PCB reporting and record keeping
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.
Reporting (Sections 33-42)
For PCBs and equipment containing PCBs, the last activity (e.g. in use, stored, sent to transfer site or destruction facility, or destroyed) must be reported for each calendar year (Table 1). Reports must be submitted no later than March 31 of the following year except for subsection 33(3) (Table 2).
There are different annual reporting requirements based on several factors, including type of equipment, PCB concentration, permitted activity and/or releases to the environment. Reports must be submitted electronically in the format provided by Environment and Climate Change Canada.
In August 2015, Environment and Climate Change Canada launched its new online reporting system, ePCB. The new system must be used to submit reports for 2015 and subsequent years. To access ePCB, users must log in to the Department's Single Window Information Manager.
Table 1 - Reporting Sections of the PCB Regulations
- Subsection 33(2) - Liquids and equipmentFootnote1 for which an extension is granted under section 17 subject to the end-of-use deadline of December 31, 2014
- Subsection 33(3) - EquipmentFootnote1, not at a prescribed location,Footnote2 with a concentration of 50-500 mg/kg subject to the end-of-use deadline of December 31, 2025
- Subsection 33(3) - EquipmentFootnote3 subject to the end-of-use deadline of December 31, 2025 (see Table 2 for reporting dates)
- Subsection 33(4) - EquipmentFootnote4 subject to the end-of-use deadline of December 31, 2025
- Section 34 - Research
- Section 35 - Colouring pigment manufacturers, exporters or importers
- Section 36 - Manufacturers of solid products containing PCBs
- Section 37 - PCB storage sites for types of equipment not reported under section 33
- Section 38 - Transfer sites and destruction facilities
Subsection 33(3) reports must be prepared for each calendar year. However, the reports must be submitted every four years (Table 2). Note that reporting is required in 2027 to track storage of PCBs that are due to be removed from service by December 31, 2025. The 2030 reporting is to ensure that all PCBs subject to the December 31, 2025, deadline have been destroyed.
Table 2 - Deadlines for Annual Report Submission Under Subsection 33(3)
- March 31, 2010 - September 5, 2008 - December 31, 2009
- March 31, 2014 - 2010 - 2013
- March 31, 2018 - 2014 - 2017
- March 31, 2022 - 2018 - 2021
- March 31, 2026 - 2022 - 2025
- March 31, 2027 - 2026
- March 31, 2030 - 2027 - 2029
Release to the Environment Reporting Requirements
When a release of PCBs to the environment occurs, two reports must be made as soon as possible:
- a verbal notification under the Release and Environmental Emergency Notification Regulations and the Canadian Environment Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999)
- a written report under section 40 of the PCB Regulations using ePCB
Record Keeping (Sections 43-45)
Who Is Required to Maintain Records?
- the owner of PCBs or products containing PCBs
- the person engaged in the manufacture, processing, use, sale, offer for sale, storage, destruction, import or export of PCBs or products containing PCBs
What Records Need to Be Kept?
- records demonstrating due diligence that activities such as manufacturing, processing, use, sale, offer for sale, storage, import or export of PCBs or products containing PCBs, and destruction are conducted in accordance with CEPA 1999 and the PCB Regulations
- records of all inspections listing all inspected items and describing deficiencies, measures taken to remedy deficiencies, dates of inspections, and names of inspectors
Where Do Records Need to Be Kept?
Records must be kept at the principal place of business.
How Long Do Records Have to Be Retained?
Records have to be kept for at least five years.
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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