Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999
Annual Report to Parliament for April 2020 to March 2021:
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- 6. Compliance promotion and enforcement
6. Compliance promotion and enforcement
To achieve greater compliance with the Act and its risk management tools, both compliance promotion activities and enforcement measures are used.
The goal of compliance promotion is to increase awareness of and voluntary compliance with regulatory and non-regulatory instruments in an effort to limit harm to the environment and human health and consequential enforcement actions. Compliance promotion officers across Canada provide information to regulated communities on what is required to comply with CEPA, the benefits of compliance, and the consequences of non-compliance.
Enforcement activities are conducted in accordance with the Compliance and Enforcement Policy for CEPA. CEPA provides enforcement officers with a wide range of powers to enforce the Act, including the powers of a peace officer.
6.1 Compliance promotion priorities
Each year, ECCC develops a list of priorities for delivery of compliance promotion activities on issues such as chemical management, air pollutants, and greenhouse gas emissions. Factors that influence the identification of priority activities include the recent publication of new or amended regulatory and non-regulatory instruments; new requirements coming into force; level of compliance; and need to maintain awareness, understanding, or compliance for specific requirements. Resources are aligned with the identified compliance promotion priorities.
In 2020-2021, compliance promotion activities were carried out on 24 priority regulatory and non-regulatory CEPA instruments, namely:
- Chromium Electroplating, Chromium Anodizing and Reverse Etching Regulations
- Code of Practice for the Environmental Management of Road Salts
- Code of Practice for the Reduction of Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Emissions from the Use of Cutback and Emulsified Asphalt
- Concentration of Phosphorus in Certain Cleaning Products Regulations
- Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations
- Federal Halocarbon Regulations, 2003
- Heavy-duty Vehicle and Engine Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations
- Marine Spark-Ignition Engine, Vessel and Off-Road Recreational Vehicle Emission Regulations
- Microbeads in Toiletries Regulations
- Multi-Sector Air Pollutants Regulations (MSAPR)
- New Substances Notification Regulations (Organisms)
- Off-road Compression-Ignition (Mobile and Stationary) and Large Spark-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations
- Off-Road Small Spark-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations
- On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations
- Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations
- PCB Regulations
- Products Containing Mercury Regulations
- Prohibition of Asbestos and Asbestos Products Regulations
- Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations
- Reduction in the Release of Volatile Organic Compounds Regulations (Petroleum Sector)
- Regulations Respecting Reduction in the Release of Methane and Certain Volatile Organic Compounds (Upstream Oil and Gas Sector)
- Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations
- Sulphur in Gasoline Regulations
- Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning and Reporting Requirements Regulations)
- Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Concentration Limits for Architectural Coatings Regulations
- Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Concentration Limits for Automotive Refinishing Products Regulations
6.2 Compliance promotion activities
The COVID-19 pandemic restrictions did not allow for any in-person contact, such as meetings, site visits, conferences, multi-instrument sessions, or training. As such, the majority of compliance promotion activities focused on virtual opportunities to reach larger audiences, through virtual conferences and webinar events, as well as email campaigns, article publications, and phone calls. Many of these activities were carried out in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments, as well as non-governmental organizations and associations.
In 2020-2021, 17 938 known or potential regulatees received compliance promotion material and 813 stakeholders were contacted by ECCC for clarification of regulatory requirements and/or additional information. In addition, responses were provided to numerous enquiries received by email, fax, letter and telephone.
