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.

The Environmental Emergency Regulations (E2 Regulations), createdunder Part 8 of CEPA 1999, require any person responsible for substances listed in the regulations to prepare and implement an environmental emergency plan for their facility, if the total quantity of the substance on site, and the maximum capacity of the container storing the substance, are equal to or greater than the regulated threshold quantity for the substance.

Environment Canada's Environmental Emergencies website includes implementation guidelines for E2 plans, 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, 2011, approximately 4200 facilities had filed Notices Regarding the Identification of Substance and Place under the E2 Regulations. Of these facilities, approximately 2400 were required to prepare E2 plans. The notices submitted by facilities indicate that 94 of the 174 regulated substances are in use in Canada. The seven most commonly used substances were propane, anhydrous ammonia, chlorine, gasoline, pentane, butane and hydrochloric acid.

In 2010–2011, 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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