7. Controlling Pollution and Managing Waste (Part 7)

Part 7 of CEPA 1999 provides the Minister with additional authorities to deal with various substances that have the potential to harm the environment or human health.

Canada has developed and will continue to develop a series of regulations to reduce smog-forming air pollutant emissions and greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and engines in alignment with the standards of the U.S. EPA.

Currently, there are regulations in place to reduce emissions from passenger cars and light-duty trucks, heavy-duty vehicles, motorcycles, marine engines, recreational vehicles as well as construction and agricultural equipment, and small engines such as lawnmowers and chainsaws.

The Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on October 13, 2010. These regulations introduce GHG emission standards for new cars and light trucks beginning with the 2011 model year, in alignment with the U.S. national standards. The regulated standards become more stringent with each model year over the 2011 to 2016 model-year period and will generate progressively larger emission reductions. A Notice of Intent was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on October 16, 2010, stating the government's intention to continue working with the United States toward the development of tighter standards for light-duty vehicles of the 2017 and later model years. In May 2010, the Government of Canada and the United States each announced that they would regulate GHG emissions from on-road heavy-duty vehicles. The Minister of the Environment's announcement specified that Canada's regulations under CEPA 1999 would be aligned with those of the United States. On October 25, 2010, Environment Canada released a regulatory framework consultation document to seek early views from interested parties on key elements being considered for these future regulations.

The Marine Spark-Ignition Engine, Vessel and Off-Road Recreational Vehicle Emission Regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on February 16, 2011. Under these standards, and for the first time in Canada, vehicles such as snowmobiles, personal watercraft, outboard motors and off-road motorcycles will be subject to regulations on smog-forming emissions. These emission standards will apply to most classes of vehicles and engines beginning with the 2012 model year.

On February 12, 2011, the proposed Regulations Amending the Off-Road Compression-Ignition Engine Emissions Regulationswere published in the Canada Gazette, Part I. These amendments will result in further reductions of smog-forming emissions from the off-road diesel engine sector, which includes engines typically found in construction, farming, forestry, and some mining machinery. On December 18, 2010, the Minister of the Environment issued an Interim Order pursuant to subsection 163(1) of CEPA 1999 to maintain alignment between Canadian requirements and the slightly modified U.S. EPA provisions for engines manufactured under the flexibility program.

The Renewable Fuels Regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on September 1, 2010. These regulations require fuel producers and importers to have an average annual renewable fuel content of at least 5% of the volume of gasoline that they produce or import, commencing in December 2010.

Regulations amending the Renewable Fuels Regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on February 26, 2011. The amended regulations include provisions requiring an average 2% renewable fuel content in diesel fuel and heating distillate oil, as well as some minor revisions to the initial regulations that address technical issues, minor inconsistencies and lack of clarity in the original regulations. The proposed implementation date for the average 2% renewable fuel content in diesel fuel and heating distillate oil was July 2011.

Regulations amending Canada's Gasoline Regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on July 7, 2010. The amended regulations provide an exemption for the production, import and sale of leaded gasoline in Canada for use in competition vehicles for an indeterminate period. Persons producing, importing, or selling such fuel for use in Canada are still required to report their activities so that Environment Canada can continue to monitor the use of leaded gasoline in competition vehicles. Environment Canada, with the support of Health Canada, will conduct a five-year review, and will assess if further action is warranted based on science, technology, and fuel-replacement developments.

The Department administers a program to verify compliance with regulations. To further realize the benefits of aligned emissions standards, the Department works closely with the U.S. EPA.

Vehicles and engines subject to Canadian regulations must comply with emission standards to qualify for importation or interprovincial transport. Despite the best efforts of manufacturers, defects in the design, construction or functioning of a vehicle/engine that affects or could affect compliance with a prescribed standard can occur, given the complexity of vehicle/engine designs, the variety of parts and different component suppliers. Where defects do occur, CEPA 1999 provides a non-judicial mechanism through the notice of defect provisions for companies to take corrective action by issuing a notice of defect.

In 2010–2011, 131 emission tests were performed on various types of vehicles and engines. The program also reviewed 65 submissions for products unique to the Canadian market for the 2010 and 2011 model years. During this period, 25 notices of defect and other notifications covering approximately 78 000 products were processed. These actions resulted in product recalls and warranty extensions by their manufacturers or importers.

Suspected non-compliance cases were transferred to the Enforcement Branch. See Chapter 10 for information on compliance and enforcement activities.

