ARCHIVED — Release and Environmental Emergency Notification Regulations

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Vol. 145, No. 8 — April 13, 2011

Registration

SOR/2011-90 March 25, 2011

CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT, 1999

P.C. 2011-454 March 25, 2011

Whereas, pursuant to subsection 332(1) (see footnote a) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (see footnote b), the Minister of the Environment published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on December 19, 2009, a copy of the proposed Release and Environmental Emergency Notification Regulations, substantially in the annexed form, and persons were given an opportunity to file comments with respect to the proposed Regulations or to file a notice of objection requesting that a board of review be established and stating the reasons for the objection;

Whereas, pursuant to subsection 200(1) of that Act, the National Advisory Committee has been given an opportunity to provide its advice under section 6 (see footnote c) of that Act;

And whereas, in accordance with subsection 209(3) of that Act, the Minister of the Environment has, before recommending the proposed Regulations, offered to consult with the governments of territories to which the proposed Regulations apply and with the members of the National Advisory Committee who are representatives of aboriginal governments that have jurisdiction over aboriginal land to which the proposed Regulations apply;

Therefore, His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, pursuant to paragraph 97(a), subsection 200(1) and paragraph 209(1)(d) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (see footnote d), hereby makes the annexed Release and Environmental Emergency Notification Regulations.

RELEASE AND ENVIRONMENTAL EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION REGULATIONS

1. (1) For the purposes of paragraphs 95(1)(a), 169(1)(a), 179(1)(a), 201(1)(a) and 212(1)(a) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, the following persons are designated:

  1. (a) those providing 24-hour emergency telephone service provided by the office set out in column 2 of the schedule for the province, set out in column 1, where the occurrence of the release of a substance, the likelihood of such a release, or the occurrence of the environmental emergency takes place; or
  2. (b) the pollution prevention officer referred to in paragraph 5(8)(a) or subsection 5(9) of the Pollutant Discharge Reporting Regulations, 1995.

(2) Any person required by paragraph 95(1)(a), 169(1)(a), 179(1)(a), 201(1)(a) or 212(1)(a) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 to provide notification of the occurrence of a release of a substance, the likelihood of such a release, or the occurrence of an environmental emergency shall, as soon as possible in the circumstances, notify

  1. (a) in all cases other than those mentioned in paragraph (b), an enforcement officer or a person referred to in paragraph (1)(a) at the applicable telephone number set out in column 3 of the schedule; or
  2. (b) in the case of the master of a vessel, the owner of a vessel or the operator of an oil handling facility to whom the Pollutant Discharge Reporting Regulations, 1995 apply, an enforcement officer or the person referred to in paragraph (1)(b).

2. These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.

SCHEDULE
(Section 1)

NOTIFICATION OF RELEASE OR ENVIRONMENTAL EMERGENCY



Item

Column 1

Province

Column 2

Office

Column 3
Telephone number

1.

Ontario

Spills Action Centre
Ontario Ministry of the Environment

416-325-3000 or
1-800-268-6060*

2.

Quebec

Environmental Protection Operations Directorate – Quebec
Environment Canada

514-283-2333 or
1-866-283-2333*

3.

Nova Scotia

Maritimes Regional Office
Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

902-426-6030 or
1-800-565-1633*

4.

New Brunswick

Maritimes Regional Office
Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

902-426-6030 or
1-800-565-1633*

5.

Manitoba

Manitoba Department of Conservation

204-944-4888

6.

British Columbia

British Columbia Provincial Emergency Program
Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General

1-800-663-3456

7.

Prince Edward Island

Maritimes Regional Office
Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

902-426-6030 or
1-800-565-1633*

8.

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

1-800-667-7525

9.

Alberta

Alberta Ministry of Environment

780-422-4505 or
1-800-222-6514*

10.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador Regional Office
Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

709-772-2083 or
1-800-563-9089*

11.

