Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations: overview
These regulations were developed under the Fisheries Act to manage threats to fish, fish habitat, and to human health from fish consumption. They limit the deposit of harmful substances into fish-bearing waters by pulp and paper mills and prohibit deposits of effluents that are acutely lethal to fish. These regulations came into force on May 7, 1992.
This information does not in any way supersede or modify the Fisheries Act or the regulations. In the event of an inconsistency between this information and the official version of the act and/or the regulations, the act and the regulations prevail.
Scope of regulations
The purpose of these regulations is to manage threats to fish, fish habitat and human health from fish consumption by governing the deposit of deleterious substances from pulp and paper mills into waters frequented by fish.
Key requirements under the regulations
The Regulations set limits for the maximum quantities of biochemical oxygen demand matter (which consumes oxygen dissolved in water) and suspended solids that can be deposited from pulp and paper mills under prescribed conditions. The Regulations do not allow the deposit of any effluent that is acutely lethal to fish. The Regulations also contain requirements for mills to conduct environmental effects monitoring to identify effects of the effluent on fish and fish habitat.
The application of these requirements depend on whether the mill deposits effluent into water or into a wastewater system that is regulated by the Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations.
Under these regulations, pulp and paper mills are required to conduct environmental effects monitoring studies to identify and investigate potential effects from mill effluent. They also impose additional requirements on owners and operators such as:
- installation, maintenance, calibration and recordkeeping for monitoring equipment
- identifying information and monthly reporting of effluent and production information
- notification for a test result that fails or does not comply with the regulations
- preparation and annual update of remedial plan for elimination of all unauthorized deposits of deleterious substances where effluent fails an acute lethality test
- preparation of an emergency response plan that is readily available to those authorized to implement the plan
- information on outfall structures and effluents deposited through them
- compliance with requirements for environmental effects monitoring studies
- authorization to combine effluents
- written reports and additional sampling for a deposit detrimental to fish, fish habitat or the use of fish by humans.
Environmental Protection Branch
Industrial Sectors, Chemicals, and Waste Directorate
Forest Products and Fisheries Act Division
Environment and Climate Change Canada
351 St. Joseph Boulevard, 19th Floor
Gatineau QC K1A 0H3
Phone number: 1-800-668-6767
Fax number: 819-420-7384
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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