Environmental Assessment

Environmental Regulations: the Essentials

If you operate a manufacturing facility or have commercial activities, specific environmental regulations may apply to your business. However, it might be challenging to determine which requirements are relevant to your organization. Here you will find examples of the most common laws and articles.

Different Types of Requirements

First, let’s look at various types of environmental requirements, with the example of the province of Quebec, Canada. The classification of environmental regulations is according to the following factors

  • The levels of government involved:
    • Canadian Federal. Even if a property is not on federal land, federal requirements may still apply,
    • Quebec Provincial, and
    • Municipal. Please note that this article does not discuss municipal regulations.
Quebec environmental compliance
  • The components affected by a requirement, such as:
    • Regulated activities,
    • Training needs,
    • Noise,
    • Spills,
    • Air emissions,
    • Controlled facilities,
    • Regulated substances,
    • Emphasis on the emergency plan,
    • Measures and activities for the preservation of wildlife,
    • Precautions and actions to preserve the flora,
    • Protection activities for soil conservation,
    • Drinking water usage restrictions.

For example, a spill could require complementary actions regulated at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels.

Please note that the following information is for informational purposes only. They are not exhaustive, do not replace the regulations, and may require updating. Additionally, they do not constitute a legal opinion. A specific review of the environmental requirements applicable to your business in Quebec may be necessary.

Enviropass recommends that you entrust it to a Certified Environmental Auditor (CEA) who is a member of Quebec Association of Environmental Auditing. We have such a resource. Contact Enviropass!

Examples of Environmental Laws and Regulations

Canadian Federal Environmental Regulations

Name of the Act or regulation

Code of the Regulation

Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992

S.C. 1992, c. 34

Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA)

S.C. 1999, c. 33

Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (certain clauses only)

SOR/86-304

Concentration of Phosphorus in Certain Cleaning Products Regulations

SOR/89-501

Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations

SOR/2001-286

Solvent Degreasing Regulations

SOR/2003-283

Virtual Elimination List

SOR/2006-298

Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations

SOR/2008-197

Quebec Provincial Environmental Regulations

Name of the Act or regulation

Code of the Regulation

Construction Code (certain clauses only)

B-1.1, r. 2

Safety Code (certain clauses only)

B-1.1, r. 3

Civil Code of Québec (certain clauses only)

CCQ-1991

Tobacco Control Act (certain clauses only)

L-6.2

Pesticides Act

P-9.3

Regulation respecting permits and certificates for the sale and use of pesticides

P-9.3, r. 2

Environment Quality Act (EQA) (principal law)

Q-2

Clean Air Regulation

Q-2, r. 4.1

Regulation respecting biomedical waste

Q-2, r. 12

Regulation respecting the regulatory scheme applying to activities on the basis of their environmental impact

Q-2, r. 17.1

Regulation respecting the burial of contaminated soils

Q-2, r. 18

Regulation respecting the landfilling and incineration of residual materials

Q-2, r. 19

Regulation respecting used tire storage

Q-2, r. 20

Snow, road salt and abrasives management Regulation

Q-2, r. 28.2

Regulation respecting halocarbons

Q-2, r. 29

Regulation respecting hazardous materials

Q-2, r. 32

Regulation respecting environmental standards for heavy vehicles

Q-2, r. 33

Water Withdrawal and Protection Regulation

Q-2, r. 35.2

Land Protection and Rehabilitation Regulation

Q-2, r. 37

Hazardous Products Information Regulation

S-2.1, r. 8.1

Permits and Certificates

Environmental Regulations

In addition to the laws and regulations mentioned above, certificates and permits issued for specific facilities also contain certain environmental requirements. Examples of these documents are:

  • Certificates of authorization issued at the provincial level,
  • Municipal permits for industrial wastewater discharge, air emissions, etc.

Examples of Common Articles of Environmental Regulations

Here are some of the most popular articles of environmental laws or regulations, with a summary of their requirements:

Code of the Regulation

Article(s)

Summary of the requirement (simplified)

B-1.1, r. 3

131 and 132

Proper use and maintenance of petroleum equipment.

B-1.1, r. 3

152

Gauging of petroleum equipment.

B-1.1, r. 3

171

Spill kit near petroleum equipment.

Q-2

20

A prohibition against discharging or permitting the discharge of a contaminant into the environment above the regulatory thresholds.

Q-2

21

Mandatory actions in case of release of a contaminant into the environment beyond the prescribed thresholds.