Yukon

Yukon Department of Environment

867-667-7244

12.

Northwest Territories

Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Government of the Northwest Territories

867-920-8130

13.

Nunavut

Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Government of the Northwest Territories

867-920-8130

* Telephone number accessible only within the respective province.

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the regulations.)

Issue and objectives

Provincial, territorial and federal laws require, in most cases, notification of the same events involving a release or a deposit of a hazardous substance into the environment. These concurrent and similar requirements result in an increased notification burden on the regulated community and the public. To avoid duplication of effort in this regard, the Government of Canada has entered into Environmental Occurrences Notification Agreements with the governments of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Yukon and the Northwest Territories (hereinafter collectively referred to as the “Notification Agreements”), and Environment Canada maintains notification protocols with the Canadian Coast Guard in the Atlantic Provinces. Under each of these Agreements and protocols, the organization receiving notifications of releases and deposits of hazardous substances into the environment also receives these notifications on behalf of Environment Canada. (see footnote 1) However, in order to do so, the persons providing 24-hour emergency telephone service for these organizations must be designated under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) and prescribed under the Fisheries Act.

The objective of the Release and Environmental Emergency Notification Regulations and the Deposit Out of the Normal Course of Events Notification Regulations (hereinafter collectively referred to as the “Notification Regulations”) is to designate under CEPA 1999 and prescribe under the Fisheries Act, respectively, the persons providing 24-hour emergency telephone service for the organizations operating for the provincial and territorial governments, enabling them to receive notifications that, otherwise, have to be made directly to Environment Canada.

The Notification Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.

The Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Made Under the Fisheries Act (hereinafter referred to as the “Amending Regulations”) remove the current notification requirements in the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations (MMER) and the Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations (PPER), thereby preventing a duplication of these requirements.

The Amending Regulations come into force on the day on which the Deposit Out of the Normal Course of Events Notification Regulations come into force, but if the Amending Regulations are registered after that day, they come into force on the day on which they are registered.

Description and rationale

The Notification Regulations

The Release and Environmental Emergency Notification Regulations designate, for the purposes of paragraphs 95(1)(a), 169(1)(a), 179(1)(a), 201(1)(a) and 212(1)(a) of CEPA 1999, the persons providing 24-hour emergency telephone service for the organization operating for the respective provincial or territorial government to receive, on behalf of Environment Canada, notification of a release of a substance, the likelihood of such a release or an environmental emergency.

Similarly, the Deposit Out of the Normal Course of Events Notification Regulations prescribe, for the purpose of subsection 38(4) of the Fisheries Act, the persons providing 24-hour emergency telephone service for the organization operating for the respective provincial or territorial government to receive, on behalf of Environment Canada, notification of a deposit of a deleterious substance out of the normal course of events or the serious and imminent danger of such a deposit.

These Notification Regulations also directly provide the regulated community and the public with the name and telephone number of the organization operating for the respective provincial or territorial government to which notifications are to be made. The contact information for each organization applies to the notification requirements under CEPA 1999 and the Fisheries Act.

Finally, following a recommendation from a key stakeholder from the shipping industry, and to reduce duplicative notification requirements, the Notification Regulations were modified to include a provision to require the master of a vessel, the owner of a vessel or the operator of an oil handling facility to whom the Pollutant Discharge Reporting Regulations, 1995 (see footnote 2) apply to only notify a pollution prevention officer, or a CEPA 1999 enforcement officer or a Fisheries Act inspector, as applicable. Accordingly, the Notification Regulations were also modified by adding a provision to designate and prescribe the pollution prevention officer referred to in paragraph 5(8)(a) or subsection 5(9) of the Pollutant Discharge Reporting Regulations, 1995 to receive notifications on behalf of Environment Canada.

