What is a petroleum product?A petroleum product within the meaning of the regulations is a hydrocarbon or mixture of at least 70 percent hydrocarbon, by volume, other than an allied petroleum product, refined from crude oil, that could be used as a fuel, lubricant, or power transmitter. Petroleum products include used oil, but exclude propane, paint and solvents.
To whom do the Federal Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Storage Tank Systems Regulations apply?
The proposed regulations apply to storage tank systems located in Canada, in which petroleum products or allied petroleum products are stored and which:
a) are operated by a federal department, board or agency or Crown corporation, or belongs to Her Majestry in right of Canada;
b) are operated by or belongs to a railway, airport or port authority;
c) are located on Aboriginal or federal lands.
If I am a private owner of one or more storage tanks, do the regulations apply to me?
The regulations may apply to you if your storage tanks are located on Aboriginal or federal lands.
What is federal land?
Federal land, as defined in the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999), means :
(a) land, including any water, that belongs to Her Majesty in right of Canada, or that Her Majesty in right of Canada has the right to dispose of, and the air and all layers of the atmosphere above and the subsurface below that land; and
(b) the following land and areas, namely,
(i) the internal waters of Canada as determined under the Oceans Act, including the seabed and subsoil below and the airspace above those waters, and
(ii) the territorial sea of Canada as determined under the Oceans Act, including the seabed and subsoil below and the air and all layers of the atmosphere above that sea.
Who is responsible for complying with the regulations?
Owners and operators of storage tank systems are responsible for complying with the regulations. Environment Canada enforcement officers will periodically verify compliance with the regulations under CEPA 1999, Part 9, following the principles of Environment Canada's Compliance and Enforcement Policy (see Question 13).
What happens if an owner fails to comply with the regulations?
Compliance with the regulations is mandatory. While owners are required to comply with some elements of the regulations upon their coming into force, there will be a time period within which owners can upgrade or replace their storage tank systems. If an owner does not comply, Environment Canada will enforce the regulations following the principles set out in its Compliance and Enforcement Policy. The policy outlines the philosophy and key principles used by enforcement officers to ensure a fair, predictable, and consistent application of the law. It sets out the range of possible responses to violations, including warnings, directions and environmental protection compliance orders issued by enforcement officers, ticketing, ministerial orders, injunctions, and prosecution.
What types of tanks are regulated?
The proposed regulations apply to all outside aboveground, underground and partially buried storage tank systems containing petroleum and allied petroleum products, except above-ground storage tank systems that have a capacity of 2,500 L or less and that are connected to a heating appliance or emergency generator.
Do the regulations apply only to new storage tank systems or to existing ones as well?
The regulations apply to new and existing storage tank systems. Under the regulations, new storage tank systems are required to meet the technical requirements before they can be operated. Existing storage tank systems that do not meet the regulatory technical provisions must be upgraded or removed within a specified period of time.
Who is required to register a storage tank system?
The owner of the storage tank system must register the tanks with Environment Canada within one year of the coming into force of the regulations and, in the case of new tank systems, before the first transfer of petroleum products.
Who issues the ID number?
Environment Canada issues a unique ID number to each system, following receipt of the information provided by the owner. The owner or operator will have to display the ID number in a clearly visible location on the system.
As a petroleum product supplier, what am I required to do when transferring petroleum products?
The regulations do not cover the handling or transport of petroleum products or allied petroleum products. The obligations of suppliers under the regulations are limited to the following three requirements:
a) The supplier can transfer products to storage tank systems only if the ID number is visible;
b) The supplier must record the ID number of the storage tank system;
c) The supplier must immediately inform the operator of spills or leaks occurring during the transfer process.
What do I do if I need to change my registration information?
Changes to the registration information submitted to register the storage tank system must be sent to Environment Canada within 60 days of the change.
How are the federal regulations different from provincial and territorial storage tank regulations?
Most provinces and territories have enacted environmental regulations for storage tank systems that are similar to the federal regulations. These regulations vary between the provinces and territories. The regulations would not apply to the same regulated communities as the provincial and territorial regulations. For the federal government, one of the most important objectives of the regulations is to ensure that equivalent regulatory requirements apply to federal operations and works and undertakings as those that apply under provincial regulations.
Will owners be required to submit to inspections?
Yes. Under CEPA 1999, enforcement officers are authorized to conduct inspections in order to verify compliance with the Act and its regulations. The Act also requires that the owner or the individual in charge give the enforcement officer and CEPA analyst reasonable assistance in their duties.
- A registration information form, within a year of the date that the proposed regulations come into force, for existing systems, and before the first transfer of petroleum products, for new systems;
- Changes to the registration information, within 60 days of the change;
- A release report confirming, amending, or correcting the information provided orally on the release, as soon as possible after the date of the release (see Question 23).
Do the regulations require an emergency plan?
Yes, the regulations require owners or operators of storage tank systems to develop an emergency plan. The regulations clearly define the framework and items that should be included in the plan. The owners or operators ensure that the emergency plan is ready to be implemented.
Would information submitted to Environment Canada be kept confidential?
Information submitted to Environment Canada is subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. CEPA 1999 allows any person submitting information to Environment Canada to request that this information be treated as confidential. The request for confidentiality must be made in writing.
How can I get more information?
If you can't find what you're looking for on Environment Canada's web site, you can contact the staff responsible for promoting the regulations at the Environment Canada office in your region. Their names and contact information are available under the Regional Offices page.
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