ECCC launched a number of compliance promotion initiatives:
- facilitating easier communications with ECCC by redesigning the business reply form to include auto-generated and pre-populated electronic response options for the 15 464 stakeholders potentially interested in knowing more about the New Substances Notification Regulations (Organisms)
- creating a tailored Frequently Asked Questions with succinct and focused answers and specific guidance products that improve the awareness of the Multi-Sector Air Pollutants Regulations
- improving reporting by varying the timing and number of reminders sent for Chromium Electroplating, Chromium Anodizing and Reverse Etching Regulations; an increase in submission of reports after the reminders, indicated the effectiveness of the compliance promotion activities
- publishing a sponsored article with banners in Recycling Product News magazine as well as on the Association canadienne des industries du recyclage website that informed the industry about the new international Basel Convention requirements on waste plastics which trigger application of the Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations
- revamping the reporting package for Tetrachlorethylene (Use In Dry Cleaning And Reporting Requirements) Regulations by sending pre-stamped return envelopes as an incentive for timely reporting; whether the quality and number of reports submitted improves as result of improving the quality of information and user-friendliness of the compliance promotion package provided to regulates, will be assessed
- providing information, fact sheets and guidance documents to inform stakeholders on various provisions of the Ozone-depleting Substances and Halocarbon Alternatives Regulations that came into force in January 2020 and January 2021
- providing compliance promotion information, on vehicle and engine emissions regulations and fuels regulations, to regulatees via webinars and mail outs
6.3 Enforcement priorities
Each year, ECCC develops an Integrated Enforcement Plan (IEP) that sets out the enforcement activities to be carried out in that fiscal year, including activities to address non-compliance with CEPA. Factors that influence the identification of priority activities include the risk to the environment and human health represented by the regulated substance or activity, governmental and departmental priorities, suspected non-compliance, recent publication of new and amended regulations, and domestic and international commitments and obligations.
In 2020-2021, the following CEPA instruments were given priority in the IEP:
- Off-Road Compression-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations
- Benzene in Gasoline Regulations, Sulphur in Gasoline Regulations, Sulphur in Diesel Fuel Regulations and Renewable Fuels Regulations
- Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Concentration Limits for Architectural Coatings Regulations
- Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations
In addition to the planned inspections carried out under the IEP, enforcement activities also include a large number of inspections resulting from responses to complaints, notifications from partners, intelligence or departmental referrals, reported spills and incidents, or other information.
ECCC initiated a series of risk assessments in 2018-2019 to assess and determine the risk of non compliance with its laws and regulations - including those under CEPA. In 2019-2020, a threat risk assessment on toxic substances was completed and the results were used to inform 2020-2021 planning. In 2020-2021, a series of risk-based projects were launched based on the results of the threat risk assessments. These projects focus on increased inspections for Ammonia, Siloxane D4, the Metallurgical Project, and Textile Mill Effluent. Additional risk assessments are currently ongoing and will inform decision-making processes and help to better align enforcement actions and resources to protect the environment and human health.
6.4 Enforcement activities
Enforcement activities undertaken between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 are summarized in the following 4 tables:
- Table 21 provides the number of on-site and off-site inspections for each regulation
- Table 22 provides the breakdown of investigations for each regulation for which at least 1 investigation occurred or closed
- Table 23 provides the total number of enforcement measures resulting from inspections and investigations that were imposed for each regulation
- Table 24 provides the number of prosecutions for each regulation
Inspections are defined as the active process of gathering information to verify compliance with legislation. This may include site visits; examining substances, products or containers; taking samples; and reviewing records. An on-site inspection involves visiting a site, such as a border crossing, an airport, or a port of entry, to conduct any activity, operation, or analysis required to verify the regulatee’s compliance with a regulation. An off-site inspection is normally undertaken at the officer’s place of work or in another location that is not at the regulated site and is usually limited to documentation verification.
Table 21 details the 1021 inspections conducted under CEPA for fiscal year 2020-2021. The number of inspections relates to the number of times the regulation or other instrument was inspected for compliance, using the start date of the inspection for the reference period.