The disposal of waste at sea within Canadian jurisdiction and by Canadian ships in Canadian jurisdiction and international waters requires a permit issued by Environment Canada. A permit for disposal at sea will be approved only if it is the environmentally preferable and practical option. CEPA 1999 provides additional controls on disposal at sea, including:

Through the Disposal at Sea Regulations pursuant to CEPA 1999, Canada implements its international obligations as a party to the 1996 Protocol to the London Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter. In this regard, Canada and other Convention and Protocol parties have been supporting the continuation of a major project on the reduction of barriers to compliance to the treaty. Workshops, guidance and technical assistance are offered to countries to aid their acceding to the London Protocol or to coming into compliance with it. Canada currently chairs the new “Compliance Group” that was struck under the Protocol to deal with systemic compliance issues.

Canada has also been active with other parties, research organizations and environmental groups in developing options for creating a transparent, global regulatory mechanism for ocean fertilization and potentially for other forms of marine geo-engineering where there is potential to cause harm to the marine environment. Cooperation with other international bodies, including the Convention on Biological Diversity, calling for such global regulation is ongoing. Canada will host a working group meeting in June 2011 to allow the better consideration of these options.

Canada participates actively in the development of international guidance material relevant to disposal at sea. Current projects include developing action levels (levels of concern) for fish waste, revising dredged material assessment guidance, developing low-tech assessment guidance for dredged material, and guidance on assessment of CO2 streams for sub-seabed geological storage.

In 2010–2011, 83 permits were issued in Canada for the disposal of 3.78 million tonnes of waste and other matter (tables 10 and 11), compared with 83 permits for the disposal of 4.57 million tonnes in 2009–2010. Most of the material permitted for disposal was dredged material that was removed from harbours and waterways to keep them safe for navigation. Also permitted was excavated native till (geological matter) that is disposed of at sea in the lower mainland of British Columbia, where on-land disposal options for clean fill are extremely limited. A small amount of fish-processing waste is also permitted in remote communities where there is no access to reuse-and-recycling opportunities. The number of permits issued has remained relatively stable since 1995, although there has been a slight reduction in 2008–2009 and 2009–2010.

Table 10: Disposal at sea quantities permitted (in tonnes) and permits issued in Canada from April 2010 to March 2011
Quantity permitted Permits issued
Dredged material
3 321 370* 35
Geological matter
390 000* 2
Fisheries waste
70 385 46
Organic matter
3 781 755 83

* Dredged material and geological matter were converted to tonnes using an assumed density of 1.3 tonnes per cubic metre.

Table 11: Disposal at sea quantities permitted (in tonnes) and permits issued by region from April 2010 to March 2011
Material Atlantic Quebec Pacific and Yukon Prairie and Northern
Quantity permitted Permits issued Quantity permitted Permits issued Quantity permitted Permits issued Quantity permitted Permits issued
Dredged material* 1 190 670 9 79 300 10 2 051 400 16 0 0
Geological matter* 0 0 0 0 390 000 2 0 0
Fish waste 68 885 42 1500 4 0 0 0 0
Organic matter
Total 1 259 555 51 80 800 14 2 441 400 18

* Dredged material and geological matter were converted to tonnes using an assumed density of 1.3 tonnes per cubic metre.

The program monitors representative disposal sites to verify that permit conditions were met and that scientific assumptions made during the permit review and site selection process were correct and sufficient to protect the marine environment. By monitoring disposal sites, Environment Canada is able to verify that the permitting of disposal is sustainable and that permit holders can have continued access to suitable sites. Where monitoring indicates a problem or where the site has reached its capacity over time, management action in the form of closing, moving or altering the site use can occur. In 2010–2011, monitoring projects were completed on seven disposal sites, specifically involving fieldwork carried out in the summer of 2010. No management action was required at these sites.

In Environment Canada's Atlantic Region, sediment chemical analysis and benthic community structure studies were conducted at two smaller disposal sites. In the Quebec Region, bathymetric and underwater video surveys were conducted in the Magdalen Islands, and additional work was conducted on adding historical data to the Department's Geo-information on Sediment (GISE) database.

In the Pacific and Yukon Region, monitoring work focused on two large disposal sites in the Vancouver area. Chemical analysis of sediments was conducted at both sites, and a benthic biota survey was conducted at one. Much of the work undertaken in 2010–2011 was in support of changes to permit assessment in areas that have been designated as critical habitat for Killer Whales under the Species at Risk Act.

