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ARCHIVED - CEPA Annual Report for Period April 2003 to March 2004

8. Environmental Emergencies

CEPA 1999 provides authorities for the Minister to require environmental emergency plans for substances once the Ministers of Environment and Health have declared them toxic. It allows the Minister of the Environment to establish regulations respecting emergency prevention, preparedness, response and recovery for the uncontrolled, unplanned or accidental releases of a substance that has been identified as posing potential harm to the environment or to human health. Part 8 also provides authorities to issue guidelines and codes of practice. In addition, it establishes a regime that makes the person who owns or controls the substance liable for restoring the damaged environment and for the costs and expenses incurred in responding to an environmental emergency.

8.1 Environmental Emergency Plans

In 2003-04, Environment Canada developed the Implementation Guidelines for Part 8 of CEPA 1999 -- Environmental Emergency Plans. These guidelines provide clarification and guidance to those who must comply with the new Environmental Emergency Regulations, establish the principles of environmental emergency planning under CEPA 1999 and outline Environment Canada's expectations with respect to the regulation and its implementation. In particular, the guidelines provide details for the prevention, preparedness, response and recovery components of environmental emergency plans as well as key references.

CEPA 99 Environmental Registry -- Notice g1-13736_n1.pdf

The environmental emergency plans website was completed in November 2003, including the online notice filing and search capabilities.

8.2 Regulations

The final Environmental Emergency Regulations were published on September 10, 2003 (see Appendix A) and came into force on November 18, 2003. The objective of the Regulations is to enhance the protection of the environment and human health in environmental emergency situations by promoting prevention and ensuring preparedness, response and recovery. Persons who own or manage one of the 174 flammable and other hazardous substances specified in the Regulations at or above the specified thresholds in containers with capacity at or above the same thresholds must provide the required information on the substance quantities and container sizes. If either the quantity or container criterion is met, regulatees must submit a Notice of Identification of Substance and Place. Companies meeting both criteria must prepare and implement environmental emergency plans.

In total, 2372 facilities have filed Notices of Identification of Substance and Place. Almost 90% of the notices received were for 20 of the 174 listed substances. From the information received, almost 1600 of these facilities will be required to prepare and implement environmental emergency plans. Accounting for the fact that many of the 2372 facilities had several substances on site, 3650 submissions were registered in the CEPA 1999 Environmental Emergency database.

Other key deliverables for 2003-04 include:

  • over 50 information sessions held nationally to promote compliance;
  • advertisements in farm journals and industry magazines; and
  • information leaflets prepared in collaboration with propane and agri-retail associations.


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