7000 fine and $43 000 contribution to the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Environmental Design for environmental research).

  • An Ontario company was convicted of exceeding its consumption allowance of hydrochlorofluorocarbons, contrary to theOzone-depleting Substances Regulations, 1998. A fine of $35 000 was assessed.

  • An Ontario company was convicted of illegally importing chlorofluorocarbons, contrary to the Ozone-depleting Substances Products Regulations, and fined $20 000. The company was also fined $20 000 for a violation under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act.

  • An Ontario company was convicted of violating theOzone-depleting Substances Regulations, 1998 with respect to the manufacture and sale of products containing hydrochlorofluorocarbons. A Ministerial Order was issued to recall non-compliant products in the Canadian marketplace and to destroy them in an environmentally sound manner. The company was also ordered to pay $35 000 to a local community college for bursaries in support of environmental education.

  • A recycling company, with locations in Quebec and New Brunswick, pleaded guilty to three charges of importing hazardous wastes (waste lead acid batteries) in violation of the Export and Import of Hazardous Wastes Regulations. The company was fined $4500 and ordered to dispose of the batteries according to law. This was the first conviction of this type in Atlantic Canada.
Table 10: Enforcement Activities Carried Out under CEPA 1999 during 2002-03
ToolsTotal
inspec-
tions
On-
site
inspec-
tions
Off-
site
inspec-
tions
Inves-
tiga-
tions
Con-
tra-
ven-
tions
Direc-
tives
Writ-ten
war-
nings
Pro-
secu-
tions
Char-
ges
Con-
vic-
tions
Benzene in Gasoline2541221321005222
CEPA 1999 - Section(s)46931415570155220
Chlor-Alkali Mercury Release4130000000
Chlorobiphenyls6444202002000
Contaminated Fuel1100000000
Diesel Fuel13650860001000
Disposal at Sea (Ocean Dumping)8254280000000
Export and Import of Hazardous Wastes866444422160041221
Export Control List Notification16281540000000
Export of Substances under the Rotterdam Convention822800000000
Federal Halocarbons1731195410027000
Federal Registration of Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products on Federal Lands or Aboriginal Lands12660000000
Fuels Information, No. 1142131290003110
Gasoline268180001000
Gasoline and Gasoline Blend Dispensing Flow Rates111100000000
Glycol2200000000
National Pollutant Release Inventory23824214100171000
New Substances Notification271881831012000
New Substances Notification - Biotechnology2831161670000000
Ozone-Depleting Substances, 199844622222491028120
PCB Waste Export16061540000000
Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances, 200310961030000000
Pulp and Paper Mill Defoamer and Wood Chip10916930000000
Pulp and Paper Mill Effluent Chlorinated Dioxins and Furans194231710006000
Secondary Lead Smelter Release111100000000
Storage of PCB Material285772081013000
Sulphur in Diesel Fuel6446180001000
Sulphur in Gasoline14199420001000
Vinyl Chloride Release, 19927160000000
Total - CEPA 19994804193428703613345493

Explanatory notes:
• The number of inspections relates to the number of regulatees inspected for compliance under each of the  applicable
   regulations.
• Investigations are tabulated by number of investigation files. An investigation file may include activities relating to
   more than one Act or regulation.
• All measures (except prosecutions) are tabulated at the section level of a regulation. For example, if the outcome of an
   inspection is the issuance of a written warning that relates to three sections of a given regulation, then the number of
   written warnings is three.
• The number of prosecutions is represented by the number of regulatees that were prosecuted, regardless of the number
   of regulations involved.

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