Environmental Emergency Regulations Amendments

May 26, 2020

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) introduced new amendments to the Environmental Emergency Regulations in August 2019.

The Environmental Emergency Regulations bring changes that reinforce good environmental emergency management to better protect Canadians and the environment.

environmental emergency regulationsThe new regulations improve industry’s capacity to deal with environmental emergencies that may occur at fixed facilities across Canada.

The Environmental Emergency Regulations requires all regulates to register through their Single Window reporting system and to follow the new reporting requirements for full-scale simulation exercises of an E2 plan, changes to information in existing notices, the transfer of ownership of a facility and facility closure. These changes include renumbering of reporting schedules and revisions to timelines for submission of notices.

The hazardous substance list has been modified to include 33 new substances, a new hazard category, amendments to 2 substances as well as the addition of a new hazard category “Pool Fire,” as well as new clearer definitions outlined in the regulations.

Any substance that is regulated under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992 or Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (including during loading and unloading) is excluded, as well as substances used as fuel for heating appliances or power generation.

Environmental Emergency Plans (E2 Plan) for facilities using or storing regulated substances are required to communicate with members of the public who may be affected by an environmental emergency, including before an incident occurs , providing notification of an emergency and giving updates during and after an emergency. The E2 Plan must identify the worst-case and alternative scenarios. Facilities must conduct modelling to determine these scenarios and their impact distances.

Facilities are required to test their E2 plan at least once per year, with a full-scale simulation exercise being conducted at least once every five years. Records for simulation exercises and updates are to be kept at the facility for a period of no less than seven years.

Existing plans may be valid under the new regulations but must undergo a gap analysis to identify elements that need to be addressed. The plan must be updated with any missing information and a table of index identifying where all the new components can be found in the existing plan.

For assistance in creating or revising your E2 plan, please contact our office.

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