GLOBE SERIES

More hazardous substances added to emergency regulations

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Source: GLOBE SERIES

Environment Canada has added 41 unique substances to the Environmental Emergency Regulations, including styrene, an explosive chemical used to make polystyrene plastic containers, and ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer.

As an example of the hazards associated with styrene, an explosion that occurred in the province of Quebec in 1966 resulted in 11 deaths, 7 injuries and significant property loss.

Of the 52 substances evaluated, 33 substances and classes of these substances (a total of 41 substances) were found to have the potential to create environmental emergencies due to their significant risk to the environment and human life in the case of accidents, vandalism or terrorist acts.

E2 plans require that individuals and industrial facilities using or storing regulated hazardous substances listed in the regulations have plans for and can manage the consequences of an unintended release of the substance into the environment.

The amendments include an exemption that reduces administrative burdens for some facilities in the propane gas sector. Facilities with propane in storage containers are excluded from the E2 regulations if their storage containers of less than 10 tonnes are located at least 360 metres from their property boundaries.

Other uses of propane are already controlled under the existingEnvironmental Emergency Regulations.

The Amendments also clarify some existing provisions and provide exceptions from the requirements of the Regulations. These modifications include:

  • Addition of 33 substances and classes of substances representing different forms of the core 33 substances (a total of 41 individual substances) to Schedule 1 of the Regulation
  • Exceptions to the calculation of quantities for certain solids, anhydrous ammonia and ammonia solution, and propane;
  • Provisions for closed or decommissioned facilities;
  • Exclusions from the List of Substances in Schedule 1 of the Regulations;
  • Modifications to Schedule 1 of the Regulations to include substances that are aquatically toxic, carcinogenic, persistent or bioaccumulative;and
  • Revision to the reporting requirements of the Regulations..

The complete list of substance and details of the amendments to the Environmental Emergency Regulations can be found here.

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