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Pollution Prevention Planning and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act 1999, Part 4

Part 4 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) gives the Minister of the Environment the authority to require the preparation and implementation of pollution prevention plans (P2 plans) for CEPA 1999 toxic substances (substances that have been added to Schedule 1 of CEPA 1999. To invoke these requirements, the Minister publishes P2 Planning Notices (Notices) in the Canada Gazette, Part I, requiring persons to prepare and implement P2 plans for a substance or group of substances.

The Notice specifies the persons or classes of persons that are required to prepare and implement a plan, the activities that will be considered in the P2 plan and the deadlines for preparing and implementing the P2 plans. The Notice also outlines the "factors" that must be considered when P2 plans are being prepared and implemented.

The Notice sets out all the necessary steps and deadlines. In general, persons subject to the Notice must:

  • Prepare a P2 plan
  • Ensure that the plan meets all the requirements of the Notice
  • Submit Schedule 1 Declaration That a Pollution Prevention Plan Has Been Prepared and Is Being Implemented
  • Submit all Schedule 4 Interim Progress Reports as required
  • Implement the P2 plan and submit Schedule 5 Declaration That a Pollution Prevention Plan Has Been Implemented
  • Respect all the deadlines published in the Notice
  • Ensure that the information provided is consistent with the P2 plan
  • Keep a copy of the P2 plan on-site
  • Have the P2 plan available for submission, if requested.

A person subject to such a Canada Gazette Notice does not submit the P2 plan itself, unless the Minister requests that the P2 plan be submitted for the purposes of determining and assessing further preventive or control actions (Section 60 of CEPA 1999).

Persons subject to a Canada Gazette Notice may also apply for:

For more information, Guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions have been prepared to describe the circumstances under which the P2 Planning provisions in Part 4 of CEPA 1999 are implemented.

Pollution Prevention (P2) Planning

The Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) defines pollution prevention (also known as P2) as “the use of processes, practices, materials, products, substances or energy that avoid or minimize the creation of pollutants and waste and reduce the overall risk to the environment or human health.”

P2 planning is a process of examining current operations and developing a plan to eliminate or reduce pollution at the source. P2 planning can target the reduction of specific substances or can be applied to all aspects of a production process or facility.

A P2 plan contains information to help you make decisions on the most efficient ways to prevent or minimize the creation or release of pollutants and waste. It may help you to identify and select cost-effective options and may show where you can get a return on your investment. A P2 plan may allow you to evaluate options and implement the best ways to meet or exceed regulatory requirements. Typically, the P2 planning process can be broken down into six key steps: commitment and policy; baseline review; planning; implementation; monitoring and reporting; and review, evaluation and improvement.

Schedule 1: Declaration of Preparation

Declaration That a Pollution Prevention Plan Has Been Prepared and Is Being Implemented

Part 4 of CEPA 1999 requires persons subject to a Canada Gazette Notice to submit two Declarations, the first of which stating that a P2 plan has been prepared and is being implemented. This Declaration must be submitted within the timeline specified in the Notice using the appropriate form, and contain the information specified by the Minister.

Where a person has filed such a Declaration which contains information that, at any time after the filing, has become false or misleading, that person must file an amended declaration to the Minister within 30 days after that time.

Schedule 4: Interim Progress Reports (as required)

Interim Progress Reports

Interim Progress Reports may be required, for example, when there is substantial time between submissions of the two Declarations (Declaration of Preparation and Declaration of Implementation). This report must be filed within the timeline specified in the Notice using the appropriate form, and contain the information specified by the Minister.

Schedule 5: Declaration of Implementation

Declaration That a Pollution Prevention Plan Has Been Implemented

Part 4 of CEPA 1999 requires persons subject to a Canada Gazette Notice to submit two Declarations, the second of which stating that a P2 plan has been implemented. This Declaration must be submitted within the timeline specified in the Notice using the appropriate form, and contain the information specified by the Minister.

Where a person has filed such a Declaration which contains information that, at any time after the filing, has become false or misleading, that person shall file an amended declaration to the Minister within 30 days after that time.

Schedule 2: Waivers for "Factors to Consider"

Request for Waiver of the Requirement to Consider a Factor or Factors

Each Notice requiring the preparation and implementation of P2 plans specifies the factors that should be considered when preparing a P2 plan for a given substance(s). These could include a risk management objective, environmental and human health risks, currently available technologies or pollution prevention practices, and existing or proposed regulations relevant to the CEPA 1999 toxic substance, as well as other factors.

Where a person subject to a Notice feels that it is not reasonable or practicable to consider one of the factors listed, they may apply to have that factor waived. Such applications must be made before the time to prepare a plan has expired using the appropriate form and contain the information specified by the Minister.

Schedule 3: Time Extensions

Request for Time Extension

Persons subject to a Notice requiring the preparation and implementation of P2 plans may apply for a time extension to submit the necessary Declarations. Such requests must be made before the time to prepare or implement a plan has expired using the appropriate form and contain the information specified by the Minister.