Table 21. Number of inspections under CEPA from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021
|Benzene in Gasoline Regulations||8||0||8|
|CEPA – various section(s)||29||39||68|
|Chromium Electroplating, Chromium Anodizing and Reverse Etching Regulations||16||4||20|
|Concentration of Phosphorus in Certain Cleaning Products Regulations||1||0||1|
|Disposal at Sea Regulations||2||30||32|
|Environmental Emergency Regulations||34||60||94|
|Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations||35||19||54|
|Federal Halocarbon Regulations, 2003||16||25||41|
|Fuels Information Regulations, No. 1||1||2||3|
|Interprovincial Movement of Hazardous Waste Regulations||0||1||1|
|Multi-Sector Air Pollutants Regulations||1||0||1|
|Microbeads in Toiletries Regulations||2||0||2|
|National Pollutant Release Inventory||0||18||18|
|New Substances Notification Regulations (Chemicals and Polymers)||12||0||12|
|New Substance Notification Regulations (Organisms)||1||0||1|
|Notice s. 85(1) SNAc (Chemicals and Polymers)||3||0||3|
|Notice s. 56 for a Pollutionprevention plan||1||1||2|
|Off-Road Compression-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations||16||4||20|
|Off-Road Small Spark-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations||1||0||1|
|On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations||5||0||5|
|Ozone-depleting Substances and Halocarbon Alternatives Regulations||1||6||7|
|Products Containing Mercury Regulations||0||1||1|
|Prohibition of Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos Regulations||8||10||18|
|Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations, 2012||15||13||28|
|Pulp and Paper Mill Defoamer and Wood Chip Regulations||0||1||1|
|Pulp and Paper Mill Effluent Chlorinated Dioxins and Furans Regulations||0||3||3|
|Renewable Fuels Regulations||6||0||6|
|Solvent Degreasing Regulations||1||1||2|
|Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied PetroleumProducts Regulations||15||41||56|
|Sulphur in Diesel Fuel Regulations||11||3||14|
|Sulphur in Gasoline Regulations||9||0||9|
|Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning and Reporting Requirements) Regulations||1||404||405|
|Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Concentration Limits for ArchitecturalCoatings Regulations||18||0||18|
|Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Concentration Limits for AutomotiveRefinishing Products Regulations||8||0||8|
* Only those regulations under which an inspection occurred during the time period are listed in this table.
An investigation involves gathering, from a variety of sources, evidence and information relevant to a suspected violation. An enforcement officer will conduct an investigation when he or she has reasonable grounds to believe that an offence has been committed under the Act.
Table 22 describes the number of investigations under CEPA for fiscal year 2020-2021. It should be noted that 2 investigations started and ended in 2020-2021. Therefore, the total number of investigations under CEPA in 2020-2021 is 60.
Table 22. Breakdown of investigations from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021
|Started before 2020-2021 and still ongoing at the end of 2020-2021||Started in FY 2020-2021||Ended in FY 2020-2021|
|Chromium Electroplating, Chromium Anodizing and Reverse Etching Regulations||-||-||1|
|CEPA – various section(s)||8||3||8|
|Disposal at Sea Regulations||2||-||3|
|Environmental Emergency Regulations||1||-||-|
|Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations||-||1||-|
|Federal Halocarbon Regulations, 2003||1||-||-|
|Off-Road Compression-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations||1||1||2|
|Off-Road Small Spark-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations||1||-||-|
|On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations||1||-||1|
|PCB Waste Export Regulations, 1996||-||-||-|
|Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations, 2012||-||1||-|
|Renewable Fuels Regulations||1||-||-|
|Sulphur in Diesel Fuel Regulations||-||-||-|
|Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied PetroleumProducts Regulations||2||2||2|
|Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning and Reporting Requirements)Regulations||2||-||1|
|Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Concentration Limits for ArchitecturalCoatings Regulations||1||-||-|
|Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Concentration Limits for AutomotiveRefinishing Products Regulations||3||-||1|
* Investigations are tabulated by the number of investigation files at the regulation level, based on the start or end date of the investigation. An investigation may be counted under 1 or more regulations.
** Only those regulations under which an investigation occurred during the time period are listed in this table.
6.4.3 Enforcement measures
Enforcement measures available to address alleged violations of CEPA and its regulations include warnings to bring an alleged violation to the attention of an alleged offender, and if applicable, return to compliance. In addition, environmental protection compliance orders (EPCOs) require action to be taken to stop an ongoing violation from continuing, or to prevent a violation from occurring, and administrative monetary penalties (AMP) provide a financial disincentive to non compliance.
Table 23 sets out the number of written warnings, EPCOs, and AMPs issued under CEPA during fiscal year 2020-2021. Only those regulations or other instruments under which enforcement measures were issued during the time period are listed in this table.
