How Does the Air Assessment Framework in Canada Work?

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In Canada, reporting to the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) is mandatory for qualifying companies. As outlined in the Canadian Environment Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA), any facility that releases, produces or processes a substance on the NPRI list above the reporting threshold is legally bound to report annually. Determining a facility’s pollutant output levels, and thus the necessity to report, can be done by a qualified environmental assessment consultant.

The federal government has taken a firm stance on the regulations. Reporting false or misleading information, or failing to report altogether, is considered a violation, and could lead to fines or jail time, as both corporations and individual persons can be charged. These federal regulations, it should be noted, are in addition to provincial regulations, which must also be adhered to.

Compliance can be a complicated task, as companies must take into consideration regulations from all three levels of government – federal, provincial and municipal – while staying up to date on new and changing rules and regulations, such as the Air Quality Management System (AQMS), a cooperative effort between federal and provincial governments that came into effect in 2012.

To ensure compliance, testing and monitoring are required, preferably by a qualified environmental impact assessment consultant. Determining whether or not a facility’s emissions meet the reporting threshold also falls under the scope of duties performed by environmental impact assessment companies.

In 2014, the Multi-Sector Air Pollutants Regulations were announced to regulate air pollutants from industrial sources with the objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 3.4 megatonnes between 2013 and 2035. These reduction goals were built on baseline data from the AQMS emission requirements.

In addition to these federal regulations, companies are also bound by provincial rules. A qualified environmental assessment consultant will be aware of all provincial regulations for the region they operate within. The staff at environmental impact assessment companies will also be aware of the air quality standards set for their region as well as knowing required permits, needs for project assessments, and any necessary testing that needs to be conducted, such as offsite air monitoring, for example.

Compliance with these standards and regulations, including proper reporting and monitoring, will ensure facilities do not find themselves in contravention of the law, thus avoiding the associated penalties. At the federal level, the fines are not inconsequential. Violations of CEPA 1999 carry penalties of up to $1 million per day for the duration of the offending action or imprisonment of up to three years. There is also the possibility of facing both fines and jail time together.

As one of the nation’s leading environmental impact assessment companies, DiGiSci Environmental Services is well equipped to assist companies in meeting compliance guidelines. Contact us to find out how we can help. In Canada, reporting to the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) is mandatory for qualifying companies. As outlined in the Canadian Environment Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA), any facility that releases, produces or processes a substance on the NPRI list above the reporting threshold is legally bound to report annually. Determining a facility’s pollutant output levels, and thus the necessity to report, can be done by a qualified environmental assessment consultant.

The federal government has taken a firm stance on the regulations. Reporting false or misleading information, or failing to report altogether, is considered a violation, and could lead to fines or jail time, as both corporations and individual persons can be charged. These federal regulations, it should be noted, are in addition to provincial regulations, which must also be adhered to.

Compliance can be a complicated task, as companies must take into consideration regulations from all three levels of government – federal, provincial and municipal – while staying up to date on new and changing rules and regulations, such as the Air Quality Management System (AQMS), a cooperative effort between federal and provincial governments that came into effect in 2012.

To ensure compliance, testing and monitoring are required, preferably by a qualified environmental impact assessment consultant. Determining whether or not a facility’s emissions meet the reporting threshold also falls under the scope of duties performed by environmental impact assessment companies.

In 2014, the Multi-Sector Air Pollutants Regulations were announced to regulate air pollutants from industrial sources with the objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 3.4 megatonnes between 2013 and 2035. These reduction goals were built on baseline data from the AQMS emission requirements.

In addition to these federal regulations, companies are also bound by provincial rules. A qualified environmental assessment consultant will be aware of all provincial regulations for the region they operate within. The staff at environmental impact assessment companies will also be aware of the air quality standards set for their region as well as knowing required permits, needs for project assessments, and any necessary testing that needs to be conducted, such as offsite air monitoring, for example.

Compliance with these standards and regulations, including proper reporting and monitoring, will ensure facilities do not find themselves in contravention of the law, thus avoiding the associated penalties. At the federal level, the fines are not inconsequential. Violations of CEPA 1999 carry penalties of up to $1 million per day for the duration of the offending action or imprisonment of up to three years. There is also the possibility of facing both fines and jail time together.

As one of the nation’s leading environmental impact assessment companies, DiGiSci Environmental Services is well equipped to assist companies in meeting compliance guidelines. Contact us to find out how we can help.