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ARCHIVED - CEPA - Annual Report for the Period April 1993 to March 1994
- Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA)
- CEPA Part I: Environmental Quality
- CEPA Part II: Toxic Substances
- CEPA Part III: Nutrients
- CEPA Part IV: Controls on Government Organizations
- CEPA Part V: International Air Pollution
- CEPA Part VI: Controlling the Disposal of Substances at Sea
- CEPA Part VII: General Information
- Health Canada's Contributions under CEPA
- CEPA Across Canada
- Appendix A: Publications Related to CEPA
- Appendix B: CEPA Expenditures
CEPA Part VII: General Information
Notices of Objection and Boards of Review
The public may file a "notice of objection" to a decision or proposed regulation.
Because CEPA is organized by subject areas, guidelines or notices of objection appear in numerous sections of the Act. For example, Section 51(2) covers notices dealing with nutrients, while Section 62(2) details notices related to controls on international air pollution, and Section 74 addresses objections relating to ocean dumping permits. Each subject area has its own administrative requirements for notices of objection.
Under procedures set out in Sections 89 to 97 of CEPA, the Ministers may establish a board of review to examine a notice of objection. To date, the federal government has not established any boards of review, although some notices of objection have been filed.
Environment Canada has developed procedural rules to govern matters such as administration, written submissions, evidence, confidentiality of documents, public access, conduct of hearings and reporting. The "Administrative Rules for Environmental Protection Boards of Review" were published in the Canada Gazette Part I on December 19, 1992. Publication of the final rules in the Canada Gazette Part II is expected in the fall of 1994.
Enforcement and Compliance
Laws must be effectively enforced. Enforcement must be fair and nationally consistent. All people responsible for administering legislation and those who comply with it must know what is expected of them. These are the reasons that Environment Canada developed an Enforcement and Compliance Policy for CEPA. This policy, prepared in cooperation with the Department of Justice, guides Environment Canada in the enforcement of CEPA and its regulations. While conducting inspections to verify compliance with the regulations, inspectors follow the policy and determine how to respond to a violation. They consider, among other things, the nature of the offence, the violator's willingness to comply and the violator's past compliance history.
Stronger Enforcement Mechanisms
The Minister of the Environment announced the Enhanced Enforcement Program, designed to strengthen the government's ability to enforce environmental laws, in December 1991. The Program provides additional resources to help enforce CEPA regulations and the pollution prevention provisions of the Fisheries Act.
The funds will also enable Environment Canada to develop specialized training courses; negotiate agreements and work-sharing arrangements with the provinces, territories and other federal departments; and create an integrated, computerized information system to support enforcement.
Creation of the Office of Enforcement
Environment Canada created the Office of Enforcement in July 1991 to respond to increasing demands for enforcement and to ensure consistency and uniformity in enforcement actions across the country.
Some of this office's responsibilities include
- providing overall functional direction for investigations, inspections and other enforcement actions;
- developing and monitoring the annual National Inspection Plan;
- developing enforcement training courses;
- delivering the annual National Training Program to inspectors and investigators;
- reviewing new regulations; and
- developing a management information system.
Inspectors verify compliance with CEPA and accompanying regulations. As part of this job, they may conduct inspections; witness compliance tests; check records, files and other documents required by regulation to be maintained; sample substances, effluents and emissions; and check data and reports filed with Environment Canada.
Both investigators and inspectors examine suspected violations. When they decide that a violation has occurred, they take enforcement action in accordance with the CEPA Enforcement and Compliance Policy.
In 1993-94, most enforcement actions were warnings, given when the degree of harm or potential harm to the environment, human life or human health appeared to be minimal.
When there is an actual or potential release of a substance in contravention of CEPA regulations, enforcement officers use directions. CEPA requires that parties owning, managing or controlling substances take reasonable emergency measures to remedy any dangerous condition, or to reduce any danger to the environment, human life or human health that resulted, or may result, from a release. When they fail to take necessary measures to protect the public, inspectors or investigators issue directions.
When an alleged violation meets the criteria of the CEPA Enforcement and Compliance Policy, enforcement officers undertake investigations leading to prosecutions.
CEPA Section 108: Applications for Investigations
One of the guiding principles of CEPA's Enforcement and Compliance Policy is to encourage people to report suspected violations to enforcement officers.
Under Section 108 of CEPA, any two residents of Canada (18 years of age or older) who believe that an offence has been committed under CEPA may ask the Minister of the Environment for an investigation of the alleged offence.