The Amending Regulations

The Amending Regulations remove from the MMER and the PPER existing requirements for notification. These Amending Regulations remove any possibility of duplication with the requirements of the Deposit Out of the Normal Course of Events Notification Regulations. In addition, the Amending Regulations update the existing Schedules in the MMER and the PPER which prescribe persons to whom written reports regarding deposits out of the normal course of events must be submitted, in accordance with the provisions of the MMER and the PPER.

Alternatives

The Notification Regulations

Status quo

A notification of a release or a deposit of a hazardous substance into the environment is to be made to an enforcement officer or any other person designated by regulation, under CEPA 1999, or to an inspector or such other person or authority as is prescribed by regulation, under the Fisheries Act. Consequently, to receive notifications under CEPA 1999 and the Fisheries Act on behalf of Environment Canada, the persons providing 24-hour emergency telephone service for the organizations operating for the provincial and territorial governments either (1) must be designated as CEPA 1999 enforcement officers by the Minister of the Environment and prescribed as Fisheries Act inspectors by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (the “administrative approach”); or (2) must be designated and prescribed by regulation (the “regulatory approach”). For these reasons, keeping the status quo has been rejected as a viable option.

Administrative approach

The persons providing 24-hour emergency telephone service for the organizations operating for the provincial and territorial governments can be designated by the Minister of the Environment as CEPA 1999 enforcement officers or prescribed by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans as Fisheries Act inspectors, for the purpose of receiving notifications on behalf of Environment Canada.

Under CEPA 1999, designating classes of persons is possible and seems to be an efficient method of designating the persons providing 24-hour emergency telephone service for the organizations operating for the provincial and territorial governments. Further, the Minister of the Environment may specify limits on the powers of persons designated as enforcement officers, to the receipt of notifications.

However, under the Fisheries Act, it is required that each inspector be prescribed individually, potentially creating a significant amount of administrative work. Further, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans does not have the authority under the Fisheries Act to limit the powers of the persons providing 24-hour emergency telephone service for the organizations operating for the provincial and territorial governments, prescribed as inspectors, to the receipt of notifications.

For these reasons, and to apply a consistent approach for designating and prescribing persons to receive notifications, the administrative approach has been rejected.

Regulatory approach

Using a regulatory approach, the persons providing 24-hour emergency telephone service for the organizations operating for the provincial and territorial governments can be designated and prescribed for the purpose of receiving notifications on behalf of Environment Canada, without the need for the Minister of the Environment to designate them as CEPA 1999 enforcement officers and for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to prescribe them as Fisheries Act inspectors. In addition, this approach would avoid the significant administrative work of prescribing each of these persons individually as a Fisheries Act inspector. For these reasons, the regulatory approach is retained as the best option.

The Amending Regulations

The MMER and the PPER include provisions regarding the notification of deposits out of the normal course of events. Given the existence of the Notification Regulations, not amending the MMER and the PPER to remove such provisions would result in an unnecessary duplication of these requirements.

For this reason, amending the MMER and the PPER is the chosen option.

Benefits and costs

Benefits

The Notification Regulations reduce the notification burden on the regulated community and the public, and improve the efficiency of the notification system described herein, as they enable the implementation of the Notification Agreements. More specifically, the Notification Regulations designate under CEPA 1999, and prescribe under the Fisheries Act, the persons providing 24-hour emergency telephone service for the organizations operating for the provincial and territorial governments, under these Agreements, enabling them to receive notifications that, otherwise, have to be made directly to Environment Canada. The Notification Regulations also provide greater clarity to the regulated community and the public as they supply contact information for each organization to which notifications are to be made under CEPA 1999 and the Fisheries Act.

The Amending Regulations streamline the MMER and the PPER by removing unnecessary information and duplication of notification requirements.

Costs

The Notification Regulations and the Amending Regulations are administrative in nature. They are not expected to result in any incremental costs to the regulated community, to any municipal, provincial or territorial government, to Environment Canada or other federal departments, or to the public, as persons are currently required to notify, in most cases, the relevant provincial or territorial government and Environment Canada of the same events involving a release or a deposit of a hazardous substance into the environment.