Further details can be found in the Compendium of Monitoring Activities at Ocean Disposal Sites, which is sent to permit holders and submitted to the International Maritime Organization annually.

CEPA 1999 enables the making of regulations governing the export and import of waste (including both hazardous and non-hazardous waste) and hazardous recyclable materials. It also enables authorities to make regulations that set out criteria that may be considered in refusing to issue an export, import or transit permit, should the waste or hazardous recyclable material not be managed in a manner that will protect the environment and human health.

Through the Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclables Material Regulations and the PCB Waste Export Regulations, Canada implements its international obligations as a party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal and the Canada–United States Agreement on the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Waste. Other activities related to Canada's commitment to the Basel Convention include playing a leading role in the development of a new strategic framework for the period 2012–2021 and supporting the participation of developing countries in this process. Canada also participated in an initiative to develop recommendations for the protection of countries that do not have the capacity to manage hazardous wastes in an environmentally sound manner; provided scientific and policy expertise in the development of guidelines for the management of mercury, used tires and cement kilns; and played a leadership role in the development of guidance on the environmentally sound management of end-of-life electronics under the public-private Partnership for Action on Computing Equipment, established to advance the goals of the Basel Convention.

During the 2010 calendar year,3 just over 42 100 individual transboundary shipments of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable material were reported in movement documents received by Environment Canada.

In 2010, the quantity of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable material imported into Canada was 358 236 tonnes (t). This represents a decrease of 120 415 t or 25% over the total 2009 import quantity, which was 478 651 t. Shipments destined for recycling, which reduce reliance on primary resources and benefit Canadian industry, totaled 212 053 tand represented about 59% of all imports in 2010, an increase from 45% in 2009. Used or spent batteries, metal-bearing waste, used or spent liquors from metallurgical processes, used lubricating oils and manufacturing residues made up the majority of imports of hazardous recyclable material into Canada. Hazardous waste imports destined for disposal operations included solid wastes no longer suitable for metal recovery, industrial residues and environmentally hazardous substances.

In 2010, exports of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable materials amounted to 425 334 t, which represents a decrease of 6587 tor 2% from the 2009 figure. Of this value, the quantity of waste that was exported for recycling in 2010 was 355 003 t, which is an increase from 316 172 t in 2009.

During 2010, over 2500 notices were processed for proposed imports, exports and transits of hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable materials. The notices received covered 17 978 individual waste streams, which exhibited a range of hazardous properties such as being explosive, flammable, acutely toxic, corrosive, dangerously reactive and environmentally hazardous.

The annual statistics for international transboundary movements indicate that in 2010, 99% of imports and 96% of exports for both hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable materials occurred between Canada and the United States. No other countries received shipments of hazardous waste destined for disposal from Canada. Other regions involved in the movement of hazardous recyclable materials in notable quantities include certain European countries and the Republic of Korea.

In 2010, exports of hazardous recyclable materials originated from seven provinces, with Ontario and Quebec accounting for nearly 70% of all shipments out of Canada. The bulk of these shipments were sent to authorized facilities located in the northeastern and central United States. The situation was similar for exports of hazardous waste for final disposal, with most originating from Ontario and Quebec. No exports of hazardous waste, whether destined for disposal or recycling, were shipped from Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island or any of the territories.

Imports of hazardous recyclable materials in 2010 were shipped to six provinces. Quebec and Ontario continued to receive the vast majority of all imports into Canada, with a smaller number of shipments imported into British Columbia, Alberta, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. The situation was similar for imports of hazardous waste for final disposal, with most destined for Quebec and Ontario, and relatively small quantities imported into Alberta and British Columbia. No imports of hazardous waste, whether destined for disposal or recycling, were received by Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island or any of the territories.

Tables 12 and 13 list the quantities imported and exported from 2002 to 2010.

Table 12: Hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable material, imports, 2002–2010 (tonnes)
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Recyclables 193 318 189 110 200 097 174 983 164 903 220 377 247 763 215 648 212 053
Total imports 423 067 417 368 416 136 476 416 408 839 470 136 509 501 478 651 358 236
Table 13: Hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable material, exports, 2002–2010 (tonnes)
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Recyclables 238 597 205 356 187 986 226 380 374 024 352 933 354 722 316 172 355 003
Total exports 340 261 321 294 308 357 327 746 474 538 452 396 457 806 431 921 425 334

3 To ensure consistency with international reporting mechanisms, export and import quantities set out in section 7.3 of this report represent actual movement values that took place during the 2010 calendar year (from January 1 to December 31, 2010).

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