Table 23. Number of enforcement measures taken from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021
|Instrument||Enforcement measures* from inspections and investigations|
|Written warnings**||Number of subjects involved in EPCOs***||EPCOs**||AMPs**|
|CEPA – various section(s)||54||7||5||38|
|Chromium Electroplating, Chromium Anodizing and Reverse Etching Regulations||2||-||-||-|
|Disposal at Sea Regulations||-||-||-||2|
|Environmental Emergency Regulations||9||-||-||-|
|Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations||25||1||1||10|
|Federal Halocarbon Regulations, 2003||6||-||-||5|
|Fuels Information Regulations, No. 1||2||-||-||4|
|Gasoline and Gasoline Blend Dispensing Flow Rate Regulations||1||-||-||-|
|Microbeads in Toiletries Regulations||4||-||-||-|
|Notice s. 46 Greenhouse Gases||1||-||-||-|
|Notice s. 71 Toxics||2||-||-||-|
|Off-Road Compression-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations||12||-||-||38|
|Off-Road Small Spark-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations||1||-||-||-|
|On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations||1||-||-||-|
|Ozone-Depleting Substances and Halocarbon Alternatives Regulations||2||-||-||-|
|Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations, 2012||-||1||1||-|
|Products Containing Mercury Regulations||1||-||-||-|
|Renewable Fuels Regulations||7||-||-||1|
|Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations||17||2||2||12|
|Sulphur in Diesel Fuel Regulations||4||-||-||6|
|Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning and Reporting Requirements) Regulations||1||-||-||-|
|Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Concentration Limits for AutomotiveRefinishing Products Regulations||1||-||-||-|
* Enforcement measures shown were issued between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. It is possible that the initial inspection was conducted in a different fiscal year than when the measure was issued.
** Written warnings, EPCOs, and AMPs are tabulated by number of measures issued at the regulation level. For example, if 1 warning was issued for 2 different regulations, the number of warnings would be 2.
*** The number of subjects involved in EPCOs is represented by the number of regulatees issued EPCOs, regardless of the number of sections. For example, if 1 regulatee was issued an EPCO for 3 sections of the PCB Regulations, the number of subjects involved is 1.
6.5 Prosecutions, tickets and EPAMs
Enforcement measures also include tickets, prosecutions and environmental protection alternative measures (EPAMs).
For reporting purposes, prosecutions are all instances in which charges were laid against a person (individual, corporation, or government department). The decision to prosecute ultimately rests with the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) of Canada or their delegated agent. While reviewing the data, it should be noted that prosecutions often continue through multiple fiscal years, so there may be more prosecutions tabulated during a particular year than actual charges laid.
Tickets for offences under CEPA can be issued under the Contraventions Act, usually where there is minimal or no threat to the environment or human health. Where an offence has taken place and this offence is designated as ticketable, enforcement officers will issue a ticket, unless they have determined that, in accordance with the criteria of the Compliance and Enforcement Policy for CEPA, another enforcement measure is the appropriate response.
An EPAM is an agreement that is negotiated with the accused in order to return an alleged violator to compliance with CEPA. It can be used only after a charge has been laid and before the matter goes to trial, as an alternative measure to prosecution for an alleged violation of the Act.
Table 24 outlines the number of prosecutions and tickets under CEPA for fiscal year 2020-2021. No EPAMs were issued in 2020-2021. Only those regulations or other instruments under which prosecutions or tickets resulted during the time period are listed in this table.
