British Columbia environment association launches regulatory compliance project for hazardous waste
In an effort to improve regulatory compliance and general awareness of the legal and technical conditions for the safe management of hazardous wastes, the BC Environment Industry Association, with support from Ministry of Environment, has launched a two-stage Compliance Improvement Project for key industry stakeholders. The first stage of the Compliance Improvement Project involved the development of a series of Fact Sheets broken down by sectors, indicating in easy to read terms the information needed by generators, transporters and processors of hazardous wastes to be in full compliance with established regulations.
The second stage of the Project involved creation of a new information portal dedicated to the hazardous waste management community that provides easy access to the above noted Fact Sheets, downloadable forms, essential contact information, and links to other sources of information. The hazwastebc.com website is an educational resource for the all companies, municipal authorities, employees and for anyone involved with hazardous waste management in British Columbia. Hazardous Wastes in B.C. are regulated
To reduce the risks associated with the generation, transportation or processing of hazardous wastes, the provincial government has established a variety of laws and regulations respecting the safe management of hazardous materials. Failure to meet these legal requirements can have significant impacts not only for the environment, but also on a business’ reputation and finances. Penalties and fines for non-compliance with the regulations can be significant, as can be the costs to cleanup environmental spills and contamination.
The proper characterization and manifesting of hazardous wastes are the responsibility of the waste generator, although carriers and receivers of such materials also bear legal liabilities. Penalties Penalties for non-compliance with the Hazardous Waste Regulation are listed in Part 10, Division 1 of the BC Environmental Management Act. Anyone who commits a violation can be charged - from the president of a company, right down to a person working on the shop floor and if found guilty, they could be fined and/or imprisoned! A fine of up to $200,000 can be imposed for making untrue or misleading statements on a Waste Manifest, while reckless disregard for safety violations causing a risk of harm or death to other persons, can result in fines of up to $3,000,000 and/or 3 years imprisonment. The second stage of the Project also involves a series of workshops and round-table discussions to be held throughout the province. Each session will allow waste generators, transporters, processors, trade associations and other industry participants the opportunity to present and/or provide valuable first-hand information and feedback in an open forum.
The first such workshop is scheduled to take place towards the end of February 2008 and will be held in Metro Vancouver. These workshops will companies to better understand the regulatory requirements for hazardous waste management, and the penalties associated with non-compliance with these requirements. The British Columbia Environment Industry Association is comprised of engineering and environmental service companies, technology companies, research organizations, government agencies and environmental law firms. Supported by the GLOBE Foundation of Canada the Association is dedicated to providing programs that lead to the corporate success of its members.