Environmental emergencies: regulations
The objectives of the Environmental Emergency Regulations (E2 Regulations) under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) are to reduce the frequency and consequences of uncontrolled, unplanned or accidental releases of hazardous substances into the environment. The objective is obtained through proper environmental emergency planning so that companies are able to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from an environmental emergency.
Schedule 1 of the E2 Regulations contains a list of substances that, if they enter the environment as a result of an environmental emergency, (i) have or may have an immediate or long-term harmful effect on the environment or its biological diversity, (ii) constitute or may constitute a danger to the environment on which human life depends, or (iii) constitute or may constitute a danger in Canada to human life or health.
The substances that are already listed on the regulations and the substances that have been added as a result of the 2011 amendments have been identified as having at least one emergency hazard characteristic (explosive, flammable, inhalation toxic, aquatic toxic or carcinogenic). These substances have been determined to pose a credible risk to the environment and human health if stored or handled on facilities at or above the regulated threshold quantities,
The E2 Regulations may require persons who own or manage specified toxic and hazardous substances at or above the specified thresholds to provide required information on the substance(s) and their quantities and to prepare and implement environmental emergency plans (E2 plans).
In December 2011, the Regulations Amending the Environmental Emergency Regulations (the Amendments) were published in the Canada Gazette.
- Environmental emergency regulations: filing a notice
- Environmental emergency regulations: reporting a spill or release
- Find out who is registered
- Environmental emergencies: regional contacts
- Public safety authorities sign-in
- Environmental emergencies: list of exploding or hazardous substances
- Environmental emergency planning: risk evaluation framework
- Environmental emergencies: substance evaluations
- Implementation guidelines for Environmental Emergency Regulations
- Environmental emergency regulations: frequently asked questions
- Environmental emergency regulations: 2011 amendments
- Environmental emergency regulations: invitation to comment
The Amendments enhance the existing protection provided by the Regulations for specified substances that are flammable or hazardous. In addition, the Amendments clarify some existing provisions and provide exceptions from the requirements of the Regulations. Finally, the Amendments are supportive of, and are linked to, the federal government’s overall policies for public safety and emergency preparedness.
Full text of the Environmental Emergency Regulations, last amended December 8, 2011, can be viewed at the following;
New guidance resources for stakeholders
Additional information resources
- Implementation Guidelines for the Environmental Emergency Regulations
These guidelines are intended for the use of any person or class of persons who owns or has the charge, management, or control of a substance that may be required to have environmental emergency planning.
Historic information related to the environmental emergency regulations
- Environmental Emergency Regulations (2003) under Part 8 of CEPA
- Information Sheet - Environmental Emergency Regulations under Part 8 of CEPA 1999
- Rationale for the Development of a List of Regulated Substances Under CEPA Section 200 and their Threshold Quantities
- Guidance Manual for the Risk Evaluation Framework for Sections 199 and 200 of CEPA 1999
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