PCB reporting and record keeping

Objectives of the PCB Regulations
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(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)

Release to the Environment Reporting Requirements

When a release of PCBs to the environment occurs, two reports must be made as soon as possible: 

Record Keeping (Sections 43-45)

Who Is Required to Maintain Records? 

What Records Need to Be Kept?

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.

Contraventions Regulations

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

For more information on the PCB Regulations and complying with the requirements, contact your regional office or the PCB Program.

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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