Regarding the Notification Agreements, Environment Canada will incur costs totalling $220,000 for the fiscal year during which the Agreements come into effect. In future years, as the Notification Agreements remain in effect, these annual costs will continue to be incurred by Environment Canada and will change in accordance with the rate of inflation.

Consultation

In September 2006, Environment Canada consulted the provincial and territorial governments, through the CEPA National Advisory Committee, regarding its proposal to negotiate the Notification Agreements with them. This initial consultation also involved the appropriate organizations operating for the provincial and territorial governments. All parties concurred to proceed with the negotiations of the proposed Notification Agreements.

Subsequently, in May 2009, CEPA National Advisory Committee members were given an offer to be consulted regarding the Release and Environmental Emergency Notification Regulations under CEPA 1999. No comments were received and no consultation requests were made.

Environment Canada also held interdepartmental discussions with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard regarding the proposed Notification Regulations. No concerns were raised.

As the proposed Amendments would be made to remove duplication of notification requirements and update contact information for submitting written reports, they are considered administrative in nature, with no anticipated impact on the regulated community or the public; hence, no formal consultations were held with the pulp and paper and the metal mining industries.

Consultation following pre-publication of the Notification Regulations and the Amending Regulations in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on December 19, 2009

The proposed Notification Regulations and the proposed Amendments were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on December 19, 2009, for a public comment period of 60 days. During this period, Environment Canada received one comment and recommendation from a key stakeholder from the shipping industry.

This industry stakeholder commented that the notification requirements, as proposed, would result in an increased burden on the master of a ship, as they would add to the report required to be made as soon as possible in the circumstances by the master of a ship to a pollution prevention officer, in accordance with the Pollutant Discharge Reporting Regulations, 1995. The industry stakeholder recommended that the notification requirements in the Notification Regulations be modified in order to require the master of a ship to notify only a pollution prevention officer of any discharge of a pollutant originating from a ship in Canadian waters.

Following consultation with other interested federal government departments concerning the recommendation from the industry stakeholder, Environment Canada modified the Notification Regulations by adding a provision to require the master of a vessel, the owner of a vessel or the operator of an oil handling facility to whom the Pollutant Discharge Reporting Regulations, 1995 apply to notify a pollution prevention officer, or a CEPA 1999 enforcement officer or a Fisheries Act inspector, as applicable.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

As part of the implementation of the Notification Regulations and the Amending Regulations, the planned compliance promotion activities are an update of Environment Canada’s existing website (www.ec.gc.ca/ee-ue/) and a mail-out to the known regulated community. The goal of these activities is to maintain and augment the regulated community’s and the public’s awareness of the organization operating for the respective provincial or territorial government that provides 24-hour emergency telephone service and receives notification of a release or a deposit of a hazardous substance on behalf of Environment Canada.

Contacts

Grant Hogg
Director
Environmental Emergencies Division
Environment Canada
351 St. Joseph Boulevard
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0H3
Telephone: 819-953-0607
Fax: 819-997-5029
Email: grant.hogg@ec.gc.ca

Luis Leigh
Director
Regulatory Analysis and Instrument Choice Division
Environment Canada
10 Wellington Street
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0H3
Telephone: 819-953-1170
Fax: 819-997-2769
Email: luis.leigh@ec.gc.ca

Footnote a
S.C. 2004, c. 15, s. 31

Footnote b
S.C. 1999, c. 33

Footnote c
S.C. 2002, c. 7, s. 124

Footnote d
S.C. 1999, c. 33

Footnote 1
In Nunavut, the Government of the Northwest Territories provides this notification service to Environment Canada. In Quebec, Environment Canada receives notifications directly from the regulated community and the public.

Footnote 2
The Pollutant Discharge Reporting Regulations, 1995 are available at the following Web site: http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/SOR-95-351/index.html.