Table 24: Number of prosecutions, tickets and penalties from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021
|Convicted subjects*||Guilty counts**||Environmental Damages Fund (EDF)||Administrative Monetary Penalty (AMPs)||Total Penalty Amount|
|Canadian Environment Protection Act, 1999 - Total||8||17||3||$1,145,500||$189,000||$1,334,500|
|CEPA – various section(s)||1||1||-||$130,000||$78,200||$208,200|
|Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable MaterialRegulations||-||-||-||-||$16,800||$168,800|
|Disposal at Sea Regulations||1||4||-||$400,000||$4,000||$404,000|
|Federal Halocarbon Regulations, 2003||-||-||-||-||$25,000||$25,000|
|Fuels Information Regulations, No. 1||-||-||-||-||$4,000||$4,000|
|Off-Road Compression-Ignition Engine EmissionRegulations||1||1||-||$25,000||$42,000||$67,000|
|Renewable Fuels Regulations||-||-||-||-||$1,000||$1,000|
|Sulfur in Diesel Fuel Regulations||-||-||-||-||$6,000||$6,000|
|Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products andAllied Petroleum Products Regulations||2||6||-||$375,000||$12,000||$387,000|
|Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning andReporting Requirements) Regulations||1||2||3||$10,500||-||$10,500|
* Convicted subjects are the number of subjects convicted during the reporting period and are based on date sentenced. The total of convicted subjects is 8 instead of 9 because 1 subject had been convicted under more than 1 regulation.
** Counts are the number of sections of legislation or regulations, for which there was a charge or conviction during the reporting period. For example, if 1 person is charged with 2 counts under CEPA, this is considered 1 charge laid against the subject and 2 counts.
6.6 Enforcement highlights
In 2020-2021, 8 subjects were convicted and sentenced for offences related to CEPA and its regulations and $1,145,500 in fines was directed to the Environmental Damages Fund (EDF).
The EDF is a specified purpose account, administered by ECCC, to provide a mechanism for directing funds received as a result of fines, court orders, and voluntary payments to priority projects that will benefit our natural environment.
Below are highlights of prosecutions that occurred under CEPA and its regulations in 2020-2021.
Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations
On May 21, 2020, Scamp Industries Ltd., a fuel supplier based in Western Canada, was fined $200,000 in the Provincial Court of British Columbia after pleading guilty to 5 counts of transferring petroleum products into a storage-tank system where storage-tank-system identification numbers were not visible, in contravention with the Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations. The penalty was directed to the EDF.
In March 2015, ECCC enforcement officers inspected several gas stations on federal and Indigenous land in the south-central area of British Columbia, including the Kamloops and Salmon Arm areas, to monitor compliance with the Regulations. During these inspections, the enforcement officers found that Scamp Industries Ltd. had been delivering fuel to a number of unregistered tank systems and a number of tank systems that did not display the required identification numbers.
Disposal at sea
On August 19, 2020, Seleine Mines, a division of K+S Windsor Salt Ltd., was fined a total of $400,000 after pleading guilty to 4 counts of violating provisions in the Act related to disposal at sea. The penalty was directed to the EDF.
An investigation by ECCC enforcement officers revealed that Seleine Mines had disposed of dredged material on 4 occasions between August 10 and August 14, 2014, outside of the disposal area authorized by the disposal at sea permit issued by ECCC.
On September 1, 2020, 4422236 Canada Inc. was fined $260,000 after pleading guilty to 2 counts of violating the PCB Regulations and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. The penalty was directed to the EDF.
An investigation conducted by ECCC officers revealed that in September 2018, 4422236 Canada Inc., owner of the Baltex Building in Montréal, was using a transformer containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at a concentration greater than 500 ppm. The investigation also found that as of June 2019, the company had not complied with the environmental protection compliance order issued by an enforcement officer in November 2018, requiring it to dispose of the transformer.
Environmental Offenders Registry and Enforcement Notifications
The Environmental Offenders Registry contains information on convictions of corporations obtained under certain federal environmental laws including CEPA, since June 18, 2009. This tool allows the media and the public to search for corporate convictions using the name of the corporation, its home province, the province where the offence occurred, or the legislation under which the conviction was obtained.
The Enforcement Notifications contain information about successful prosecutions across Canada under the acts and regulations administered by ECCC or involving ECCC enforcement officers (including CEPA).
6.7 International enforcement cooperation
Enforcement-related activities are carried out under various international and domestic agreements and organizations. ECCC actively participates in INTERPOL’s Pollution Crime Working Group, which brings together member countries to work collectively on pollution crime issues.
In 2020, ECCC also participated in the World Customs Organization (WCO) Demeter IV operation, which focused on addressing illegal waste and illegal trade in ozone-depleting substances. Canada’s participation in the operation focused on the export of illegal waste and was conducted jointly with the Canada Border Services Agency.
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