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ARCHIVED - Guidance Manual for the Risk Evaluation Framework for Sections 199 and 200 of CEPA 1999 : Decisions on Environmental Emergency Plans

1. Introduction

Sections 199 and 200 of Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (Government of Canada, 1999) enable Environment Canada to require persons, who own or manage specified toxic and hazardous substances, to develop and implement environmental emergency plans if they are using or handling CEPA "toxic" substances (S199) or if they are using or handling hazardous substances that could be listed in the Environmental Emergencies Regulations (EER) under S200. This paper will focus on the methodology for determining how a chemical is assessed for requiring an environmental emergency (E2) plan. E2 plans address the prevention of, preparedness for, responses to and recovery from environmental emergencies in order to repair, reduce or mitigate the negative effects of an incident.

There was a need to have a methodology for determining when either a CEPA "toxic" compound or a potentially hazardous chemical required an environmental emergency plan. For S199, once the substances are declared CEPA "toxic" then each chemical is assessed to determine whether it requires a plan or not. For S200, any chemical can be added under the proposed Environmental Emergencies Regulations (Environment Canada, 2002a), CEPA "toxic" or not, so long as it can be ascertained that the substance is toxic in regards to the following criteria, if they enter the environment as a result of an environmental emergency,

  1. have or may have an immediate or long-term harmful effect on the environment or its biological diversity,
  2. constitute or may constitute a danger to the environment on which human life depends, or
  3. constitute or may constitute a danger in Canada to human life or health.

The current list of 174 chemicals on Schedule I of the EER was derived from a list of chemicals proposed by the Conseil pour la reduction des accidents industriels majeurs (CRAIM, 2002), which was the Montréal section of the now defunct Major Industrial Accidents Council of Canada (MIACC). This list is a compilation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Risk Management Program (US EPA, 2002a) list of chemicals and the MIACC List 2 chemicals. The CRAIM list was designed to take into account the List of Hazardous Substances from the EPA RMP while also retaining the most hazardous substances from the MIACC List 2. The rationale for the CRAIM List focused almost entirely on human health and safety criteria (CRAIM 2002; J.P. Lacoursière Inc., 2002). In keeping with Environment Canada's mandate to protect the environment, methodology was developed to incorporate environmental criteria to evaluate CEPA "toxic" substances from S199, those already on Schedule I of S200 and other new compounds to be added to the Environmental Emergency Regulations.

This is the guidance manual for evaluation of organic and some inorganic substances. It does not apply to metals, complex effluents or mixtures, pesticides, or biological materials. Suitable criteria will be developed or determined in the near future. The REF also does not apply to explosives or radioactive materials as emergency response aspects are adequately covered under other federal government legislation.

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