6. Operational Issues and Notification and Tracking Requirements

Environment Canada presented a series of proposals concerning notification and tracking requirements intended to streamline the notification process, and to clarify requirements for issues such as returns and re-routing and transfer stations.

The new regulations will clarify the following conditions:

It is intended that these requirements will ensure that exporters acting as agents for multiple generators either have a facility that can receive returned material or have a contractual arrangement with such a facility.

The tracking requirements will be modeled on the provisions proposed for the Interprovincial Regulations and on the August 2002 consequential amendments to the EIHWR. These provisions will have the following changes from the current EIHWR:

Finally, Environment Canada noted that it is exploring the possibility of arrangements with the provinces to centralize and consolidate the flow of information through the Department.

Environment Canada proposed that the new regulations include two separate control regimes. The Full Controls will apply both to all shipments of hazardous waste and to hazardous recyclable materials being exported to or imported from non-OECD countries. A modified control regime will apply to shipments of hazardous recyclable materials among OECD countries.

Most of the proposed provisions for the Full Control regime reflect the current EIHWR with some changes to: a) facilitate compliance by improved clarity, and b) improve the operation of the regulations. Unlike the current EIHWR, it is proposed that the new regulations describe each step in the process in a sequential manner. This should help users and observers better understand all the elements involved. In order to provide this clear sequence of requirements, the regulations will repeat some of the key provisions in the Act, including the requirement to submit a Notice, the prohibition on movement without a permit.

In addition, the new regulations may include the following key changes:

The new regulations will clarify the obligations arising upon failure to complete delivery or treatment as planned. It is the obligation of the importer or exporter to ensure, prior to transboundary movement, that the material can, in fact, be managed at the receiving facility. It is recognized, however, that unexpected circumstances such as work stoppages, accidents and unanticipated contamination can occur. In such cases, the importer or exporter must take steps to address the situation, and either ensure the return of the shipment or reroute it to another authorized facility.

While returns directly to the exporter can occur with only minor administrative requirements, rerouting will require an "authorization" for any subsequent movement. It is intended that this "authorization" represent a streamlined version of a permit, but that it not be made available as a means for obtaining quicker permits for routine situations. The new requirement for an official authorization will make this process more transparent than is the case at present where these issues are addressed in an ad hoc manner.

In order to provide flexibility with regard to this authorization, it is proposed that the regulations not prescribe the process for applying for such an authorization or its possible form and content. The Department will monitor the frequency of returns and rerouting, and where appropriate will ask companies about the steps being taken to address the need for such alternate arrangements.

Participants provided the following feedback on the proposed changes:

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