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Amendments to Environmental Emergency Regulations Designed to Improve Emergency Management for 49 Additional Substances

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The Department of the Environment published in the October 8, 2016 edition of Canada Gazette Part 1, proposed Environmental Emergency Regulations, 2016, pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999). The objective of the proposed regulations is to further enhance environmental emergency management (EEM) in Canada.

Improved environmental emergency management will be introduced through the addition of 49 hazardous substances to Schedule 1 of the regulation. The addition would require reporting on the substances; environmental emergency planning for higher-risk facilities; and reporting of spills or releases involving the substances that are environmental emergencies.

The proposed regulations will contain strengthened provisions requiring that the public be notified of the possibility and potential consequences of an environmental emergency and the measures that would be taken by the regulated party to protect human life and health and the environment in the event of an environmental emergency. Related measures are designed to strengthen existing regulatory requirements and to ensure the information available to public safety organizations - and to the Department of the Environment - is reliable.

The proposed Regulations contain a transitional provision that would require all regulated parties to submit mandatory company and substance information within one year after the coming into force of the proposed Regulations. This provision would serve to ensure that the Department has an accurate and up-to-date database of company and substance information for use by the Department and authorized public safety organizations involved in environmental emergency preparedness and response.

CWWA is consulting with our Water Quality and Wastewater & Stormwater Committees to assess the impact of the changes on our members. Some substances already listed in the E2 regulations are used in water/wastewater treatment, and are subject to the Regulations if stored in sufficient quantities. 

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