8. Environmental Emergencies (Part 8)

Part 8 of CEPA 1999 addresses the prevention of, preparedness for, response to and recovery from an uncontrolled, unplanned or accidental release of a substance into the environment that poses potential harm to the environment or to human health. Part 8 provides the authority for environmental emergency plans, regulations, guidelines and codes of practice. Part 8 also establishes a regime that makes the person who owns or controls the substance liable for restoring the damaged environment and for the costs and expenses incurred in responding to an environmental emergency.

Under the Environmental Emergency Regulations (E2 Regulations), persons who own or manage any of the 174 flammable or toxic substances specified in Schedule 1 of the E2 Regulations at or above certain thresholds must provide required information on the location, substance quantities and container sizes. If the substance quantity equals or exceeds the threshold and is stored in a container with a capacity equal to or exceeding the threshold, an environmental emergency (E2) plan must be prepared, implemented and tested. If only one criterion is met, regulatees are required to submit only a Notice of Identification of Substance and Place.

The environmental emergency plans website includes model E2 plans for propane and ammonia, a common issues section, and online notice filing. The website also provides public access to a database containing basic information about registered facilities (e.g., company names and addresses).

As of March 31, 2010, a total of 3956 facilities had filed Notices Regarding the Identification of Substance and Place under the E2 Regulations. Of these 3956 facilities, 3670 were required to prepare E2 plans. This number represents a 57% increase from the number reported for 2008-2009. Ninety-four of the 174 regulated substances have been reported at least once. The seven most commonly reported substances were propane, anhydrous ammonia, chlorine, gasoline, pentane, butane and hydrochloric acid.

In 2009-2010, regional activities associated with the implementation of the E2 Regulations included hosting substance-specific workshops for the regulated community covering prevention, preparedness and response aspects for propane, liquefied natural gas and ammonia. Other themed workshops addressed E2 plan content and exercise design.

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