Objectives of the PCB Regulations
The PCB Regulations SOR/2008-273 came into force on September 5, 2008. The most recent amendments to the regulations came into force on January 1, 2015. The purpose of the regulations is to protect the health of Canadians and the environment by preventing the release of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to the environment, and by accelerating the phasing out of these substances.
Labelling (Sections 29-32)
Labelling - General Information
Labels are required for PCBs and products containing PCBs. Labels can be affixed in a readily visible location by the owner of the PCBs no later than 30 days after the PCBs cease to be used.
Labels attached to PCB equipment and containers must measure at least 150 mm by 150 mm and must state: "ATTENTION Contains 50 mg/kg or more of PCBs / contient 50 mg/kg ou plus de BPC" in black lettering on a white background, in a font of 36 points or greater (Figure 1). For smaller equipment that cannot be fitted with labels of 150 mm and for capacitors, labelling dimensions may be reduced to a minimum dimension of 76 mm by 76 mm. Equipment that cannot be fitted with either of the above labels must be stored in a labelled container.
Figure 1: Labelling and notice requirements for equipment and containers for which no extension has been granted.
Storage Sites - Labelling and Notice Requirements
A location is considered a storage site when a solid or liquid product containing PCBs in a concentration of 50 mg/kg or more is stored in an amount of:
- 100 L or more for liquids
- 100 kg or more for solids
- a lesser amount if the product contains 1 kg or more of PCBs
Each piece of equipment and products containing PCBs in a concentration of 50 mg/kg or more located at a storage site (excluding transfer sites and destruction facilities) must bear a label that also includes: "Date of Commencement of Storage / Date de début de stockage" (Figure 2). This also applies to equipment or containers that possess a label indicating the presence of PCBs on September 5, 2008. Furthermore, a label (Figure 2) must be affixed to equipment or containers that will be stored on site for longer than 30 days after the equipment is withdrawn from use.
Figure 2: Labelling and notice requirements for equipment and containers in storage.
Transfer Sites and Destruction Facilities - Labelling and Notice Requirements
(Figure 1) illustrates the label specifications required on any equipment or container that is in a fixed position (e.g., bulk tank) at a transfer or destruction facility for storage of PCBs in a concentration of 50 mg/kg or more. A label (Figure 1) must also be placed in a readily visible location near the entrance of the site.
Exceptions to Labelling Requirements
- An additional label (Figure 2) is not required on equipment or containers already bearing a label indicating the presence of PCBs on September 5, 2008.
- Equipment containing PCBs that has been granted an extension under section 17 of the regulations must be labelled while in use, and must have a unique identification number as indicated in the end-of-use extension from Environment and Climate Change Canada (Figure 3).
Figure 3: Labelling and notice requirements for equipment and containers for which an extension has been granted.
- Labels are required, when equipment is in use, on accessible parts of cables, pipelines or associated equipment; or a notice must be placed, in a readily visible location at the entrance of a room, tunnel or facility in which the cables, pipelines or associated equipment are located, and must measure at least 150 mm by 150 mm (Figure 1). If part of a cable, pipeline or associated equipment is dismantled, a label must be affixed on each dismantled part.
- If equipment is too small to bear a label (e.g., lamp ballasts), the container in which PCBs are stored must bear a label as described above (Figure 1).
Retention of Labels
The person who is required to affix a label must ensure that the product or container bears an appropriate label for the duration of the time that the person possesses the product or container.
Tickets can be issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers for various sections of the PCB Regulations. In addition to warnings, directions and environmental protection compliance orders, tickets are one of several enforcement responses that officers can take.
Ticketable offences are those with minimal or no threat to the environment or human life or health, such as failure to report on time, and will involve a maximum fine of $500. A new ticket can be issued, each day, until the compliance requirements are met. To consult the list of ticketable violations and corresponding fines for the PCB Regulations, please refer to Part XVIII of Schedule I.3 of the Contraventions Regulations. For general information on enforcement responses, please refer to the Compliance and Enforcement Policy for CEPA 1999.
For more information
The guidance contained in this document should be used for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal guidance, since it does not reflect all the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 or the PCB Regulations. Thus should there be any discrepancy between this document and the Act or the regulations, the Act and the regulations will prevail. For the purpose of interpreting and applying the regulations,users must consult the regulations on Justice Canada’s website.
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