Pollution prevention plans

Part 4 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA) gives the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada the authority to require the preparation and implementation of pollution prevention plans (P2 plans) for CEPA toxic substances (substances that have been added to Schedule 1 of CEPA). To invoke these requirements, the Minister publishes notices in the Canada Gazette, Part I, requiring persons to prepare and implement P2 plans for a substance or group of substances. Guidelines have been prepared to describe the circumstances under which the P2 planning provisions in Part 4 of CEPA are implemented.

Pollution prevention is defined in CEPA as "the use of processes, practices, materials, products, substances or energy that avoid or minimize the creation of pollutants and waste and reduce the overall risk to the environment or human health". Pollution prevention planning is a systematic, comprehensive method of identifying and implementing pollution prevention options to minimize or avoid the creation of pollutants or waste. The plan would also identify recycling, treatment and other measures needed to meet environmental goals.

The Canada Gazette P2 notices do not prescribe the form of P2 plans. Affected persons may prepare a plan in the form which makes most sense for their facility, so long as the plan:

  • addresses the "factors to consider" identified in the P2 notice
  • complies with the timelines in the P2 notice
  • contains all the information required to complete the declarations and other forms.

In order to be most effective, P2 plans could be expected to contain the following elements:

  • a senior-level sign-off
  • the designation of an accountable senior manager for the plan
  • a clear statement of the risk management (and other) objectives for the plan
  • a schedule for meeting those objectives
  • a review of all significant aspects of the management of the substance (including purchasing, processing, producing, generating, distributing, treating, disposing, storing, or releasing of the substance)
  • an identification, review and selection of options
  • a plan and schedule for implementing the selected options
  • a plan for measuring, tracking and evaluating the success of the selected options and for implementing corrective and preventative measures
  • a plan for reporting on progress towards the plan's objectives
  • a continual improvement program.

Declarations, time extensions, waivers

A person subject to a P2 notice requiring the preparation and implementation of P2 plans must submit the following according to the timelines set in the published notice.

Declaration of preparation:

Declaration that a plan has been prepared and is being implemented

Part 4 of CEPA requires persons subject to a Canada Gazette notice to submit two declarations, the first of which stating that a P2 plan has been prepared and is being implemented. This declaration must be submitted within the timeline specified in the notice using the appropriate form and contain the information specified by the Minister.

Where a person has filed such a declaration which contains information that, at any time after the filing, has become false or misleading, that person must file an amended declaration to the Minister within 30 days after that time.

Declaration of implementation:

Declaration that a plan has been implemented

Part 4 of CEPA requires persons subject to a Canada Gazette notice to submit two declarations, the second of which stating that a P2 plan has been implemented. This declaration must be submitted within the timeline specified in the notice using the appropriate form, and contain the information specified by the Minister.

Where a person has filed such a declaration which contains information that, at any time after the filing, has become false or misleading, that person shall file an amended declaration to the Minister within 30 days after that time.

Interim progress reports (as required)

Interim progress reports may be required, for example, when there is substantial time between submissions of the two declarations (declaration of preparation and declaration of implementation). This report must be submitted within the timeline specified in the Canada Gazette notice using the appropriate form, and contain the information specified by the Minister.


A person subject to such a Canada Gazette notice does not submit the P2 plan itself, unless the Minister requests that the P2 plan be submitted for the purposes of determining and assessing further preventive or control actions (section 60 of CEPA).

Persons subject to a Canada Gazette notice may also apply for:

Time extensions

Persons subject to a Canada Gazette notice requiring the preparation and implementation of P2 plans may apply for a time extension to submit the necessary declarations. Such requests must be made before the time to prepare or implement a plan has expired using the appropriate form, and contain the information specified by the Minister.

Waivers for "factors to consider"

Each Canada Gazette notice requiring the preparation and implementation of P2 plans specifies the factors that should be considered when preparing a P2 plan for a given substance(s). These could include a risk management objective, environmental and human health risks, currently available technologies or pollution prevention practices, and existing or proposed regulations relevant to the CEPA toxic substance, as well as other factors.

Where a person subject to a notice feels that it is not reasonable or practicable to consider one of the factors listed, they may apply to have that factor waived. Such applications must be made using the form and contain the information specified by the Minister.

Information support tools

For more information regarding the pollution prevention planning provisions under Part 4 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 visit the pollution prevention planning notices.

The site provides access to the P2 planning database, where notice forms may be completed and submitted on-line. Additionally, most information submitted by persons subject to a notice is available for public viewing.

Are you interested in learning more about P2 and P2 planning? Environment and Climate Change Canada has developed and identified many resources to help. We invite you to consult the following support tools:

For more information about pollution prevention in general, browse through the pollution prevention resource finder.

Contact us

Innovative Measures Section
Environment and Climate Change Canada
351 Saint-Joseph Blvd.
Gatineau, QC K1A 0H3

Email: ec.planp2-p2plan.ec@canada.ca
Website: pollution prevention planning

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