The alleged offence must meet conditions set out in Section 108 before an investigation can begin. If the alleged offence meets these conditions, Section 109 requires that an investigation take place to determine the facts relating to the alleged offence. Within 90 days, the Minister of the Environment must report to the applicants on the progress of the investigation and the proposed action.
One investigation was pursued under Section 108 during the past year. No violation of CEPA was found. The investigation of fish contamination in Lake Laberge requested by three Yukon residents in 1991 is still ongoing under Section 108.
Uniform Enforcement Guidelines
In 1993-94, Environment Canada continued drafting Uniform Enforcement Guidelines for regulations. These guidelines will complement CEPA's Enforcement and Compliance Policy by outlining more precisely which enforcement measures are most appropriate for which violations. They will also further Environment Canada's goal to enforce federal environmental legislation consistently, uniformly, fairly and predictably.
National Inspection Plan
The National Inspection Plan, an annual work plan, identifies the number and types of inspections to be carried out under CEPA regulations. A collaboration between staff at Environment Canada's headquarters and regional offices, the plan uses a target-oriented approach to focus on the most serious environmental threats in each region. In implementing the NIP, Environment Canada carries out inspections, verifies documents and data submitted by regulatees in compliance with regulatory requirements, and evaluates compliance testing results.
National Training Program
Training is a major focus for departmental staff because it is an essential component of Environment Canada's enhanced enforcement program. To ensure that enforcement officers and analysts are trained in duties ranging from basic inspection and investigation skills to very specialized regulation-specific enforcement activities, the National Training Program has been expanded.
In 1993-94, Environment Canada delivered courses on
- Ozone-Depleting Substances Regulation No. 4;
- Vinyl Chloride Regulations;
- Petroleum Refineries Regulation; and
- Inspection (revised course).
Environment Canada has continued to develop a health-and-safety reference book, a safety training program, and a National Sampling Protocol for both inspectors and investigators. It also participates in a federal-provincial working group to study ways of combining training and resources.
Internationally, Environment Canada helped to present a course in Mexico in February 1994. This participation was made under the agreement on environmental cooperation between the Government of Canada and the United Mexican States.
Computerized Information System
In 1993-94, the Office of Enforcement was actively involved in the design and development of the Enforcement Activities Tracking System (EATS). The parties involved completed the following phases of EATS' development:
- general design, which included expanding the findings of the feasibility study conducted in 1992-93, producing a functional description of manual and automated processes, and developing an overall system design;
- detailed design, which included producing an initial prototype and developing detailed design elements for key enforcement activities; and
- final prototype, which involved completing detailed design elements and developing a final prototype.
A committee with members from the regions and headquarters provided advice and guidance on enforcement activities and ensured regional input into system design and development throughout the process.
The following table shows 1993-94 enforcement activities under CEPA. It does not include related offences under the Fisheries Act; however, this information is available from the Office of Enforcement by calling 819-994-0497.
|PCB Waste Storage||417||16||70|
|PCB Waste Export Regs.||13||1||2|
|Asbestos Mines and Mills||26|
|Domestic Substances List||1|
|Fuels Info Reg.||2|
|Ozone-Depleting Substances Regs. No. 1||15||6||1||1|
|Ozone-Depleting Substances Regs. No. 2||10||1|
|Ozone-Depleting Substances Regs. No. 3||323||9||15|
|Ozone-Depleting Substances Regs. No. 4||4||1||2|
|Export-Import Hazardous Waste||199||5||10|
|Phosphorus Concentration Regs.||23|
|Dioxins and Furans||50|
|Defoamer and Wood Chips||45|
|Company Name and Address||Status||Offence Date and Location||Date Charged||Sections/|
|Ocean Pride Fisheries Ltd.|
Milton Leblanc & Roy LeBlanc
Dog fish offal dump, not in accordance with permit
|94/01/17||Guilty Plea by company|
Charges against individuals were withdrawn
18, Road 199-C.P. 39
|May 22 to|
June 22, 1993
Dog fish offal dump, not in accordance with permit
|94/06/22||Guilty Plea||$5,000 fine|
|Rosgol Industries Ltd.|
2175 Orleans Ave. Montreal,
offer for sale and sale of products containing CFCs
|94/10/28||Pro Forma appearance|
|No prosecution under CEPA in 1993-94|
|Prairie and Northern Region|
|No prosecution under CEPA & FA in 1993-94|
|Pacific and Yukon Region|
|No prosecution under CEPA & FA in 1993-94|
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