Implementation guidelines for Environmental Emergency Regulations: chapter 8
8.0 Compliance and Enforcement
Environment Canada evaluates the accuracy and completeness of the notices and reports submitted under the E2 Regulations. This evaluation assists the Department in determining:
- whether the regulatee must submit E2 plan reports and notifications; and
- when the regulatee must submit E2 plan reports and notifications; and
- whether Environment Canada should refer possible situations of non-compliance to enforcement officers for investigation.
As part of an ongoing monitoring process, Environment Canada may request that copies of E2 plans be submitted to the Department for review. Such action will help Environment Canada determine whether departmental guidance on environmental emergency planning is adequate and being properly interpreted. An ongoing auditing of E2 plans is also necessary to assess the effectiveness of the E2 plans in protecting Canadians’ safety and security.
Investigation of possible non-compliance
Enforcement officers apply the Compliance and Enforcement Policy for CEPA 1999 when verifying compliance with the E2 Regulations. This policy sets out the range of possible responses to alleged violations: warnings, directions, environmental protection compliance orders (EPCOs), ticketing, ministerial orders, injunctions and prosecution, as well as environmental protection alternative measures (EPAMs).
For the purposes of enforcing the E2 Regulations under section 218 of CEPA 1999, enforcement officers are authorized to enter places and inspect E2 plans and any other relevant record in order to confirm compliance with the E2 Regulations.
When an enforcement officer discovers an alleged violation, the officer will choose the appropriate enforcement action based on the following factors:
- Nature of the alleged violation: This includes the consideration of how serious the harm or potential harm is, what the reason of the alleged violation is, whether this is a repeated occurrence and whether attempts have been made to conceal information or otherwise subvert the objectives and requirements of the CEPA 1999.
- Effectiveness in achieving the desired result with the alleged violator: The desired result is compliance with the CEPA 1999, within the shortest possible time and with no further occurrence of violation. Factors to be considered include:
- the violator’s history of compliance with the CEPA 1999 and, if applicable, with regulations by a provincial, territorial or Aboriginal government that are deemed, by order in council, to be equivalent to those under the Act;
- willingness to co-operate with enforcement officers;
- evidence of corrective action already taken; and
- the existence of enforcement actions under other statutes by other federal authorities or by provincial, territorial or Aboriginal governments as a result of the same activity.
- Consistency in enforcement: Enforcement officers strive to achieve consistency in their responses to alleged violations. Accordingly, officers consider how similar previous situations were handled when deciding what enforcement action to take.
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