10. Compliance and enforcement (Part 10)
The Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) provides enforcement officers with a wide range of powers to enforce the act, including the powers of a peace officer. Enforcement officers can carry out inspections to verify compliance with the act; conduct investigations of suspected violations; enter premises, open containers, examine contents and take samples; conduct tests and measurements; obtain access to information (including data stored on computers); stop and detain conveyances; search, seize and detain items related to the enforcement of the act; secure inspection warrants to enter and inspect premises that are locked and/or abandoned or where entry has been refused; seek search warrants; and arrest offenders. CEPA analysts can enter premises when accompanied by an enforcement officer and can exercise certain inspection powers.
Enforcement officers can select from a wide range of responses to alleged violations, including directions, tickets, prohibition orders, recall orders, detention orders for ships, Environmental Protection Compliance Orders (EPCOs), injunctions to stop or prevent a violation, prosecutions and Environmental Protection Alternative Measures (EPAMs). Enforcement activities include measures to compel compliance without resorting to formal court action and measures to compel compliance through court action. The former are directions, tickets, prohibition orders, recall orders, detention orders for ships and EPCOs. The latter include injunctions, prosecutions and EPAMs.
In 2008-2009, the total number of designated CEPA enforcement officers was 167, including 37 officers from the Environmental Emergencies Program.
Environment Canada continued the final year of a three-year project to redesign the Basic Enforcement Training program with a contracted law enforcement training facility. In 2008-2009, the program resulted in 38 newly designated officers with full enforcement officer powers and 3 emergency officers with limited enforcement powers.
In 2008-2009, two Limited Powers/Analyst Designation courses were delivered, resulting in 1 newly designated officer with limited powers and 20 newly designated CEPA analysts.
Other training accomplishments related to CEPA 1999 regulations in 2008-2009 included
- the development and delivery of a course to 33 officers on the Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations;
- together with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the delivery of a course to 56 officers on the Off-Road Compression-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations, the Off-Road Small Spark-Ignition Engine Emission Regulationsand the On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations;
- the provision of expertise for the development of the online course for the Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations;
- the provision of expertise for the delivery of a course to 31 officers on the PCB Regulations; and
- the development of a course on the Solvent Degreasing Regulations.
Compliance promotion relates to the planned activities that are undertaken to increase the awareness and understanding of the law and its regulations. Through these activities, information is provided on what is required to comply with the law, the benefits of compliance and the consequences of non-compliance.
Numerous compliance promotion activities were delivered for new and existing control instruments under CEPA 1999 in 2008-2009. Multiple approaches were used to reach the regulated communities, varying from mail-outs to information sessions, in collaboration with other federal departments, provinces or non-governmental organizations (e.g. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, National Defence, the Conseil patronal de l'environnement du Québec, the Canadian Chemical Producers' Association and other manufacturers' associations) when appropriate.
The Ontario Region implemented a multi-year project to improve spill reporting and spill response at First Nations communities in Ontario. As part of this project, spill response posters were developed and distributed. To meet the needs of non-English-speaking communities, the posters were translated into Cree and Oji-Cree. Since the initiation of this project, spill reporting rates by Ontario First Nations have improved significantly.
Environment Canada organizes a number of multi-instrument workshops each year to reach regulatees who must comply with more than one regulation. A multi-instrument workshop was organized by the Quebec Region in March 2009, in conjunction with two chemicals sector associations. The half-day workshop provided information on a number of subjects, such as Parts 5 and 6 of CEPA 1999, the Chemicals Management Plan, the Environmental Emergency Regulations, and the Ozone-Depleting Substances Regulations, 1998. Nearly 100 people took part in this workshop.
In September 2008, Environment Canada hosted a compliance promotion session in Sydney, Nova Scotia, for organizations involved in the Sydney Tar Ponds and Coke Ovens remediation project. This session provided the regulated community and other government organizations with the opportunity to meet with Environment Canada staff and learn about CEPA 1999 and its regulations. Participants were also provided with details on the responsibilities and authority of Environment Canada's wildlife and environmental enforcement offices. Participants included representatives from the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency, Public Works and Government Services Canada, Nova Scotia Environment and the consulting community.
Compliance promotion activities on individual CEPA 1999 control instruments in 2008-2009 included the following:
PCB Regulations -- Four polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) fact sheets were developed and distributed to the regulated community in Canada. A promotional tool explaining the mechanics and functioning of the new electronic portal for PCB reporting was developed and sent to the regulated community.
Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations -- Following the making of these new regulations in June 2008, compliance promotion officers in the regions initiated a range of compliance promotion activities. Preparatory work to create effective information sessions was undertaken in 2008-2009. The information sessions are designed to assist regulatees in meeting regulatory obligations and will be delivered across Canada in the next fiscal year. The information sessions will target federal departments (such as the Department of National Defence, and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada) as well as First Nations.
Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations -- Several information sessions were held across Canada including two in the Pacific and Yukon Region to promote compliance with the specific requirements in the Regulations for companies shipping wastes from Alaska through Canadian waters off the west coast of Canada. The sessions were attended by hazardous waste generators, management companies and carriers involved in the transit of hazardous waste from Alaska to mainland United States. Additional activities included a mass mailing of two brochures.
Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning and Reporting Requirements) Regulations -- A mailing containing annual report forms and information was sent in February 2009 to regulatees in each region. Under the regulations, regulatees are required to provide an annual report to Environment Canada. Reminder postcards were also sent to approximately 1800 dry cleaners country-wide.
New Substances Notification Regulations -- Environment Canada had a booth at Growing Beyond Oil, the 5th Canadian Renewable Fuels Summit, in the National Capital Region, December 1-3, 2008. The summit, with over 350 registrants, was attended by representatives of Canadian and international industry, governmental regulators, industry associations, industry partners and service providers. Numerous information packages were distributed. In addition, compliance promotion fact sheets on the New Substances Notification Regulations (Chemicals and Polymers) and the New Substances Notification Regulations (Organisms) were mailed to approximately 800 regulatees across the country, who were identified on the basis of sector-specific North American Industry Classification System codes. The Ontario Region worked with enforcement headquarters to create a pilot version of the New Substances Notification E-learning tool for the public, which will be posted on the website.
Environmental Emergency Regulations -- The Ontario and Atlantic Regions conducted compliance promotion site visits to individual regulatees to promote understanding of the Regulations and gain an understanding of the level of quality of Environmental Emergency Plans needed to determine the future direction for these Regulations. The Quebec Region held three technical workshops across the province for industry, municipalities and other government departments. The Atlantic Region held an Ammonia and Chlorine Workshop for regulatees.
Notice with respect to reporting of information on air pollutants, greenhouse gases and other substances for the 2008 calendar year -- In spring 2008, several compliance promotion initiatives were undertaken, resulting in a high response rate from all sectors covered by the Notice. An initial assessment of the quality of the data submissions was performed in the fall of 2008, which resulted in a first round of official communication with certain companies by Environment Canada officials to clarify submissions of concern and to gather missing information.
Notice with respect to reporting of greenhouse gases -- The compliance promotion activities for this section 46 notice consisted of contacting past reporters and potential reporters through email and the distribution of guidance material. The total number of reporting facilities climbed from 324 in the initial reporting year (2005) to 350 in 2008, representing approximately 39% of Canada's total emissions.
On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations -- A guidance document, Subfleet Averaging and End of Model Year Reporting Requirements for On-Road Motorcycles, was developed in April 2008. The document provides guidance to motorcycle manufacturers and importers on the subfleet averaging requirements of the Regulations. In addition, a report was published in July 2008, which summarizes the regulatory requirements, the fleet average nitrogen oxide emission performance of light-duty vehicle manufacturers and importers (e.g. passenger cars, light-duty trucks), and the overall Canadian fleet for the 2006 model base year. A guidance document explaining what is required as evidence of conformity for light-duty vehicles subject to the Regulations was drafted and consultations were conducted. The draft guidance document, Submission Requirements for Evidence of Conformity for Light-Duty Vehicles, Light-Duty Trucks and Medium-Duty Passenger Vehicles in Relation to the On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations Made under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, was distributed to associations representing regulatees as part of specific compliance promotion activities.
National Pollutant Release Inventory -- The NPRI program updated and published the Guide to Reporting to the NPRI manual in March 2009. This guide assists the public in understanding and complying with the NPRI reporting requirements for 2008. An NPRI brochure, National Pollutant Release Inventory 2008 - Are you required to report? (PDF 2.20 MB), was mailed out to members of the public who may have to report to the NPRI and was published on the NPRI website in March 2009.
In past years, a National Inspection Plan described the inspection activities that would be carried out that fiscal year under CEPA 1999. In 2008-2009, the plan was retitled as the National Enforcement Plan and expanded to include investigation and intelligence functions. The number of inspections carried out under the plan is supplemented by a large number of inspections resulting from responses to spills, complaints, intelligence or other information.
Factors that influence the identification of priority regulations include the risk to the environment and human health represented by the regulated substance or activity, compliance rates, new and amended regulations, nature of the regulatory provisions, operational complexity and capacity, and domestic and international commitments. In 2008-2009, the National Enforcement Plan identified the following CEPA 1999 regulations as national priorities:
- Solvent Degreasing Regulations; and
- Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations.
A number of other regulations were identified as regional inspection priorities.
