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Reply to Comments Received in Submissions on the Proposed Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations

Comments and Reply: Confirmation of Disposal or Recycling

A number of industry, association and provincial stakeholders provided comments with respect to the confirmation of disposal or recycling for wastes and recyclable materials.

Confirmation

A provincial stakeholder provided the following comment:

Is a completed copy of the "manifest" indicating receipt of the shipment an acceptable confirmation, or is a more definitive statement required?

Response: A completed copy of the movement document indicating that the hazardous waste or hazardous recyclable material has been delivered or received by the authorized facility is not sufficient. Rather, the exporter or importer must provide the Minister with written confirmation that the waste has been disposed of or the material recycled. The proposed Regulations do not prescribe the form of the confirmation of disposal or recycling, which may be submitted to the Minister by the exporter or importer in accordance with Section 36.

Prescribed Timing for Disposal or Recycling

Both industry and association stakeholders commented that:

The proposed Regulations provide a timeline for 1 year for the disposal or recycling of wastes or recyclable material. This requirement is likely to have perverse effect on the environment if a company is landfilling rather than recycling because treatment may exceed the time required. It is recommended that a longer time is prescribed. Environment Canada had a three years deadline at one time given during the development process of the proposed Regulation.

Almost all of Canada's exports of hazardous recyclable materials are destined for the US and the US already has laws that address the maximum time that materials can be stored before recycling. The proposed Regulations may unfairly trigger violations by Canadian exporters of Canadian laws for activities that occur more than a year after the materials have been lawfully accepted and are being lawfully stored. The requirement for 1 year should be deleted or qualified.

If material is bulked prior to processing it is difficult to track every molecule. The Regulations need to include language that recognizes that confirmation is based on best estimate that most of the material has been disposed or recycled.

Response: The requirement that the final disposal of waste or recycling of material must take place within one year is a new element of the proposed Regulations, and is consistent with the time limit specified under the OECD Decision. An allowance has been made that interim disposal and recycling operations, including storage, must be completed within 180 days prior to final disposal or recycling. If the disposal or recycling cannot be undertaken in the time-frame prescribed by the proposed Regulations, the exporter or importer may apply to Environment Canada for a permit of equivalent level of environmental safety (PELES) outlining the variance.