Canada: Environmental Law Report - January 2008

Last Updated: February 4 2008

Edited by Barry Spiegel

Contents Include:

  • Federal Air Pollution Reporting: Industry must complete complex paperwork for federal air regulations.
  • Ontario will be first province to mandate "off-toxics" programs by industry.
  • Toronto Emissions Reporting: Toronto proposes by-law requiring SME to report emissions.
  • Ontario proposes controversial landfill gas collection and control regulation
  • Ottawa publishes next two batches in chemical assessment program.
  • Ottawa proposes national sewage treatment regulations in 2008.

What Happened To One-Window?

Several articles in this newsletter reflect substantial new reporting requirements from federal and municipal governments. Others raise the spectre of federal duplication of provincial regulation of waste water treatment, and encroachment by Ontario on the federal role of toxics assessment, regulation and elimination. The result is an increasing compliance burden.

What happened to the move towards "one-window" government? Is this turf-protection or politics? Or is there a positive rationale? We will be watching closely and reporting to you as these matters proceed.

Ottawa Orders Companies To Submit Extensive Info On Air Emissions

The federal government has imposed significant and complex emissions reporting requirements on large air pollution emitters. Ottawa is gathering much more detailed data on industrial releases of key environmental pollutants emitted in 2006. The stated intention is to gather data for the purpose of drafting clean air regulations. Given the scope of data required, some of the 700-plus large emitters will find it challenging to meet the May 31, 2008 deadline. The reporting forms had not been published by mid- January. CEPA permits the Minister of the Environment to grant extensions of the filing date: a written extension application is required.

The notice in the Canada Gazette Part I, December 8, 2007 requires emissions data for the year 2006. The annual reporting obligation will continue until regulations come into force.

Who Must Report?

A reporting form and guidance document will help managers assemble and submit the required data.

The requirement applies to industrial and resource extraction faculties in 15 sectors: the cement, lime and chemical production, smelting and refining, iron and steel, pulp and paper, power generation, oil sands, petroleum refining, upstream oil and gas production, and some mining. Other sectors will be added by future notice.

Which Substances?

Facilities in the designated sectors must supply emissions data, including the emission reduction efficiency of their current abatement efforts, for five families of air pollutants:

1. Smog producing compounds (VOCs, NOx, SOx, TPM, PM10, PM25;

2. GHGs;

3. Key toxics (benzene, mercury, ammonia, inorganic fluorides and various PAHs);

4. ODS (13 ozone-depleting chemicals);

5. Dioxins and furans.

These requirements are more extensive than currently required under either the NPRI or the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Programs. Complex threshold reporting will be required for each sector. Emitters must differentiate emissions from stationary fuel combustion, industrial processing, venting and flaring operations, and fugitive releases. Emitters must also describe monitoring and methodology, fuel and power use, cogeneration operations, system inputs, production outputs and other process details.

Ontario To Make Pollution Prevention Mandatory In Bid To Cut Toxic Releases

Ontario is drafting legislation to require pollution prevention programs in an effort to slash the environmental release of certain high risk compounds and/or to upstage EC efforts under CEPA.

In addition, the government has pledged to introduce legislation in the spring of 2008 to ban the cosmetic use of pesticides.

In announcing the province's new toxics reduction strategy, Premier McGuinty cited the success of Massachusetts's Toxic Use Reduction Act (TURA). TURA may be the model for Ontario's legislation. Companies using large amounts of listed toxics must evaluate pollution prevention opportunities, implement them if practical, and measure and report their results annually. They will also pay annual toxics user fees.

Few details have been released.

The government plans to appoint an expert medical and scientific panel to identify the toxics for immediate attention. The government intends to work with Cancer Care Ontario and the Ontario Medical Association to identify, target and reduce the number of cancer-causing agents released into the environment.

To support implementation, the government says it will provide up to $10 million a year in funding and technical assistance to replace and reduce toxic chemicals and to introduce innovative technologies.

Is this a welcome development or unnecessary duplication of EC efforts under CEPA? Will it complement or confound Toronto's proposed toxics reporting program? We await release of more details.