Table 14 summarizes the inspections, investigations and enforcement measures undertaken in 2008-2009.
|CEPA Tool (regulations, guidelines, CEPA sections, etc.)||Total inspections||Off-site inspections||On-site inspections||Investigations||Measures: written warnings||Measures:
|Asbestos Mines and Mills Release||12||12|
|Benzene in Gasoline||149||121||28||1||23|
|Chlor-Alkali Mercury Release||1||1|
|Disposal at Sea||55||23||32||4||3||4|
|Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material||694||149||545||9||126||6||3||1|
|Export Control List Notification||1||1|
|Export of Substances under the Rotterdam Convention|
|Federal Halocarbon, 2003||507||321||186||1||151||12|
|Federal Mobile PCB Treatment and Destruction|
|Fuels Information, No. 1||207||198||9||2||4||2||1|
|Gasoline and Gasoline Blend Dispensing Flow Rate|
|Inter-provincial Movement of Hazardous Waste||24||11||13||1|
|New Substances Notification (Chemicals
|New Substances Notification (Organisms)||15||1||14||3|
|Off-Road Compression-Ignition Engine
|Off-Road Small Spark- Ignition Engine Emission||14||2||12||3||19|
|On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission||2||2||3|
|Ozone-depleting Substances, 1998||101||52||49||2||10|
|PCB Waste Export|
|PCB Waste Export, 1996|
|Perfluorooctane Sulfonate and its Salts and Certain Other Compounds|
|Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers|
|Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances, 2005||1||1|
|Pulp and Paper Mill Defoamer and Wood Chip||44||35||9|
|Pulp and Paper Mill Effluent Chlorinated Dioxins and Furans||111||102||9|
|Secondary Lead Smelter Release||2||1||1|
|Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum
Products and Allied Petroleum Products
|Sulphur in Diesel Fuel||281||192||89||13|
|Sulphur in Gasoline||104||66||38||1|
|Tetrachloro-ethylene (Use in Dry
Cleaning and Reporting Requirements)
|Vinyl Chloride Release, 1992||7||7||1|
|CEPA 1999 - Section(s)||530||246||284||10||87||5||19||3||3|
|National Pollutant Release Inventory||91||65||26||1||51|
|Section 46 Notices - Greenhouse Gases||64||64||1|
|Section 56 Notices - P2 Plan||47||28||19||7|
|Section 71 Notices - Toxics||3||2||1||1|
* Includes activities related to enforceable provisions of CEPA 1999.
Number of inspections -- The number of inspections for compliance completed during the fiscal year, by regulation.
Number of investigations -- The number of investigations started in the fiscal year. The total number of investigations is the number of investigation files started in the fiscal year. An investigation file may include activities relating to another law or to more than one regulation. Therefore, the total number of investigations shown does not add up to the total number of investigations by regulation.
All enforcement measures (except for prosecutions and EPAMs) are tabulated at the section level of a regulation. For example, if the outcome of an inspection is the issuance of a written warning that relates to alleged violations of three sections of a given regulation, the number of written warnings is three.
Number of prosecutions -- The number of regulatees who were prosecuted, regardless of the number of regulations involved.
Number of EPAMs -- The number of regulatees who signed EPAMs, regardless of the number of regulations involved.
There were 134 referrals to other federal, provincial or municipal government departments.
Of the 35 investigations started in 2008-2009, 6 ended in 2008-2009 and 29 are ongoing. In addition, of 43 investigations started before 2008-2009, 5 were completed in 2008-2009 and 37 are ongoing.
Environmental Protection Compliance Orders (EPCOs) may help secure an alleged violator's return to compliance, without use of the court system.
In 2008-2009, 156 EPCOs were issued: 117 under the Off-Road Compression-Ignition Engine Emission Regulationsand the remaining 39 for violating various other CEPA regulations.
An Environmental Protection Alternative Measures (EPAM) agreement is an enforcement tool that allows for a negotiated return to compliance without a court trial. If an EPAM agreement is successfully negotiated, it is filed with the court and is a public document. The agreement must also be published on the CEPA Environmental Registry.
No EPAM agreements were made in 2008-2009.
Key prosecutions and court cases in 2008-2009 included the following:
- A British Columbia company was ordered to pay a penalty of $17,500 ($2,500 fine and $15,000 to the Environmental Damages Fund) after pleading guilty to one count of illegally importing hazardous waste in violation of CEPA 1999.
- A Nova Scotia company was ordered to pay a penalty of $10,000 ($2,000 fine and $8,000 to the Environmental Damages Fund) after pleading guilty to illegally disposing of dead slime eels at sea without an ocean disposal permit.
- An Ontario company was convicted on two counts of violating CEPA 1999 and the Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations. The company was fined $5,000 on each count and the total fine of $10,000 was directed to the Environmental Damages Fund.
Enforcement-related activities are carried out under various international and domestic agreements and organizations. In 2008, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation's Enforcement Working Group began the "Non-Compliant Imports Entering North America" project, which identifies non-compliant engines subject to on-road vehicle and engine emission regulations in member countries (Canada, United States and Mexico). The project is intended to identify and respond to non-compliant imports through cooperation, information sharing and operational support and has resulted in the initiation of several enforcement cases that are currently being investigated.
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