Q-2

22

Activities and facilities that require a certificate of authorization in Quebec. Municipal regulations substitute this requirement for businesses located in Montreal.

Q-2

66

Obligation to dispose of residual materials at an authorized site.

Q-2

70.6

Obligation to keep a register of residual hazardous materials (quantity, identification, storage date, etc.)

Q-2

70.5.1 - 70.5.5

Obligations in case of accidental release of hazardous materials into the environment.

Q-2, r. 4.1

6

Maintaining production facilities and equipment in good condition.

Q-2, r. 4.1

10

Limiting the emission of particles into the atmosphere.

Q-2, r. 4.1

19

Volatile organic compound (VOC) emission limits above 100 kg per day. Exemptions are possible.

Q-2, r. 4.1

28

Installation characteristics of a paint room.

Q-2, r. 4.1

197

Limiting the emission of contaminants to the atmosphere, beyond the thresholds specified in Annex K of the regulation.

Q-2, r. 12

6 - 25

Biomedical waste management (container, destruction, authorizations, etc.)

Q-2, r. 17.1

Part I Title IV

Applications for authorization and certificates of authorization.

Q-2, r. 28.2

5

Mandatory transportation of used snow to an authorized location.

Q-2, r. 29

5

Prohibition to emit halocarbon into the atmosphere.

Q-2, r. 29

13

Notifying the Minister in case of releasing more than 10 kg of liquid halocarbon into the atmosphere.

Q-2, r. 32

8

Prohibition to release residual hazardous material into the environment.

Q-2, r. 32

11 section 1

Mandatory authorization for the shipment of hazardous substances.

Q-2, r. 32

11 section 2

The obligation of a written contract for the shipment of hazardous materials.

Q-2, r. 32

33 - 35

Storage conditions for residual hazardous substances (drains, retention, etc.)

Q-2, r. 32

41

Requirement to store compatible hazardous materials.

Q-2, r. 32

46

Identification of hazardous material storage locations and containers (name, date of storage, etc.)

Q-2, r. 32

56

Retention of above-ground tanks of residual hazardous substances.

Q-2, r. 32

83

Absorbent materials near a hazardous materials storage area.

Q-2, r. 32

104 - 108

Requirements to register hazardous substances (mandatory triggering thresholds, compulsory information, archiving, etc.)

Q-2, r. 37

4 - 7

Groundwater monitoring for activities listed in Annex IV in the vicinity of a drinking water catchment area.

S.C. 1992, c. 34

5

Regulated practices when handling or transporting dangerous goods (substances).

S.C. 1999, c. 33

46 (1)

Obligation to report listed substances above certain thresholds, such as heavy metals, according to the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI).

S.C. 1999, c. 33

81

Restrictions on the use of substances (manufacture, import, use in a new application, etc.) with obligations to inform the Minister.

S-2.1, r. 8.1

16 - 21

Regulation of safety data sheets (SDS).

SOR/2001-286

3.5 (1)

Information to include on a dangerous goods (substances) shipping document.

SOR/2001-286

4.1 - 4.4

Mandatory display of safety marks for the transport of dangerous goods.

SOR/2001-286

6.1 and 6.2

Mandatory training for a person who transports or requests the transport of dangerous goods (substances).

SOR/2006-298

-

Restrictions on the use of hexachlorobutadiene (solvent) and perfluorooctane sulfonate and its salts (PFOS - a PFAS used for waterproofing fabrics, furniture and carpets, and various other applications).

SOR/2008-197

8

Specifications of tanks for petroleum or related products.

SOR/2008-197

35

Regulated management of an oil-water separator.

Why Periodically Verify the Applicable Environmental Regulations?

Periodic environmental compliance audits (ECA), conducted internally or externally, are a good practice of an environmental management system. Particularly, ECAs:

Environmental Chemical Regulations
  • Enable the evaluation of a company’s environmental performance and its development over time,
  • Minimize the business environmental risk by taking corrective and preventive actions in response to the observation of actual or potential non-conformities; and
  • Facilitate a defense by demonstrating due diligence in case of a committed offense.

Therefore, it is no coincidence that ISO 14001 requires periodic:

  1. Regulatory monitoring to find out your compliance obligations (clause 6.1.3); and
  2. Evaluation of environmental compliance (clause 9.1.2).
ISO 14001 Symbol

In addition to the environmental regulations already in place, more requirements, such as the control of hazardous substances in products, govern production activities and services.

Do you have any needs or questions about the environmental regulations applicable to your organization? Ask Enviropass for a free consultation!