Feds Call For Extensive Data On Next Batch Of Priority Toxics

Environment Canada has announced Batch 4, consisting of 18 compounds to be assessed under its Chemicals Management Plan. The notice in the Canada Gazette Part I (November 17th), includes such high use chemicals as hexane, dimethyl sulfuric acid, as well as butane or isobutene products containing 1,3- butadiene (used in synthetic rubber).

The same issue of Gazette provides advance notice of the 19 substances that will constitute Batch 5, scheduled to be released in February 2008.

Facilities that manufacture, import or use more than a prescribed amount of these compounds have until March 18, 2008 to supply the information needed to determine whether they may be considered "toxic" under s.71(1) of CEPA 1999 and should be listed in Schedule I of the Act. Schedule 1 substances may be subject to regulatory control measures, up to including their phase-out and elimination.

Data is required on production and usage of the listed compounds (including concentrations and mixtures), plus environmental releases, impacts, and exposures. Information is also required on pollution abatement, environmental control and waste management practices and policies, and any studies that assess the effectiveness of these practices and policies.

Complicating the issue, a large operation can use hundreds of chemical products and mixtures; it can be difficult to identify those containing targeted substances. Affected companies have expressed concern about the time and expense involved in complying.

Municipalities Concerned About Proposed Landfill Gas Regulation

Ontario's MOE conducted consultation in fall of 2007 on a proposal to extend regulatory requirements for landfill gas collection and controls. The current regulation requires collection and control for new or expanding sites exceeding 3M cubic metres in capacity. The proposed regulation lowers the threshold to 1.5M cubic metres. Significantly, the requirement would be expanded to apply to "operating" landfills, not just new or expanding landfills. Municipalities have expressed concerns about the proposed timing and costs, especially where retrofit is required. Many municipalities also prefer a voluntary, rather than regulated approach. Sale of carbon credits should provide revenue to offset the costs. However, carbon credits may not be available for GHG reductions that are required by regulation. MOE is currently considering the stakeholder comments

Ottawa Promises National Sewage Treatment Standards

Ottawa is planning to stop the dumping of raw sewage into Canadian lakes, rivers and oceans. Ottawa also promises to support treatment plant upgrades through its $33-billion Building Canada infrastructure plan.

Proposed federal regulations to be published in 2008 will address releases of ammonia, residual chlorine, nutrients, coliforms and heavy metals, as well as toxics of more recent concern, including pharmaceuticals, endocrine disrupters, and brominated flame retardants.

These proposed regulations may overlap with provincial regulations. However, EC has stated its intention to work with the provinces and territories through CCME.

Although CEPA restricts the discharge of various toxic chemicals and the Fisheries Act prohibits the deposit of deleterious substances into fish habitat, no federal legislation specifically addresses the release of publicly operated WWTP effluent. The proposed national standards will apply to more than 4,600 wastewater treatment systems in communities across Canada.

EC, in conjunction with CCME, released the Proposed Regulatory Framework for Wastewater in September, 2007.

Toronto Proposing Mandatory Reporting Of Chemical Emissions

Jumping on the federal and provincial bandwagons, Toronto Public Health is consulting the public on a proposal to require businesses to report annually on their emissions of 25 "priority" chemicals. The chemicals include benzene, cadmium, chloroform, ethylene, formaldehyde, lead, mercury, TCE, vinyl chloride, VOCs and particulate matter (PM) 2.5.

The by-law will require reporting by small, medium and large businesses, only 200 of which are already reporting to the federal National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI). The preliminary list of businesses includes food and beverage, chemical, clothing and other manufacturing, printing and publishing, waste management, auto repair and maintenance, laundry, dry cleaning and funeral services.

Toronto would make the information available to the public.

Toronto is relying on powers in the City of Toronto Act, 2006 to protect health, safety and environmental well-being. The Supreme Court of Canada's decision on cosmetic pesticide by-laws supports liberal interpretation of municipal by-laws to protect the environment.

Download the consultation document entitled Environmental Reporting and Disclosure from Toronto Health at The comment period ends February 6, 2007.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

    By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions